Arsene Wenger may have the rare chance to start his first choice back four for the first time this season on Sunday against West Ham, with the expected return of Laurent Koscielny.
The manager had announced that the Boxing Day clash with QPR would come too soon for him but that he would be in contention for the derby at the Boleyn Ground.
Koscielny has seen very little action this season in comparison to his ever-present campaigns of the past, and it has in no small way affected the balance of our defence. Just the one game against Southampton has he played since the Achilles injury sustained after the game at Chelsea before the International break in October.
There were not many partnerships in the League last season better than the Mertesacker-Koscielny pair, and it could be an explanation to the inconsistencies of the vice Cap’s performances recently. He has had to play with four different partners already this season, with neither one of Chambers, Monreal or Debuchy showing as much complimentary rapport as Lolo had with him. It will be a huge boost for him and the whole defence to have them back together as a force. At least we should be able to do the best we can with what we have at the moment, while we anticipate January reinforcements.
The midfield remains in some kind of crisis, with Wilshere, Ozil and Arteta still out, but it won’t be too soon before Ramsey makes his return. The Welshman has been slated for New Year’s Day when we go to the St. Mary’s and would surely boost a department where we have been ailing for some time now. Fan favourite Rosicky got his first start of the season and capped it with a fine goal which proved to be the winner but his always been on the precipice of another injury would make us wish for the return of the likes of Ramsey.
Arsenal’s attack has been the most spared in the injury flu and all will still be available for the important trip, bar Giroud who’ll now serve a bad of three games for his uncontrolled temper. It should open up room for guys like Podolski and Campbell to push for a place in the starting XI. Yaya Sanogo will also be in contention, as there is no news of any new hamstring strain.
We would like to see Theo Walcott finally start a game, and begin his full integration into the team. The tensions of being a man down meant he could not make an appearance at QPR but this could prove the perfect game to bring him back into the team. He was instrumental to our victory last year’s Boxing Day against the Hammers, he could be as much helpful once more.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.