Wenger has dropped the bombshell every Arsenal fan has dreaded for much of this season, and though it has not exactly detonated, familiarity with how the Arsenal injury DNA works gives little hope.
So the manager has said that Alexis is a doubt for the Sunday League game against Aston Villa and it seems likely that he will be rested as a preventive measure to avert any inflammation. While no new injuries were registered after the Brighton win, Wenger confirmed that the shining Chilean could finally do time in the treatment room:
“The squad will be exactly the same as last Sunday,” according to information on the club website.
“The only uncertainty we have is Alexis Sanchez who has a hamstring concern, and that will be decided on Saturday. He might be out for Sunday.”
It would be nice to be optimistic and hope it is not a serious hamstring injury of the type that has seen Ramsey miss nearly half of the first phase of the season. Alexis has been massive for Arsenal this season and his contribution to goals and assists is just the minimum he has contributed. His presence has lifted some of the boys, as the Ox and Walcott have both confirmed.
He has not missed many games this season but, interestingly, he was on the bench for the trip to Aston Villa in September and that was not due to injury. Maybe there is something about playing down in that part of Birmingham that does not appeal to him but while that win was pretty much expected, the visit of Lambert’s men always brings unsavoury memories of the first day of the 2013/2014 season and it would have been nice to have the Emirates’ top scorer in the team for this particular one.
Thinking that it is a hamstring pain can only bring thoughts of him maybe being managed a bit more carefully in the past games, even if it had to be against his eager zeal to keep playing. Wenger was right not to start him against Brighton and it was only due to the circumstance of the game that he had to be brought on as a substitute, working his socks off in those final 20 minutes as he had done in 90-minute appearances before.
In Ozil and Walcott, there will still be enough armouries to do the required against the Villans, with Rosicky and Cazorla on from too, but Alexis’ peculiar pressing would have added extra cutting edge to the attack. He cannot be rushed to play in this game or even in the next at Spurs if he is not okay but it’s edge of our seats here, hoping it’s nothing more than the occasional lil’ bit mid-season niggle.
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