Arsenal Blow As Wenger Confirms Key Man Will Be Out Longer Than Expected
It appears Arsenal have been dealt another injury blow after Arsene Wenger revealed that one of our key players will be out longer than first thought.
Walcott suffered a calf injury during our 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week just 15 minutes after coming on to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was also forced off with a hamstring problem.
Wenger indicated in his team news update on Thursday that both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were set to undergo further scans but the initial feeling was they would be out for three weeks.
This would mean they’d miss our upcoming games against Swansea, Bayern Munich and Tottenham before returning for the trip to West Bromwich Albion after the international break next month.
However, speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, the boss has now revealed that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be back first as Walcott’s injury is going to take longer to heal.
Wenger is quoted as saying by Sky Sports:
“I still believe the quickest back will be Alex. Theo might be out of action longer. The gut feeling will be one will be 20 days and one will be a bit longer.
“It is always disappointing but we are equipped with the quality of the squad but mentally as well. (Per) Mertesacker was sick for the Everton game but Gabriel came in and did well, so we are ready.
“We always have to answer the question of whether it is more than being unlucky when we have injuries, but we analyse every single case and every exercise.
“We have to not over-analyse when players are injured – this has always happened. It’s post-international games we always get injuries. Is it linked with that? I don’t know.
“We have two kinds of injuries, the ones coming back for or after Christmas; [Tomas] Rosicky, [Jack] Wilshere and [Danny] Welbeck. Then we have the short-term; [Mikel] Arteta, [Aaron] Ramsey, Chamberlain should be back after the international break.”
We just have to hope that Walcott makes a speedy recovery as he’s been in excellent form of late and without him we’re left with just Olivier Giroud to choose from up front.
To lose The Ox and Theo for at least the next three games is a huge blow as it leaves us extremely short of options on the right wing as the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are all also unavailable.
We’re going to have to rely on pretty-much the same eleven players over the next week and fans have been speculating how we’ll fill the void out wide. There has been the suggestion in the newspapers that Kieran Gibbs may come in on the left wing with Alexis Sanchez moving across to the right.
However, Wenger has hinted he’ll either play Joel Campbell or move Santi Cazorla out wide with Mathieu Flamini coming in to the middle.
“My short-term option is Campbell or one more defensive midfielder like [Mathieu] Flamini, and put [Santi] Cazorla out on the flank. I have to 24 hours to make a decision on that,” Wenger is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Personally, I’d like to see Gibbs start on the left with Sanchez on the right but I suppose it would be a risk moving one of our key players out of his best position so perhaps starting Campbell may not be the worst idea.
Hopefully we can get a positive result tomorrow and then start to prepare for Wednesday’s huge Champions League clash at Bayern….
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