Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Injuries Threaten To Ruin Arsenal's Season

November has been a month to forget for Arsenal on the domestic front in particular with only two points taken from three very winnable league games. At least they managed a win over Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League group to keep their hopes alive despite a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich. Their fate will be decided when they travel to Greece next week needing a two goal win against an Olympiacos team who have won all 11 of their league games so far this season.

If they're going to progress they will have to do it the hard way with a growing injury list taking it's toll on a weekly basis. Aaron Ramsey made his comeback as a sub in the win over Zageb and started in the draw at Norwich on Sunday while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on as a sub on Sunday. However, the good news of their returns was countered by injuries to Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez.

In the previous league game we were treated to injuries to both Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta and there just seems to be no end to it. Theo Walcott is nearing a return if the reports are to be believed and we can only hope it's as soon as possible as he will be needed in Greece next week. Besides all of them there are still the longer term absences of Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky and none of them will be back before the turn of the year.

It looks like Alexis and Cazorla will miss that game in Greece, but Koscielny looks like he might be back for the weekend game at home to Sunderland. If both of them are missing the need to have Walcott in the team increases as Arsenal need goals on the night. He could play on the right with Chamberlain on the left and Ramsey dropping back to play the Cazorla role. 

All of this depends on Walcott returning and the team picking up no more injuries against a Sunderland team managed by Sam Allardyce on Saturday. The game looked like a dead cert win for Arsenal only a couple of weeks ago, but Sunderland have found some form to win their last two games and kept clean sheets in both games too. I'm not for a second suggesting that Sunderland will be favourites for the game, but they won't be a pushover either.

Personally I'm glad to see an end to November as it's been a poor month for Arsenal far too often and I'm waiting for them to bounce back in December. Hopefully the players minds won't be drifting to that game against Olympiacos when they play Sunderland and they can get their league challenge back on course. Despite not winning their last three games they're still only two points behind the leaders and they certainly can't be written off yet.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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