Arsene Wenger will be having the sort of headaches he likes before today’s game against Stoke but he surely won’t be complaining! Thanks to Arsenal’s excellently reduced injury list Wenger will have Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Rosicky to choose from for the three players to hold the midfield this afternoon.
And there is even a chance of Francis Coquelin joining the list for selection, but Wenger didn’t sound too hopeful when he said: “Arteta is back in the squad. He has a final test this morning. Coquelin is not far from returning at all, but it would be a gamble to take him. If not able for tomorrow, he will be for the next game.”
I honestly don’t think that Coquelin would play even if he is fully fit. So who should Wenger be picking out of that star-studded list?
On early season form Diaby would have been the first name on the team sheet, and although he was left on the bench against Liverpool perhaps Wenger was saving him for this bigger, more physical game?
Jack Wilshere is definitely one of the most promising youngsters in England right now, but maybe he should be due a rest for this one with so many other options available? His agression is surely going to be played upon by Stoke and he could end up with one card at best I reckon, but I still think that Wenger should keep him on the pitch as long as possible!
Rosicky was excellent against Brighton, but again he may not be totally back to full fitness and perhaps Wenger will save him to use as an impact sub if neccessary.
Ramsey is still Wenger’s blue-eyed boy, and a few better performances recently has softened the ire of Arsenal fans lately, but surely he is not in the top three of this list, or will Wenger believe he is?
Mikel Arteta is back, and he was our most influential midfielder last season, but will Wenger throw him back in for the whole 90 minutes or give him more time to get fully fit? I am hoping that Wenger thinks he is ready to return.
So for me, I think Wilshere, Cazorla and Arteta should start. What do you think?