Following on from a disaster week for Arsenal in the Premier League, the Gunners now have to go full speed ahead in a busy winter schedule. The festivities may have begun for many, but the players are still in training preparing for the Boxing Day match!
Arsenal host West Brom at the Emirates this Monday coming, with the Gunners keen to grab three points for the first time in what will be three matches. Arsenal have lost their previous two games against Everton and Manchester City and so will be hoping to do much better when the Baggies come down to North London.
The first team squad trained today ahead of the match and all the usual faces were there. However two first team players who were a risk ahead of the match due to injury, seem to have had it confirmed that they won’t be featuring. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey seemed absent from all the photos presented to social media from Arsenal’s training ground today. Their absence largely confirms that Wenger won’t risk their fitness too soon and that it’s probably best to wait and ensure they are full fit for the opponents that face us later in the festive calendar.
In my opinion neither player will be too much of a loss against the Baggies. Ramsey has been out of the team a lot lately, primarily due to injury and secondly due to being out of form. Wenger seems to prefer Xhaka and Coquelin at the moment, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Welshman come straight back into the line-up when he is deemed fully fit to play.
As for the Ox, I think his presence will be missed more because he has actually shown a bit of consistency and form for the Gunners so far this season. He’s already on his best goals and assists tally for Arsenal this season and has looked far more creative and exciting than in previous years. With Iwobi in and out of the team at the moment, I think having the Ox would’ve been a benefit for the team against West Brom.
It’s a shame that both players will miss what has actually turned out to be a very important fixture for our season. West Brom have admittedly been playing some better football that’s got them results this season, but I have confidence that Arsenal should still be able to overturn them on Boxing Day, providing they have their heads in the game.