I am not trying to absolve Arsene Wenger of all the blame for what looks like being a most frustrating Premier League title challenge for Arsenal this season, as the unfancied Leicester seem to be the ones that will make the most of the poor performances of the usual suspects Man City, Chelsea and Man United, but you have to admit that the Frenchman has had some pretty rotten luck with injury problems once again, while Claudio Ranieri has been able to name his strongest 11 players in almost every match.
Our local rivals Tottenham have also been blessed with very few injuries to cope with while Wenger has been forced to do without big Arsenal players like Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck and now Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey for lengthy spells. We are still waiting to find out for sure the extent of the Welshman’s lay-off but it is not looking good.
As reported by Sky Sports, however, there is some positive news on that front for the Gunners. It did seem that the FA cup replay with Hull City had left Arsenal with almost no defenders for the next couple of games but today the boss was at least able to reassure us there.
Wenger said, “Mertesacker and Gabriel are very positive, there is nothing wrong there, they are both good.”
So it appears that Arsenal will not have to field a makeshift and second string back four against Watford in the FA cup quarter final and even if the Frenchman wants to give Gabriel a bit more time he has the reliable Monreal to fill in and Gibbs to come in at left back.
Of course we really want our best centre back Laurent Koscielny back in action, especially for the Premier League run in which has left us with no room for error, and the prof was also able to give us good news on his fellow Frenchman, even though he will not be ready for the cup game on Sunday.
On Koscielny, “He [Koscielny] is not far, he will have tests until Sunday, but it could come too soon. He has a little chance.”
Yes and if we have the boss back at the heart of the defence, will Arsenal still have a little chance of the title?