Amidst all the doom and gloom around Arsenal following a typically tough and trying month of November (maybe if the Gooner leader of the Labour party ever gets elected we could petition him to abolish the month altogether) I think we all got a bit carried away by the talk of an injury crisis.
It was easy to be down about losing Francis Coquelin and Alexis Sanchez on top of the already crocked list of Arsenal players like Welbeck and Wilshere. But as we explained in an earlier post on this website, our numbers on this front have greatly improved this season and there are plenty of Premier League clubs that have been hit harder.
And even if they have had it better, every club has to cope with injury problems. When I was watching the extended highlights of our win over Sunderland, Alan Curbishley was the pundit and what he said made me really think. He pointed out that we had a very strong bench despite the injury list, with Walcott, Gibbs, Debuchy, Gabriel, Chambers, Ospina and just one young and inexperienced player Alex Iwobi.
But his main point was that the Gunners seemed to be able to cope with losing players to injury better than our rivals. Perhaps that is because Arsene Wenger has had to for so many years. Perhaps it is because of the style of football the Frenchman has the team playing. But if it really is the case, and Man City’s struggles without Kompany, Aguero, Silva or Toure suggest that we do, could this ability to cope be crucial to our EPL title hopes?