Arsene Wenger is going to have to play his cards sooner than he wanted because Arsenal have a serious fixture backlog. The French manager has spoken after Arsenal were forced to play a replay against Swansea in the FA cup when Danny Graham took advantage of a defensive lapse and snatched a late equalizer at the Liberty stadium.
“I am frustrated because I wouldn’t want one, but if that’s the choice between going out and staying in the hat, I take the replay.”
There are concerns whether the players will be able to cope with the heavy load. Arsenal are expected to sign a few players this January, and Wenger hinted that he will do some business sooner rather than later, when asked if the squad was up to the task.
“Yes, if we have no injuries. Today we had four players at home and I didn’t bring on Chamberlain, Coquelin, Rosicky. Diaby’s coming back, and if we find one or two on the transfer market, why not?”
To get players into the club in time to feature in the run of matches which starts on Sunday, Wenger will need to get busy this week. He may have to abandon his typically cagey approach and make a bold move. David Villa from Barcelona is thought to be one of the main targets, but Barcelona are dithering and may need a final push.
A defensive midfielder is a must because Diaby, even if he has recovered, will not be able to play in all of those games. A quality defender and a keeper are also needed but the keeper situation is not critical at the minute. At least the injury to Giroud does not seem to be a problem, as Wenger declared he only has a scar and will be fine to play.
It should be an interesting week, Gooners.