Arsenal may have lost their first game of the season yesterday but (just for once) Arsene Wenger cannot blame an extensive injury list as has been the case in many other seasons. Bacary Sagna had returned to training with the first team training before this weekend’s game but there is no need for Wenger to rush his return to the first team thanks to the fantastic form of his young replacement Carl Jenkinson.
But the one returnee that all Arsenal fans have been waiting for over a year for is the supremely talented youngster Jack Wilshere, and Wenger has revealed that he will be playing for the reserve side in the game against West Brom tomorrow afternoon.
Wenger said: “He will play on Monday, he will play his first game with the under-21s, maybe an hour or something like that. It’s another important step but he has not played for 14 months so we have to calm your [the media’s] impatience a little bit.”
Of course Arsenal fans will be keen to see Jack back in action for the first team as quickly as possible, but after 14 months out there is no reason to risk a relapse with the midfield options available at the moment. And don’t forget Emmanuel Frimpong also returned to the action last week.
Once these are reintegrated into the squad, Arsenal will have Thomas Rosicky as the only outfield player still on the treatment table, and on Friday Wenger said about him: “Rosicky is two weeks away, he is not far away.” Little Mozart was brilliant in the second half of last season when called upon, maybe he will have the same role this season?
This just leaves the problems with our goalkeepers. Wenger has no choice but to stick with Vito Mannone in goal, despite his unconfident showing yesterday, as Wojciech Szczesny is still two to three weeks away fom a return. As for Fabianski, Wenger has remained tight-lipped over his mysterious “shoulder injury” supposedly sustained on international duty with Poland (although he didn’t play). I guess we’ll find out the truth about that one day.
So now Wenger has nearly a complete squad to play with, and it is now up to Wenger to utilise them in the best way to get us nine points from our next three games!