You could not make it up, but for Arsenal fans who have become used to the terrible bad luck of the club on the injury side of things, it was somehow typical that we were hit by another blow. The fact that it was Gabriel, when the defence was already so thinly spread after Mertesacker’s knee surgery and Koscielny’s late return from Euro 2016, just rubbed salt into the wound.
Right in the last minute of the game as well, how unlucky are the Gunners? We do not yet know the extent of the injury or how long it will keep the Brazilian centre back out of action, but from the words of Arsene Wenger after the match, reported by Arsenal.com, it is clear that the boss is not very optimistic.
Wenger said, “We have not even made a diagnosis in the medical room with our doctors or physios yet. I can’t tell you more. He’s in pain. Let’s hope the pain is not a sign of bad news. The only thing we have to know now is how big the damage is with his ligament.
“I’ve never seen an intelligent accident, they always look stupid. We have to take that. He played the ball 100 per cent and I think he rolled his ankle, but I don’t know how it happened. It’s part of our game.
“Yes. We are very short [in defence].
“Maybe he was a bit tired, I don’t know. Was his coordination a bit weaker, I don’t know. Was he locked in the grass with his studs… I have to speak to him. He’s just come out of a medical room and he’s not in a better state because he couldn’t even talk on the pitch.
“I don’t think he’ll have a scan tonight because we come back at midnight. I don’t think so.”
So we might find out more today about Gabriel but if it is an ankle ligament and judging from how bad it sounds I think we can expect to be without our player for a long spell. This a problem and gives Wenger a huge selection issue for the opening game of our Premier League season,
Can the Frenchman really rely on the two young defenders Holding and Chambers? Even if he does it leaves no room for error as there is no back up unless you bring in an academy player or one of the full backs, so surely the need to sign a properly experienced central defender is even more pronounced and perhaps Wenger will be forced to move fast and sign someone this week.
We can only hope, Gooners…