Maybe it is because we are so used to Arsenal being plagued by injury problems year after year that it seems normal, but it does seem a bit odd that a lot of the talk in the football media in the build up to the north London derby this weekend is about the injury problems facing the Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Okay Spurs are missing probably their best centre back Toby Alderweireld and his Belgian international team mate from midfield Moussa Dembele had to be replaced in the first half of their Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen but that still only gives them four players on the injury list of physioroom.com and two of those, Harry Kane and Erik Lamela, are only said to be slight doubts and could feature on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, has revealed on Arsenal.com that he could be without a large number of key players this weekend with minor injury problems, not to mention the four long term absentees Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker, Lucas Perez and Chuba Akpom.
The Frenchman said, “We have still some uncertainties at the moment because Kieran Gibbs has been touched on his shoulder and I don’t know how will respond to that. I will see today [Thursday]. After, the players who did not travel like Cazorla, Monreal, Walcott – there is still some uncertainty today. The closest to coming back looks to be Walcott. We will have a test with him.
“Hector has a test. I left him behind [in midweek] because I was cautious with him. We could have basically forced the issue, he could have played maybe in Bulgaria but he should be alright [for Sunday].
“He has tests today and tomorrow and then we will decide.
“[Cazorla] is similar, he has not practised yet – he will try to go out today and we will see where we go from there. He is a doubt, yes.”
The brilliant Spaniard will be a big loss if he does not make it, even though Arsenal have strong options in Xhaka, Ramsey and Elneny, because he offers something different and is often the one to unlock a defence. The big worry for me is if both left backs are unavailable.
Would Wenger then have to play one of our right backs on the left? Perhaps he would have to move the left footed Koscielny out there but that would weaken the centre of the back four and also reduce our attacking threat on the left.
I also feel we would lose a lot on the right if Walcott is still out, so for people to be feeling sorry for Spurs because of their pathetic little injury list seems a bit much to me. Which injured Gunner do you think is most important?