Timing is a hugely important factor in many things and professional sport is no exception. Arsenal have been on the right and wrong side of some examples of this over the years, such as the timing of David Ospina’s calanity in the Champions League this season which snatched the momentum form us and gave it straight back to Olympiacos just after Theo Walcott had given Arsenal a huge shot in the arm.
And the England international is part of the timing involved in me writing this article about the need for Arsenal to take another gamble with our star striker Alexis Sanchez this weekend. If Walcott had sufficiently recovered from his recent injury so that he was able to feature against Norwich City this weekend then I would be all in favour of giving him the rest that Arsene Wenger has been talking about.
As it is, though, the only player we have coming back is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and I do not think he has shown enough to suggest he can replace Alexis. And the problem is that Arsenal are faced with a must win game after losing the last Premier League game to West Brom and drawing the one before against the spuds.
That means those same spuds will overtake us in the table if they beat Chelsea and we could find ourselves in fifth place when we kick off on Sunday. We could also be four points behind Man United and three behind Man City so this is no time to be resting key players.
If Alexis has got a definite problem then of course he should sit this one out but if it is only concern about his heavy workload then I think Wenger has to gamble. After all we do have a full week after that before we play again and we should have Theo back by then and be able to rest him with more ease.
What do you think Gooners? Rest or risk?