I suppose that one way of looking at the illness and injury problems currently affecting Arsenal as the pre-season schedule has moved from Australia to China, is that it would be much worse if Arsene Wenger was having to cope with it while the Premier League season was in full swing.
As it is, a suspected bout of food poisoning is only affecting his preparations for the new season, but that in itself is far from ideal as the Gunners approach what was supposed to be a really strong assault on the EPL title. You could see from the team that the boss started with against the might of Bayern Munich that we have problems, especially after he had to make a change just before kick-off.
That sickness bug that his Per Mertesacker left us with Mohamed Elneny at the centre of a back three with Monreal on the left and young Bielik on the right. So not just a lack of experience but not one of them is an out and out centre back.
To be fair to them they grew into it and did okay and that might just be a silver lining to this cloud, but I am sure that Wenger wants as much time as possible with the players who will be in the side when the season starts. Giroud is another Gunner out of action at the minute and the summer signing Sead Kolasinac had to go off before the break with the same thing.
The Mirror also reports that Koscielny is struggling with a back injury and that other players are not 100 percent, but Wenger tried to see the positive side of this in that the fringe players have the chance to shine.
He said, “We had to dig deep and think we will benefit from it. The doctor thinks it is food poisoning.
“Kolasinac was sick as well. Walcott, Aaron, all had a little bit of food poisoning as well.
“Steve Bould has a hernia on his neck and had to do it in Australia and he couldn’t travel. He went home on Saturday. He’s OK. He went home and he’s good.
“If you ask me is it an ideal way to prepare physically, I say certainly not. Does it have other advantages? Yes, because we can meet fans from all over the world.
“The bonding is easier because we live together for two weeks. On that front it can be positive.
“It was a shock to come from Australia where we were freezing when came out of the plane in Shanghai and we decided to work very hard on Monday and Tuesday and so I was a bit scared that we could have big problems.
“But the real answer will be given by the way we start in the championship.”
Do you think Arsenal will be ready?