It is absolutely brilliant news for Arsenal that their treatment room has been emptied, and Jack Wilshere, Matthieu Debuchy, Abou Diaby, Serge Gnabry and Mikel Arteta all played in Arsenal’s Under 21 win over Stoke City reserves. Wilshere and Gnabry both played the whole game and Diaby even managed 70 minutes on the pitch, so their fitness can be taken on trust for now.
The problem all these players have is that they are aiming to come back to an Arsenal side that is in a perfect run at the moment, and with the club moving up to second in the table, will be aiming to carry on their winning streak right until the end of the season. This will make it hard for Wenger to juggle his personnel to fit in the returning players.
Wilshere knows it will be hard but he is still hoping that Wenger can fit him in somehow. He said after the game: “I feel like I’m ready to play some part. When you’re injured you look at your comeback date and the games around that time.
“The one that stands out is the FA Cup semi-final but even before that we’ve got big games and we’ve got to go to Man United as well so there’s a chance to play this season.”
“You can train as much as you like but you can’t get that match fitness unless you play.
“In the Premier League you know how quick it is so you have to get back to that speed.”
We all know that these returnees are all classy players in their own right, but unless the Gunners get hit with another injury list in the remaining games, I find it difficult to see how Wenger could take a chance by introducing any of them at the moment. Jack is suggesting that the FA Cup semi-final could be an (easier?) game to make some rotations, but, although Wenger usually takes chances with Cup games is he likely to do that in a semi-final?