Everyone connected with Arsenal should be crossing their fingers, toes and anything else that is cross-able this week and hoping that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reacts well to the injection he has had to try to ease the groin problem that the Gunner picked up near the end of Saturday’s excellent win over Newcastle United.
The England international star had up to that point produced a very mature and dynamic performance alongside Mathieu Flamini at the heart of our midfield, which was a great relief after Aaron Ramsey had joined Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere on the injury list.
Chamberlain played more passes and had more touches than any other of our five midfielders and his passing accuracy was second only to Flamini’s. Wenger has previously stated that he thought this role would become Chambo’s usual position but he has not had too many games there so it was a very impressive performance.
The problem is, however, who to play instead of him against Liverpool. The midfield injury situation is the reason Wenger recalled Francis Coquelin from Charlton, so he will probably be the choice, but can he do the business for us?
Coquelin has often played at full back as well and is much more of a defensive player that Jack, Rambo or the Ox. Alongside Flamini, the Frenchman will certainly give the Arsenal defence good protection, although we will obviously lose a bit more thrust and creativity going forward. But in an away game against a big rival, that might not be such a bad thing.
With Welbeck, Cazorla, Alexis and Giroud in front of them, maybe the two central midfielders will not need to be too adventurous anyway. I know that he was only on the pitch for about six minutes, but he did seem comfortable out there and has played five games in the Championship in the last month or so. Do you think Coquelin can get the Gunners through?