With Arsene Wenger this week breaking the news that most Arsenal fans were fearing by confirming that our combative French midfield star Francis Coquelin had injured his hamstring and at the same time revealing that there was no sign of Santi Cazorla coming back during the month of Janary, the Gunners will be down to the bare bones in central midfield.
But I do not think that the Arsenal fans should be reaching for the razor blades quite yet, because the way that things are looking for us over the next few weeks could mean that we have got lucky with the Coquelin in jury situation, or at least with the timing of it.
Of course it does not help Arsenal that Coquelin picked up the problem at the same time that another central midfielder Mohamed Elneny has headed off to Gabon to play for his national side Egypt in the African Cup of Nations and that he might not return until the February if they go all the way, but in a report on the Arsenal website the manager has set the estimated return date of Coquelin at just a few weeks.
Wenger said, “He is out for three or four weeks now, it is his hamstring. I say three or four weeks because it is a hamstring and he came off, but maybe we will have good news. He will have a scan today, but I always count three weeks.”
So the games that Francis is likely to miss are the FA cup trip to face Preston and Premier League games with Swansea away and Burnely and Watford at home. There is also, we hope, a fourth round FA cup game near the end of January but in all honesty the Gunners should be able to cope with the likes of Ramsey, Xhaka, Chamberlain, Iwobi and Ozil.
The sort of games when Arsenal really need Coquelin are like an away clash with Chelsea and is taking place on February 4th. Not only will Arsenal have our midfield warrior back for Stamford Bridge, but he will be fully recovered and fresh for the fight. Have Arsenal got lucky with this particular injury blow?