It looks like the unusual fact that Arsenal had to play three games in the space of six days has finally taken its toll on Arteta’s threadbare squad.
We reported yesterday the proud fact that we were going to have four Arsenal players in the England squad for the first time in ages, and also we heard that Gabriel Martinelli had received his first call up to the Brazil senior squad.
I suppose we saw the first signs of problems against Liverpool as Bukayo Saka was very subdued and should not really have started the game after picking up a knock against Leicester, and yesterday (although he scored the winner) had to come off again after a ferocious tackle from Mings. This is what Arteta had to say about Saka yesterday: “He was really fatigued as well, against Liverpool he had an issue with his hip, he’s played a lot of minutes and you could tell and we don’t want to risk it. He needs to go away with England now and we decided that the best thing to do was take him off.”
Arteta says he will still join the England squad but shouldn’t he be due a rest?
Aaron Ramsey also picked up a hip problem against Liverpool and missed yesterday’s game. He won’t be joining the England squad. Arteta said: “He wasn’t comfortable in the last minutes against Liverpool and we scanned him and he had a proper injury in his muscle. He wanted to be here. Straight away, the moment he realised that he could not play and Bernd was going to play, he wanted to be here to support Bernd, which tells you about a lot of the things that are happening behind the scenes.
“He won’t be able to play for England…”
Gabrial Martinelli also missed yesterday’s game and Arteta is not sure he will be able to join the Brazil squad. “Hopefully, yes. He was gutted not to be able to play today because he travelled to try and be with the team. He really deserves [the call up] so hopefully he can travel tomorrow.”
Right now Arsenal can’t afford to lose any of our very best players with ten Cup finals ahead of us. I know they want to represent their countries, but if their injuries are made worse it could weaken Arsenal on the run in.
Thank God we have two weeks before our next game…
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