Arsenal play their first game of the new year and the twentieth league game of the season tomorrow against Welsh side Cardiff City but they will have to do it without a couple of first team regulars. Wenger has delivered the latest team news ahead of the match.
”Ramsey and Ozil who are out, and we lost Gibbs at Newcastle with a calf strain. We have as well Monreal and Vermaelen who are not certain to be ready because they have come just back from illness, then we have uncertainty about Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott. We lost Giroud to an ankle problem at Newcastle so this morning will be more medical checks to see who will be available for the game.
on Ramsey and Ozil…
Ramsey three weeks and Ozil has seen a specialist last night, I haven’t got a report
on Walcott and Rosicky…
Walcott has a little shoulder problem. Rosicky got a little kick on his calf. They are all going to be assessed this morning.
Alex is one week away from normal training.
Mixed fortunes certainly. Some side of the news like the imminent return of Chamberlain excites me. The English winger’s return is right on time as he will give us added width on the wings and his presence could see Walcott playing more centrally. Also, he returns in time to stake a claim for a place in the Three Lions party to Brazil.
Also good news on Ramsey. You might wonder what is good about three weeks out but it could have been worse as the media were reporting several weeks till February but a 3 weeks layoff means he will only miss Cardiff, Spurs (FA Cup) and Fulham. All three games are winnable without him and his recuperation period will allow him get the deserved rest that would help him recharge his batteries, hopefully, they will last till the end of the season. His productivity has dropped in recent weeks but Wenger stubbornly clung to him but now, he is forced to give him the breather he deserves.
To Ozil, I just hope the diagnosis of the specialist isn’t too bad. Just like Ramsey, we can do without the German for a couple of weeks even for the whole of January since there are no tough fixture but we need him available for February duels.
And Giroud finally gets injured. This would certainly keep Wenger’s heart racing. I hope he isn’t out for too long, we can’t cope with his absence. A few games breather will be good but not a long layoff. The French bloke is a strong lad unlike the soft bones with big egos that we have had to manage in times past. The absence of Giroud finally opens the door to Podolski, Walcott or Bendtner to lead the line. For goodness sakes, let it be either of the former duo and the latter.
Gibbs is also out with a strain and return date unknown. Hopefully, it won’t be a lengthy injury. Can’t afford to be without him for a long spell. Monreal is decent but can’t trust him against top opponents and Gibbs has been on fire this season and with his form, hstands a good chance of making England’s World Cup squad, injury shouldn’t rob him of that golden chance.
For the little doubts like Walcott, Rosicky, Vermaelen and Monreal, hope they pass their fitness tests to at least give the team a decent solidity. We can’t afford to underrate Cardiff, the fight for survival has started already.
Hopefully, Gnabry would also get a look in. The German is as good as Januzaj if not better but needs games to prove it.