On the flipside our already ridiculous injury list is basically taking the Micky out of us. In true Arsenal fashion, we were given a sample of Aaron Ramsey back to his best only for him to be cruelly whipped away from us again. He had scored three goals in his last two games, you just know another was coming today. Ok, maybe that's a bit presumptuous but I could certainly see that happening. No chance of finding out though. But that is almost the least of our problems because our defence has been targeted by those pesky injury gods. Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal are both injured while Calum Chambers is suspended thanks to the crazy world of Anthony Taylor. You'd imagine it will be another mixture of experienced players out of positions along with young players who are not yet fully ready
The pressure is somewhat off tonight as we have already qualified for the Champions League knock out round, while the possibility of top spot is there, it is unlikely that Dortmund will lose at home to Anderlecht (famous last words perhaps) so Arsène has gone for rotation over hope. A sensible move given the yearly long list of unavailable players at our disposal. There is some good news with the return of Mathieu Debuchy. His injury has meant a reshuffle for the likes of Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal for the most part. Debuchy's aggression and recovery pace has been missed so hopefully we won't have to wait too long before he is up to full speed.
But enough of all that, looking at the team news doesn't bring much joy this morning. Injuries are relentlessly attacking us once more. Nacho Monreal has torn ankle ligaments. Yaya Sanogo who had just returned us back on the treatment table once more along side the experienced Tomas Rosicky. Poor old Tomas by the way, it's so very sad to see him cast aside the way he has been. If his injury issues are not too serious then we can expect a return to full team duties soon with the amount of fixtures we have stacked up over Christmas.
I wouldn't be surprised to see a change or two. Hang on, I got this far without mentioning the return of Laurent Koscielny which I found somewhat surprising. Happy surprised of course. I thought it was only a few days ago when we were told there was no date scheduled for his return and here he is. Nacho Monreal has acquitted himself very well in the Frenchman's absence but Koscielny is one of our best players and on top of that I am hoping that his understanding with Per Mertesacker can lift the German's game. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long before Mathieu Debuchy is back alongside him on the right side of the Arsenal defence.
Oliver Giroud returns to the bench for the first time since he was injured by a ball at Everton while Theo Walcott apparently misses out with a 'little tight groin' as Arsène said. Interestingly though, Theo Walcott was spotted in the training pictures
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