According to reports hamstrung winger Theo Walcott may in fact be fit to face West Brom in the final match of the season this weekend, while Yossi Benayoun maintains he will give everything for Arsenal this weekend in his last fixture with the club.
The Gunners must gain maximum points this Saturday to ensure Champions League qualification with both Spurs and Newcastle right on their tail, and the news that Theo Walcott is aiming to be back in full training this week will help to calm the nerves of most Gooners.
Arsenal have failed to win in any of their last four games which coincided with Walcott’s injury against Chelsea, so Wenger’s hopes will be boosted with the return of the Englishman for selection for the vital must-win away trip to West Brom.
Meanwhile Benayoun is aiming to aid the Gunners to Champions League qualification this weekend and has stressed he is not concerned over the implications the result will have on his parent club Chelsea.
He told Arsenal’s official website:
I finish here in a good way. In the last few months I have been more involved.
I haven’t scored many this season, I think it was my fifth goal, but it was one of my best. Normally I like to pass to other players and it was a good finish. But after that I thought we would go on and win the game. Normally when you score you think it is the right day for you but we did not play well enough after this.
Since I came to Arsenal I have always been committed to one club until the last game of the season. The only thing I want is for Arsenal to finish in third place, I don’t care about anything else.
When I finish I will have to decide about my future. I am supposed to go back to Chelsea first and then we will see what the future holds.
The news that Walcott is returning to full fitness is fantastic and he will be a welcomed addition to the squad as Arsenal have failed to score the necessary goals recently and have been failing in the creative department. Walcott has created 11 assists this season in the league, the third best after RVP and Song (both on 12), so his pace and skill will be much needed to overcome West Brom. Gervinho has shown glimpses of brilliance but still lacks some consistency, and Benayoun will quite likely be selected to add experience and creativity as he often cuts into the centre to help with the midfield.
So should Benayoun’s loan be extended or should be bought permanently? He has been a useful player this season, but really the loan deal suited the situation perfectly as he helped plug the gaps left by Na$ri and Cesc, and he has been very handy in the big matches with his experience and high work rate. Arsenal fans should definitely thank the Israeli international for his effort and commitment, but this will be his last game in red and white as the Gunners have a number of up-and-coming wingers that will need game time (Miyaichi, The Ox etc..)
Want to own the new Arsenal home kit? Sign up to allArsenal’s forum and you could WIN next seasons home shirt