Regular first team wingers Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are set to miss this weekends must-win tie against high flying West Bromwich Albion through injury.
Walcott has been Wenger’s most dangerous player this season with Podolski not far behind, and with the worrying form of both Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain, the news is a big blow for an Arsenal side that are struggling for a win.
In defence, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny also miss out, while Andre Santos still remains sidelined with his abdominal injury.
Arsene Wenger revealed the following team news on Arsenal’s official website:
[on the latest issues] Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott (calf) are out. Bacary Sagna (foot) and Laurent Koscielny (thigh) are not back. From Tuesday night in Greece there are no new injuries so we have a selection from the combined squad of Tuesday and Saturday.
[on Podolski’s injury] It is a hamstring. It should be short-term.
[on Andre Santos] He will not be ready for Saturday but he is not far away with an abdominal injury.
The only good news is Santos’ continued absence from the side, the loss of both Podolski and Walcott could prove detrimental as the Gunners try and rediscover their winning ways.
Walcott was in inspired form prior to last weekend and seemed like Arsenal’s second most effective attacking outlet after Cazorla. With Oxlade-Chamberlain struggling to recreate his electric form from last season, his compatriot Walcott added energy and pace to the Arsenal side.
Knowing Wenger, he will utilize Ramsey again on the wing which has failed to pay dividends since the battling performance against Manchester City. He is not a winger and will never be, so hopefully Chambo will get a shot out wide again, find his feet and create havoc against WBA. Arshavin would be a far more effective alternative than the Welshman out wide.
As for Gervinho, he needs to put in a decent performance which has been lacking for quite some time. He has been extremely wasteful and just doesn’t read the game very well. I’m style mystified as to why Wenger bought him, he clearly doesn’t have an Arsenal brain.