Arsenal’s first team stars are dropping like flies. Not only is the squad already thin with just one signing this summer, but a host of injuries are really stretching the squad from all corners.
Arsene Wenger opted for a full strength side against Fenerbahce last night while entering the match 3-0 up. Aaron Ramsey secured the victory but qualification to the Champions League came a price – Lukas Podolski is now injured for at least three weeks with a suspected hamstring injury.
Aaron Ramsey is also a doubt for this weekend’s North London Derby after getting a knock, while Wilshere had to withstand a number of careless challenges from the Turkish outfit and will be tested in the coming days.
Arsene Wenger revealed the following team news after his side’s 2-0 victory over Fenerbahce:
[on injuries] That’s the negative of tonight. We paid a heavy price on the injury front because we lost Podolski. I don’t know how bad Ramsey is. I don’t know how Wilshere responds to an ankle problem. We have to check that [on Wednesday] morning.
[on the fouls at the end of the game] Yes, the two tackles on Wilshere were disappointing. I cannot change it now. He looks alright. Podolski is definitely out for 21 days and Ramsey we have to check how severe his groin is tomorrow.
[on if he considered replacing Wilshere] I wanted to take him off. Yes, of course. I would have played with 10 men. We were 2-0 up. They had to score five goals in 10 minutes. I think even with 10 minutes, we could have avoided that!
[on if Wilshere wanted to play on] He wanted to go on, yes.
[on if game has further heightened the need for new signings]
We have to see how bad the injuries are. I cannot tell you more than we are on the market. Everybody knows. The whole world knows that now. I cannot be more creative than that in the press conferences because all has been said and nothing has been concluded yet so I can understand your questions but I cannot give you more answers at the moment.
[on if Wilshere and Ramsey will feature at the weekend] Jack should be alright for Sunday and I’m hopeful on Aaron as well. I don’t know how bad it is. I took Ramsey off with three or four minutes to go but I don’t know how bad it is. I haven’t seen him yet.
[on if he made the decision to take Ramsey off] Yes. He wanted to stay on.
[on if Podolski’s hamstring could have been torn] I think Podolski will be out for about three weeks.
Ramsey should recover in time. If he wanted to play on last night surely it is nothing too serious. But with that said, once your body cools down you really start to feel the knocks and the strains.
The Welshman has been in inspirational form lately, netting a brace last night and securing three out of four man of the match awards – he’s nailed on for player of the month and will be a big blow to the Gunners chances against the Spuds.
Hopefully he will be passed fit along with Wilshere as Wenger needs his two midfield prodigies this weekend. In terms of Podolski, Cazorla will almost certainly slot onto the left allowing Rosicky to play ‘in the hole’.
The German’s injury further highlights Arsenal’s need for a top striker. Chuba Akpom looks a better option than Sanogo at present, the Frenchman is lacking composure and is still a very raw talent. But he will develop.