Arsene Wenger has suggested both Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini should be fit for this weekends home tie against Newcastle United despite their half time precautionary withdrawals.
The Welshman scored a stunning brace with his second a Goal of the Season contender. He was replaced at half time however after complaining of a tight hamstring.
Flamini meanwhile was on a yellow card and it had been suggested his substitution was down to the risk of seeing red, but Wenger revealed the midfielder had a calf worry – more likely from fatigue than any new pulls after a huge number of minutes for the Frenchman in recent weeks.
Wenger said after last nights 4-1 win over Galatasaray:
Ramsey had a hamstring, but should be alright for Saturday. Flamini had a calf, but should be ok.
Wenger also admitted he was surprised by the audacity of Ramsey to shoot first time from the corner clearance. Turns out it was the right decision.
I felt at the time was not the right decision, but he proved me wrong!
It was brilliant to see Ramsey pulling the strings and gain more confidence with a strong performance. Firstly he played in Podolski for the opener, than his first goal was a tidy finesse finish with the second an absolute beauty. The technique, execution. Wow. Take a bow Mr Ramsey.
Another star performer was Lukas Podolski who enjoyed a rare start and capitalized on the
Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck were all left at home while Theo Walcott is still out with his groin problem. With a limited number of attacking options Podolski was always a sure starter and he proved his continued worth to the Gunners cause with two well taken goals – the first of which was a pinpoint top corner strike from a difficult angle.
Wenger praised Podolski’s performance and feels he is ‘coming back to a very strong level’.
The boss said:
It is a competition for places that is difficult. I had Welbeck, Sanchez and Giroud at home and you can only play a certain number of strikers. He came back later from the World Cup but he is now coming back to a very strong level.
Has Podolski done enough to earn a start against Newcastle? It still remains difficult to integrate all of our attacking options into the starting lineup but he will certainly make an appearance. From the start though I doubt it despite his obvious killer instinct. He needs more than 20 minutes however and is our 60 minute weapon.
Next up Newcastle at Emirates in the late Saturday kick off. COYG