Arsenal’s opening day defeat to West Ham United highlighted one simple fact – we lacked options in the attacking department to inspire us and I don’t just mean up front.
Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez are certainly two quality options who will either start this weekend or will become more integral as the season wears on. But the issue that was apparent at the weekend was inability to introduce a creative force to ignite our midfield that was severely lacking.
Arsene Wenger revealed on Arsenal.com that Wilshere will be missing for the next few weeks as least, with Rosicky’s reported absence could be stretched out longer than two months. A huge blow. They both may be injury prone players but after less than strenuous summers you’d hoped both would be fit and raring to go this campaign.
Again, it’s bad luck rearing it’s ugly head once more especially in Jack ‘Glass Ankles’ Wilshere’s case, a collision in training? Why isn’t he wrapped in cotton wool during sessions? All the better to throw himself into tackles I suppose..
The Gunners head to the South of London to face Crystal Palace to try and replicate their opening 2013/14 form after the disastrous opening day defeat to Aston Villa. They went on an impressive run after the initial setback that season, and as we all remember we actually seemed like contenders for half a season.
Arsenal may be favorites at 5/7 against Palace (via Netbet.co.uk) but they will be no walk over and looked impressive last weekend in their opening day 3-1 win away to Norwich. Alan Pardrew’s men will be difficult to break down, and two players who are potentially the best in our squad at opening up and bursting through midfielders are the dynamic Rosicky and Wilshere.
It’s about having options that makes this squad so exciting, but once more injuries are taking their toll. Hopefully this is a short-term issue and they do not continue to build up.
Thankfully the ‘Great Chamakh’ is injured this weekend (via The Guardian) but following the recent arrival of Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham, not to mention a pacy forward lineup of Wilfried Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolaise, Palace have mobility and a touch of class about them.
The former Newcastle man Cabaye is certainly one to watch, and I hope we are not left to rue the loss of Wilshere and Rosicky once more.