Our draw against Norwich was obviously disappointing, but the two dropped points weren’t the worst thing about the game. We suffered three nasty injuries over the course of the match, with Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla taking knocks and Alexis Sanchez the worst of them (via Arsenal.com).
We lost Laurent Koscielny early on, with the Frenchman going down clutching his hip after a fairly innocuous looking challenge. He had to be substituted, and was replaced by Gabriel Paulista.
The Brazilian has looked solid when given the chance, but he still has a long way to go before he can be considered in the same bracket as Koscielny. He was largely responsible for the goal we conceded, but we may have to rely on him if Koscielny is out for any length of time.
“For Koscielny it was a kick on his hip and he could not move at all. We have to assess all of that,” Arsene Wenger said after the game.
Santi Cazorla was another player who picked up an injury during the game, with the Spaniard taking a kick to the knee. He was able to finish the game, but Wenger suggested he would need to be assessed as well.
“In the first half he [Cazorla] got a kick on the knee and it got worse. I don’t know if he has jaded his knee ligament or he it was just a kick on the nerve but the worrying thing was it got worse during the game,” Wenger continued.
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The worst of the three is arguably Alexis Sanchez, who hobbled off the pitch with a nasty looking hamstring injury. We knew he had picked up a problem in the wake of our Dinamo Zagreb win, but Wenger chose to risk him against Norwich anyway.
The manager insists Alexis was fine during midweek and extensive tests were done to ensure he was ready for Norwich. He seemed to take offence at the line of questioning, and clearly feels he is being blamed for the Chilean’s injury – whether fairly or unfairly.
“He says it is a kick on his hamstring. I fear the reality is worse than that,” he said.
“We checked him [during the week] and when you have no force and no middle stretch in your hamstring then there is no problem and he had that.
Of course [he’s putting on a brave face], like everybody. Nobody is scientifically developed enough, not even the press, to predict exactly when a guy would be injured. I must say that with all humility we are not position to predict that, despite all our test he looked alright.”
Being without Alexis for any significant length of time would be a real blow, especially during a period where we’ve suffered a number of other injuries. Christmas is one of the busiest times of the footballing calendar, and the way things are going we may not have any players left.
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Hopefully the news is good on all three tomorrow, and we aren’t left without any of them for too long. We’ve already lost ground on Manchester City, and if we can’t do anything about this injury crisis then we’re likely to continue heading in the wrong direction.