In yet another injury blow to the Arsenal side, it has been revealed that French defender Laurent Koscielny will be sidelined longer than expected and will be unable to return to action for at least another month.
The defender was sent back from the France training camp during the last international break after it was discovered that he was suffering from tendonitis of both his Achilles tendons. And commenting on Koscielny’s condition, Wenger has said that he has yet to start physical training, and so will not be available until December at the earliest.
Koscielny’s injury really exposed the Arsenal defence and has forced Wenger to play Nacho Monreal as a regular partner for Per Mertesacker. This is not an ideal state of things, but now we may be forced to see that for another month.
He has not started running outside, so you cannot think he will be available in two weeks. He will not be available for three or four weeks.
There is no need for surgery. His achilles on the scans are quite good. It’s just inflammation. Too much French salami. You miss him every time you concede a stupid goal. You think, “Oh, if he was there”, but we have conceded some with him as well. Could we have stopped goals without him? I say yes.
The French FA also said that Koscielny has been suffering the problem for some time. If it is a recurring problem for him, then it is not likely to disappear anytime soon and will have to be carefully managed when he returns, lest we lose him again later on in the season.
Wenger, who appeared in a jovial mood, also said that he might as well commit suicide if he gave up the title race so early in the season.
If I say the objective is not to win the title then I have to leave here and commit suicide. The objective is to get back in a position where we have a chance to win the title.
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Today it looks stupid, but there are 28 games to go. We have 84 points to take.
Wenger will probably need to take all of those points if he wants to overtake Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who look simply unstoppable. Chelsea’s game against Liverpool today is a crucial one, if Chelsea slip up, teams like City and Arsenal will be sure to try and capitalise. If they don’t, then top spot seems out of reach.