Arsene Wenger looks likely to be forced to play either misfit Sebastien Squillaci or youngster Ignasi Miquel against Sunderland this weekend at the heart of defence alongside mainstay Per Mertesacker.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen remains a doubt after his recent ankle knock which led to missing both Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Stoke City and his countries friendly fixture this week, while his usual deputy Laurent Koscielny pulled up with a calf injury in his run out for Les Bleus.
As reported yesterday, Aaron Ramsey pulled out of the Wales squad prior to their fixture with Austria with a calf strain meaning he returned early for treatment at the Gunners headquarters, while Arsenal’s top goalscorer Theo Walcott appeared to limp out of England’s impressive 2-1 victory over Brazil after playing 76 minutes in which he claimed an assist and gave Adriano kittens.
Cazorla’s over-the-top excursion to Qatar with the Spanish national side to play Uruguay will do little to help him rest and prepare him for Saturday’s fixture against Sunderland, while Tomas Rosicky had to leave the pitch due to diahorrea however he managed to make it to the toilet unlike Gary Linekar! But hopefully the Czech will recover in time from his indiscretion and fight for a start in Wenger’s side.
The international break will once again be rued by Wenger as a waste of time and more of an exhibition than something beneficial for the players. While the likes of Koscielny, Walcott and Ramsey will be missed this weekend if they fail to recover from their respective injuries, there was some positives such as Wilshere’s dazzling performance against Brazil which bodes well for his confidence after such a length spell on the sidelines. He has become Arsenal’s main protagonist and can spark the Gunners into life to claim a top four finish this season.