Daily Archives: March 14, 2014
With the first set of European fixtures done and dusted, Arsenal has crashed yet again in the same hurdle for the past four seasons and all focus would be firmly fixed on the club’s fading title challenge as well as the semifinal clash with Wigan in the FA Cup. The folks at Osesax compiled a lovely article on lessons learned from the Champions League and trust me, it’s worth a read.
The Premier League clash against Arsenal’s eternal rivals, Tottenham, is just around the corner and a victory against that lot would go a long way of signalling the Gunners title ambitions which is getting diminished with the fact that Chelsea is on cruise control at the top of the league. With Manchester City crashing out of two competitions in the space of a few days (we’ve been there!! lol), they would want to reignite their surge for the Premier League and of course, there’s a certain resurgent Liverpool that have been firing all cylinders lately.
With many more key fixtures coming up in the coming weeks, it’s really disheartening to know that the Gunners will be without the services of its most prized asset, Mesut Ozil. The creative playmaker’s form has blown hot and cold in his first season in the Premier League and after a blistering start to his career at the club, he has reached a few low points as the season progressed.
Less than a week after he was booed by his own countrymen in a national team match, Ozil was forced to exit Arsenal’s Champions League match with Bayern Munich at halftime after picking up a hamstring injury. Ozil had a game to forget and his stats in the game (according to WhoScored) weren’t encouraging. Prior to the game against Bayern on Tuesday, Ozil opened the scoring in Arsenal’s emphatic 4-1 mauling of Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinal and his celebrations showed how much the goal meant to him.
Arsene Wenger gave an update on Ozil’s injury ahead of the Tottenham clash,
“He is out. I don’t know for how long but it is a hamstring injury. There are scans going on.”
Hamstring injuries usually take up to a couple of weeks (three to four) to heal but that’s if it’s a strain or just a pull. However, if the hamstring is torn, like Lukas Podolski’s case in August 2013, it could take the German up to three to four months to recuperate from the injury, which would also mean that he may join the list of star players set to miss out of the World Cup. For his sake, let’s hope the scans reveal that it’s the former, not the latter.
Aaron Ramsey is another player that has been on the treatment table for a couple of months. He got injured on his birthday in the Gunners 3-1 victory over West Ham and Wenger stated that it was a thigh injury that was to sideline him for six to eight weeks.
It seemed as if a comeback was on the cards in late January but Ramsey suffered a setback and faced more time on the treatment table. Arsenal signed Kim Kallstrom on loan to make up for Ramsey’s loss but the experienced Swede suffered a back strain that kept him out for a while. The Mirror reported that Ramsey was going to make his long-awaited comeback against Tottenham this weekend, but Wenger has confirmed that this game is too soon for the Welsh Messi due to “difficulties”,
“We have had to defer his comeback to full training a little so he is not available. He is having difficulties in the final stages of his rehab. It looks to be short-term.”
With Ozil, Ramsey and of course, Jack Wilshere out injured, the Gunners would struggle to find some creativity from the middle of the park unless the manager wants to continue using the Ox as an auxiliary central midfielder alongside Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini. However, there’s a bit of good news as the manager has stated that Kallstrom could be in line for his debut this weekend,
“Kallstrom joins the normal training group today and I will have to decide if he’s is okay to be in the squad on Sunday. I will see how he looks, it is not impossible.”
The manager has also talked about the injured fullbacks, stating the Kieran Gibbs will have a fitness test while he’s hopeful that Nacho Monreal will be fit as well.
Despite these injuries, Arsenal has the adequate depth to make up for their losses but the sooner they return to full fitness, the better for everyone connected with the club.
I wish them speedy recoveries.
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