Updates on Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Injuries
The Capital One Cup Round of 16 fixtures were completed yesterday with Middlesbrough cementing their status as giant killers in the competition yet again as they went to Old Trafford and earned themselves a victory over Manchester United. Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp finally got his first victory as Liverpool manager with a narrow win over a Bournemouth side Brendan Rodgers couldn’t beat in the Premier League. Manchester City was the pick of the bunch with the Citizens running riot against Crystal Palace and Southampton edging past managerless-Aston Villa. In addition to Tuesday’s results that saw Everton, Hull, Stoke and Sheffield Wednesday emerge victorious, the draws for the quarterfinals would create an interesting prospect but Arsenal’s participation in this season’s tournament is over.
Arsenal fans are more concerned about the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott as they suffered injuries in the loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Prior to kickoff, the Ox was seen performing a stretching routine and it was no surprise when he was seen on the turf for seemed to be a hamstring injury. Walcott replaced the injured Ox and added to Arsenal’s woes as he spent barely 10 minutes on the pitch before suffering what is now reported to be a calf injury.
With Arsenal having all-important fixtures against Swansea, Bayern Munich and Tottenham before the international break, it’s quite saddening to know that Arsene Wenger would be without his English forwards, as the Mirror has confirmed that they are set for a lengthy layoff. With Walcott and the Ox out injured, the Gunners injury list is piling up yet again as the Englishmen are set to join Jack Wilshere (ankle), Tomas Rosicky (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), David Ospina (shoulder) and Mikel Arteta (ankle).
Wenger can ill-afford any more injuries to the squad because it’s getting heavily depleted and the team is walking on a thin thread on several positions. Petr Cech is the only available goalkeeper for selection with Ospina suffering a shoulder injury. If Wenger couldn’t trust Matt Macey with a game against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup, do you think he would get any minutes in more important competitions like the Premier League and Champions League? I think not.
With Walcott injured, the Gunners will lay all their striking eggs on an Olivier Giroud basket. The Frenchman responded well to spending some time on the bench with three goals in a week and he would be hoping to continue his scoring streak even though he hit blanks in Hillsborough due to lack of service. Walcott has proved that he’s a capable center forward and we would be waiting to see how he would respond to Giroud’s upturn in form. This competition is beneficial to the team and I hope it continues as both players do their bit to prove their worth to Wenger.
As for Oxlade-Chamberlain, I feel sad for him because he hasn’t fully convinced this season. Yes, there was the great goal against Chelsea in the Community Shield but he has failed to maintain that consistency and Wenger didn’t bat an eyelid in playing Aaron Ramsey out of position ahead of a natural winger like the Ox. With Ramsey suffering a hamstring injury against Bayern Munich and Arsene Wenger playing Walcott as a center forward, the way was paved for the Ox to get an extended run of games.
I wish them speedy recoveries from their muscular injuries.