Daily Archives: December 3, 2015
Just when things looked to be improving on the injury front with Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returning to full fitness, the injury gods struck Arsenal again as the Gunners are set to lose a very vital cog in their midfield engine. Arsenal supremo, Santi Cazorla, has been a revelation in the tail end of last season, curbing his attacking instincts to let Mesut Ozil shine in the attacking midfield role, as he listened to Arsene Wenger’s instructions (like Mikel Arteta) to play in a deeper midfield role alongside Francis Coquelin.
Since he made that move, Ozil has excelled in the advanced playmaker role but Cazorla has made the team tick, working hard with Coquelin to retain possession and make those killer passes in the final third. He hasn’t had much joy in front of goal and his drought in the Premier League is well publicized. When the Gunners won a penalty late on against West Brom, Cazorla had gone 30+ games without getting on the scoresheet and to add to his misery, he ballooned the ball over the bar.
When the Gunners visited Carrow Road to take on a Norwich side in a poor run of form, Ozil continued his hot streak with a lovely goal but Lewis Grabban’s effort before the stroke of half time leveled the contest for the home side. Sadly, those turned out to be the goals of the game as it ended in a stalemate but Arsenal suffered far more consequences as Laurent Koscielny suffered what seemed to be like a hip injury, Alexis Sanchez aggravated his hamstring strain and Santi Cazorla suffered a knee injury after a clash with Gary O’ Neil. While Alexis and Koscielny had the ‘luxury’ of being substituted in the game with Gabriel Paulista and Joel Campbell coming on as replacements, Cazorla played the entire game with the injury and probably added to his woes.
Now Arsenal will be without its first choice central midfield pairing for quite some time as Cazorla will join Coquelin in the treatment table for three months. The Gunners are already without Jack Wilshere (ankle), Tomas Rosicky (knee), Danny Welbeck (knee), Theo Walcott (calf), Francis Coquelin (knee), Mikel Arteta (calf) and Alexis Sanchez (hamstring).
For the second season in a row, the Gunners would be without so many midfielders and one must wonder what Arsene Wenger would do in the wake of yet another injury plague. As it stands, Arsene Wenger can select only Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini as his first choice central midfield pairing and the ‘educated’ Calum Chambers would serve as backup to the Flam in the holding role.
I only hope that the Gunners can avoid any more injuries because we are walking on a very tight rope now.
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