Mikel Arteta appears, as expected, to have done some serious damage to his ankle and according to the Guardian will play no part in the final four games of the season.
The former Everton man is thought to have torn ligaments after rolling his ankle, which if we take past examples including Robin van Persie and Per Mertesacker, means he’ll spend much of the summer undergoing treatment.
It leaves Arsene Wenger with something of a headache, or perhaps it’s a no-brainer, ahead of Saturday’s important clash with Chelsea. Without the Spaniard, and the ineligible Yossi Benayoun, the Frenchman has little choice but to ask Aaron Ramsey to overcome his apparent confidence issues in the centre of the park with Tomas Rosicky and Alex Song adding the craft and grit.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a further option, although with Gervinho struggling to find form it wouldn’t be surprising to see the England under-21 starting on the left with Walcott on the right. Abou Diaby could feature from the bench having put in another 45 minute shift for the reserves on Wednesday against Oman’s Olympic team.
Having lost Arteta and then the game on Monday evening against Wigan, many fans have vented their frustration with the young Welshman after his somewhat staid and static performance. What many seem to have overlooked is the fact the other 13 players wearing red and white (or blue in Szczesny’s case) also played like they’d just got out of bed.
Fingers crossed the 21-year-old finds not just his shooting boots, but also his passing, running, standing and whatnot boots ahead of Saturday. That being said if we’re going to beat Chelsea, we’ll need the whole squad, from front to back, to put in a shift