Time is a good healer. I feel less peturbed about the lacklustre performance on Sunday now than I did yesterday. I’m still – nor do I ever will be – at the stage where I’m spinning this in to a more positive outlook like Arsène did when he said “at least we didn’t lose”, but I don’t feel as teeth gnashingly irked as I was post-game and yesterday.
Yes, time is a good healer. If only it could work better wonders on our ailing squad. I did find it somewhat amusing and ironic that we call the tactical match review ‘The Breakdown’. Perhaps never more so has this been more aptly named with our current injury plight. We’ve got a whole team out at the moment, with more surely to be announced this week, with tomorrow supposedly the day we find out about Alexis. Rumours are already filtering through that he’ll be missing against Olympiacos, which means he’ll miss this Saturday’s game against Sunderland, as I think most of us have expected now. The hope is that his adamantium-infused body will recover quicker than the average human, but in a weird way, I’m kind of hoping that he’s forced in to at least a week’s rest with no return. If what he says is true – that he received a kick against the back of his leg – we might be lucky and he just misses a week or so. Regardless of the fact we have an ‘all or nothing’ game in a week’s time against Olympiacos, we could do with him over the Christmas and January tough period, in as good shape as possible. At the moment it just seems he’s ticking over and his form has been patchy of late. No Gooner I speak to blames him in the slightest; his dedication and ability to get this far in to the season without any rest period is phenomenal. But it was always going to happen and if he misses Sunderland at home, Olympiacos away and then Aston Villa at home, but if back for the Monday night game against Moneychester City before Christmas, I’d take that right now.
As for the rest of the injury worries, it seems like everyone’s going to get a shot at playing where they want to. Cazorla will no doubt be out for a while if it’s a knee problem, so Ramsey will get the chance in the centre, whilst Joel will be happy just to get back in to the first team. He applies himself, of that we can be sure, but to me he still doesn’t quite look good enough and I bet even he’ll be surprised that he’s been able to play in such a run of games this season.
The only fully fit person during this injury crisis who will really be cursing his luck at the moment is Debuchy. The guy must be thinking that everyone’s getting their chance in the team except him, with even Flamini now down to probably hit double figures on league appearances at this rate, so I do feel for him. He’s unfortunate that he’s up against a guy in form, faster, ten years younger and therefore much less injury prone. That’s football for you, I guess. At this rate he’ll not even get his January move he’s craving I’d imagine; Arsène would be mad to let anybody fit enough to leave. Heck, Debuchy could be filling in at right wing as it stands at the moment!
Never has the need to keep players fresh been more important. But also, never has the need been more important to ignore players who say “yeah, I’m fine boss”, with the only retort for that optimism being “let’s let the medical team decide that one, eh? Now get on that table and let them jab you with things”. We need bodies to return and return quick. A Thursday announcement of Theo to return against the Mackems would be a good start, but if here could also be some sort of horse placenta-infused miracle cure for a Wilshere or a Welbeck, that too, would be nice.
Of course we all know what’s going to happen: all of our players will return at the same time and we’ll have some quality players who don’t even make the matchday squad. It’ll all be January too, when it then seems foolish to buy new players with a fully fit squad. I wonder if Arsenal could apply for a flexible transfer window, to be opened in case of emergency, when we run out of bodies in November or March of each season? They must have a case for it. They’ve got enough data over the last ten years or so I’d imagine!
A pipe dream. A mere pipe dream. Ah well. I’m going to finish off this here monologue and try not to think much for the remainder of my tube journey. You have a good’un.