The win against Stoke put us back with a shout with regards to the league campaign but it came with a price. Four more players joins the 8 already in the medical room. Gallas, Traore, Eboue and Rosicky all suffered injuries following last Saturday’s game and will face time on the sidelines. The long list itself is a very scary one.
Luckily, we have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League and thus we have the advantage of putting out a second string side at Olympiakos. No risk can be afforded to the first team players what with an important fixture coming up on Sunday at Anfield. Even Alex Song who did not feature at the weekend due to suspension should be kept at home just to avoid the possibility of adding to the injury count. In fact, whichever side that Wenger intends to set out against Liverpool should take no part in the dead rubber of the European tie.
Wenger has indicated that the squad that will take to the field at Karaiskaki Stadium. After the Carling Cup exit, it would be a tremendous boost for the young players to be able to feature so quickly again for the senior side. Many would have had an eye on a loan move to seek further competitive match but given the injury crisis, some may feel that the crisis could play right into their hands. Fran Merida and Jack Wilshere are the 2 names which illuminates from the list of reserves. Both have a wonderful left foot and creativity that can match even some of the first team starters. Both are likely to start on Wednesday and the game time will do them a world of good compared to playing for lower division clubs.
One would think that with almost a full team out with injuries, the boss will be pushed to find replacement albeit for a couple months during the January transfer window. However, this may not be the case as Wenger has been quoted to say that any buy that fits a description of world class, not cup-tied and cheap would not be easy to find. He goes on to say this
“I don’t believe we are especially short in midfield, I just believe we are short up front.”
Now, that is true in more ways than one. Up front right now we lacked a real six-footer with good physical body. It prevents us from using the option of high balls into the opposition penalty area. The expected return of Nicklas Bendtner next week will go some way to solve that problem but it is a bit risky just to depend on one player to survive unhurt for the rest of the season.
If anything, the new recruit should be for the center of defence. Both Vermaelen and Gallas have played an awful lot of matches this season and will need some rest time throughout the season. Whenever the oppourtunity presents itself like a home fixture against a bottom half team should be a good time to rest them and give the backup a chance to get some match fitness. Right now the only option is to put Silvestre there as Senderos is looking less and less likely to remain at the club. Now, while Silvestre have performed admirably everytime he has played this season, he do not really fills anyone with confidence or assurance that Vermaelen and Gallas do.
The medical staffs are getting busier and busier each week, maybe they need new signings themselves. Till tomorrow, have a good day.