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After struggling with injuries in the early part of the season, Arsene Wenger may finally have recovered most the players after the international break. Probably for the first time ever in his life at Arsenal, Wenger has more on his hands during the period where most of his players are usually away with the national teams. Manuel Almunia would be the first to rejoice now that he has to face more than Denilson during such times.
With Cesc Fabregas back in full training, Nicklas Bendtner in full training and Theo Walcott in light training; Arsenal’s training ground is slightly more livelier than usual during these periods. Together with Aaron Ramsey recovering well, it is easy for one to understand what we’ve been missing since the start of the season. There are also others like Kieran Gibbs who stayed back to recuperate.
However as with the case of Fabregas, we should not rush these players back. It is far better to lose them for a few more games now than to risk playing them and then losing them for a few months. Fabregas could’ve played against Chelsea but wise choice from the medical staff at Arsenal to stop him from playing and allow him the chance to fully recover and ensure that once and for all, there will be no recurrence of the hamstring problem.
On that note, another player is at risk of time on the sidelines. Not that England care to know of the impact that could have on their most prodigious youngster. Jack Wilshere has played a lot of games for Arsenal this season. In fact, he has featured in all the games we’ve been involved in thus far. Although as an 18 year old, there should not be any fears of tiredness seeping through his young body. However, there is surely no point in picking him in the U-21 squad when Fabio Capello chooses him for the full national side.
While Stuart Pearce is not wrong in saying that players learn through playing matches, quite what advantage a game against players under the age of 21 have over training with world class players is beyond me. Surely he would not think that a game against a bunch of Romanians does not educate Wilshere more than a couple of training sessions with Steven Gerrard and his band of senior players. In fact, I believe Arsenal’s training ground is of educational quality compared to what he will face on Friday.
Wenger seems to have forgotten about him. The fans also seemed likewise. What with all the talk of Wojciech Szczescny being on the bench at Stamford Bridge when in fact he is only the 4th choice goalkeeper. Our supposedly third choice keeper, Vito Mannone has certainly been put out cold. Having played 7 first team games last season surely have whetted his appetite even more. To be from being on the bench to not even being selected for reserves games is a big change. Unfortunately for him, Arsenal have one too many young keepers on the books.
But Mannone did get something right,
I get annoyed when I don’t play, it’s not as if the other two do that well.