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TEAM NEWS: Wenger On Walcott, Koscielny, Ramsey, Monreal & Arteta
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta and Theo Walcott are all set to miss the Newcastle game while Aaron Ramsey faces a late fitness test.
With Calum Chambers suspended following his sending off against Stoke, we were praying that Koscielny would be ready to return having missed the last two games with a niggling Achilles injury.
However, the boss has revealed that it looks like the French international isn’t going to be ready to play and with Monreal also still out with a foot problem, we have just one fit centre-back available this weekend.
Arteta is also not fit enough to return to the side so we better hope that Ramsey comes through a late fitness test on a hamstring injury he picked up against Galatasaray on Tuesday night.
Arsene also confirmed that Theo Walcott has been back in training for the last two days but he won’t be risked this weekend as he’s not considered match fit just yet after a month out with a groin injury.
The boss also reiterated that Jack Wilshere hasn’t suffered any form of set-back, amid reports the midfielder could be out for longer than initially expected.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on the team news…
Our main problems are still defensively because Laurent Koscielny (calf from Southampton match) looks like he will not be quite ready, Nacho Monreal (foot) is not back and Calum Chambers is suspended. Mikel Arteta (calf) is not ready and Theo Walcott (groin) is out. Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) will be checked today and tomorrow, so we’ll see.
on Theo Walcott…
The signs are quite good. He has had two days of training now but he now lacks competition and fitness to come back to a good level.
on reports of Jack Wilshere having a setback…
That’s completely wrong. He’s doing very well. He’s on crutches so I don’t see how he can have a setback. It’s frustrating because it’s hard enough for Jack to be injured. He doesn’t need the negative news on top of that. It’s always frustrating to deny things that are not true.
So it looks like Per Mertesacker is our only senior central defender to choose from and Arsene has a real decision to make. He could move Debuchy in to the middle or promote one of the youngsters such as Hayden or Ajayi. If Hayden is fit, I’d go with him alongside Per.
Either way, the injuries in defence are just going to highlight Arsene’s poor decision not to bring in another centre-half in the summer again. We knew about Koscielny’s troublesome Achilles back in June, so why on earth did the boss not buy more cover at the back?!
Let’s hope it doesn’t cost us more points this weekend….