Arsenal injury blows were looking to become a thing of the past with some of their injured players almost close to full recovery, but Sunday’s clash with Norwich City has further complicated issues, as it has now been confirmed that 3 first team members have been lost to injury.
Forward, Alexis Sanchez and central half, Laurent Koscielny were replaced in the 1 – 1 draw against the home team after they picked up hamstring and hip injuries respectively. The double injury blow would have been enough to add to their woes, but another blow did hit the Gunners with midfield maestro, Santi Cazorla also picking up a knee injury, but only continued the game as they had already used up all 3 substitutes.
Cazorla’s absence means the coach is without his preferred midfield duo of Coquelin and the Spain international, and that could have a big effect on their overall performances until the 2 returns. Laurent Koscielny’s injury has been consistent this term, as he recently returned from an injury. He has brought stability to the Arsenal defence, and also contributed in the attack. His absence means the duo of Mertasacker and Paulista will serve as the central halves, and both haven’t had the best of games together this season.
Sanchez’s hamstring injury was waiting to happen, with Wenger having earlier revealed during the press conference in the buildup to the game that the Chile international was suffering a discomfort on his hamstrings. The 26 year-old has featured in 18 of all Arsenal’s 19 Champions League and EPL games this season, and was only a second half sub in the other 1.
That’s coupled with his lack of rest during the beginning of the season with him resuming club’s duties immediately after the Copa America victories. The forward has had to start most games with the likes of Walcott and Welbeck unavailable to serve as backups due to their injuries. Although no set time has been placed on the 3 players’ injury sideline, but their absence could cost Arsenal the title and a chance to qualify for the Champions League’s next rounds. Wenger’s medical tactics and know-how get questioned again.