Arsenal lost both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injury on Tuesday night, but it could have been worse.
A 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday was about as terrible as it sounds, but a mixture of youth and squad players made up the majority of Arsène Wenger’s squad.
Laurent Koscielny, Héctor Bellerín, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil all stayed in London as other players were given the chance to impress. Instead of playing the fourth round League Cup tie, more than half of Wenger’s first choice side will be fresh at Swansea on Saturday and the manager must feel like his decision has been somewhat vindicated.
“I have six players at home and I think I did well when I look at the two players who got injured today,” the boss said to Sky Sports immediately after the game.
The loss, and the feeble nature of it in particular, was incredibly frustrating and losing the two Englishman only made it worse. However, with a title challenge and a trip to Bayern Munich both waiting, Wenger must feel relieved that he didn’t prioritise the Sheffield Wednesday match completely.
A humbling defeat will hurt, but there could have been even more injuries to key players and that would’ve been a disaster.