Heading into the game against Norwich City, there was plenty of talk about an Arsenal ‘injury crisis’.
Coming out of the game against Norwich City, things were only worse. Laurent Koscielny barely lasted 10 minutes, Alexis Sánchez came off after an hour and Arsène Wenger said Santi Cazorla ended the game ‘with one leg’ after all our subs had been used.
In his post-match press conference, the manager said he fears Alexis isn’t quite revealing the full extent of the truth about his injury.
“He says it is a kick on his hamstring,” Wenger revealed before adding, “I fear the reality is worse than that.”
The forward appeared to pull up, which would leave him out for at least three weeks or so, which would be a huge blow. Arsenal can’t afford to drop many more points in winnable games, and face Olympiacos and Manchester City before Christmas.
Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny both suffered impact injuries according to the manager, but we don’t yet know how long they could miss.
“In the first half [Cazorla] got a kick on the knee and it got worse,” said the boss. “I don’t know if he has jaded his knee ligament or he it was just a kick on the nerve but the worrying thing was it got worse during the game. For Koscielny it was a kick on his hip and he could not move at all. We have to assess all of that.”
Luckily there is enough defensive cover for Arsenal to get by with senior players if Koscielny is out, but Gabriel’s performance on Sunday wasn’t particularly confidence inspiring.
Cazorla’s injury would be worrying, with midfield and offensive options already limited. Sunday saw Aaron Ramsey start for the first time in over a month, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to play for the first time in November.
Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck are all still out and have recently been joined by Francis Coquelin and Mathieu Flamini. The Gunners can’t afford to have anyone else out for an extended period, as players will only be overplayed and the cycle will repeat itself.