Arsenal were bumped down to fourth spot in this week’s Premier League Injury League courtesy of West Ham picking up another two injured players.
The additions of Andy Carroll and Dimitri Payet crowd a treatment room that already includes Adam Cresswell (knee), Doneil Henry (knee), Manuel Lanzini (knee), and Diafra Sakho (lower back) since pre-season.
Carroll will be out for 4-6 weeks with yet another knee injury for West Ham. Payet has some muscle tightness and is expected to have a late fitness test prior to Thursday’s Europa League match at home with Astra Giurgiu.
Also out for West Ham are Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli, both with thigh injuries.
Arsenal currently have a points total of 18, placing them in 5th spot in this week’s Injury League and while it seems to all us Arsenal fans that we aren’t getting any better at preventing injuries, others might be helping us out by getting worse at it themselves.
With Jack Wilshere returning from a slight setback caused by patellar tendonitis, Arsenal’s injury list still consists of Danny Welbeck (knee), Per Mertesacker (knee), Carl Jenkinson (ACL), Gabriel (ankle ligament), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Alex Iwobi (quadriceps).
Welbeck and Mertesacker probably wont return until after the start of the new year. Jenkinson and Gabriel are expected back with November and mid-October returns, respectively.
Ramsey and Iwobi are currently expected to return on 10 September from the injuries sustained during the season opener with Liverpool, who have led the Injury League since the beginning of the season.
Currently, Liverpool are missing Emre Can (ankle), Ovie Ejaria (groin), Joe Gomez (achilles tendon), Loris Karius (broken wrist), Lucas Leiva (hamstring), Sheyi Ojo (lower back stress fracture), Divock Origi (thigh cramp), and Mamadou Sakho (Achilles tendon).
Arsenal will be hopeful that they can head into their game this weekend against Watford with no new names added to their treatment room as they look to get their first win of the season in what must surely be their easiest game of this young campaign. Fail to do so and not even a treatment room packed like sardines will give the boss any room for excuses.
With Arsenal still in the midst of a centre back crisis, speaking to Arsenal player, youngster Krystian Bielik has been talking about how he is being moulded into a one for the club, perhaps due to the price of the limited players available on the market, or maybe just because Wenger has identified him as a player naturally suited to that role.
“I played at Legia Warsaw as a defensive midfielder, but sometimes I was an offensive midfielder,” Bielik said.
“Last season, I remember coming to the under-21s, and [Arsène Wenger] told me that from today I would start training as a centre back.
“They decided they wanted to try me at centre back, and I started training there. After the first game we played really good, and I felt it was alright. When Arsenal changed my position, I wasn’t very happy because it wasn’t what I loved in football. From a midfielder to a centre back, it was a big difference for me.
“Now I feel much better, and I feel I can be a really good centre back.
“When I train with the first team, I feel I’m making really good progress in this position. Compared to three months ago, I have made really good progress. I feel like a really good player now,” he added.
“I’m happy if I can play. If I can play in the first team, I can play at left back or right back. If Mr. Wenger sees me at centre back and thinks I can be better at centre back than midfielder, I can’t say anything. I just have to train very hard.”