As the festive period draws near, the demands on Premier League players step up a notch. Injuries are inevitable, but Arsene Wenger should be accountable for Arsenal not winning the league since 2004, not the injury table.
The Gunners could be without ten first team players for the north London derby on Sunday which would be a cruel blow to any team.
You can have sympathy with Arsenal for not being quite at their best this weekend or against Bayern Munich in midweek, but injuries shouldn't excuse poor performances.
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If unfit, Laurent Koscielny would probably be seen as the biggest miss for Arsenal when they play Tottenham. Nevertheless, instead of assuming the performance of their team is now out of their control would be nonsensical.
Yes, Arsenal might not defend as well if they had their best defender, but they should have a quality replacement.
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Per Mertesacker certainly isn't good enough. Proven last season by his cowardly mistakes away to Stoke and Liverpool. Not forgetting he was at the heart of the poor defending at home to Monaco.
Wenger's side have been craving for a centre-back partner for Laurent Koscielny for years. It doesn't look like Gabriel Paulista will be the sturdy colleague the Frenchman needs as of yet. While Calum Chambers doesn't look capable of grasping a title challenge over the course of a season.
Whereas, John Stones of Everton would have complemented Koscielny admirably.
Losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott could be seen as unlucky. The former two are Wenger’s preferable choices to play on the right so when your team loses its first and second choice wingers it isn’t ideal.
Walcott is a major blow because he is Arsenal’s only striker with pace and a consistent finishing ability. Then again, Wenger should have also considered shipping out Danny Welbeck, who scored just four Premier League goals last campaign.
Opting for Borussia Dortmund goal machine, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been fitting competition for Olivier Giroud and Walcott. Especially if the Frenchman gets injured in the coming days the north London club will be without a recognised forward.
Another who is injured is Jack Wilshere. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he will ever reach the heights of his illustrious potential. Even so, Arsenal are well equipped with creative central midfielders.
Wenger will be quick to blame international duty too if Alexis Sanchez was to get injured. Yet again, though, there isn’t cover for the Chilean.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are rarely fit or good enough to cover for Francis Coquelin either.
Arsenal’s manager can’t expect to win big trophies without strengthening his squad sufficiently. It’s his responsibility to ensure his squad are capable of competing in all fronts. You only need to look at the favourites, Manchester City, who in most cases have two quality players for every position.
Who knows how many injuries the Gunners might endure during the winter months? Not to forget a possible Europa League competition to tolerate along with defending their FA Cup crown.
Maybe it could give Wenger a chance to give his youth academy an opportunity, but as Sheffield Wednesday showed in the Capital one Cup, there isn’t much promise there.
Arsenal won’t be denied the league title because of injuries. They won’t win it because they don’t have the squad proficient enough to win it.
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