On paper, Arsenal has one of the best teams this season and yet, the Gunners’ performances have been below par thanks to the fact that they have been riddled with injury woes. Now, to add to the ever-growing list, full-back Mathieu Debuchy has been ruled out for the next three months due to a shoulder injury he picked up while playing against Stoke. Mikel Arteta, the man who could have been the architect for Arsenal’s run this season is out of action for the same period too. Surely, all this is adding to Arsene Wenger’s miseries.
This isn’t Debuchy’s first brush with injury. After his transfer from Newcastle United last season, a deal that cost the Gunners £12 million, the defender had suffered an ankle injury that had kept him out of action for three months too. After recovery, he was able to play only seven games before this shoulder injury sent him back on the injured list. In the game against Stoke, a game which Arsenal eventually won 3-0, Debuchy was pushed into the boards by Marko Arnautovic, even though play had stopped. Debuchy had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Wenger cannot believe his bad luck. “Mathieu had surgery on his right shoulder following the injury on Sunday. It’s very unfortunate for Mathieu, it’s unbelievable because he’s had two surgeries in the same season,” the manager said. Arteta too is out for three months after he had to undergo surgery on his ankle to remove a bone spur. Though the Spaniard has returned to the training ground, his return to the pitch before the end of the season is highly doubtful.
Ever since the season began, Wenger has been struggling to field fit men, let alone his strongest eleven players. Along with these two players, who add to a list that seems to be growing, others who have suffered injuries this season include Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere. After the loss of Arteta and now Debuchy, the only silver lining remains the return of Gibbs who could add some strength to the defense. “Kieran Gibbs will be training again with the squad on Friday and we will see how he goes from there. His news is positive,” confirmed Wenger, but at the same time ruling out Welbeck’s immediate return.
Arsenal has not had a great run this season, even though the team’s lineup is among the best. The fact that Wenger has never found the opportunity to choose from his entire gamut of players must have surely thrown a wrench into the team’s plans. The Gunners have yet to register three straight wins, an indication of how the team is struggling with injuries – the only hurdle in what otherwise seems like a perfectly good team.
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