Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Stoke City on Wednesday night was overshadowed by injuries to captain Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott. With the League Cup final on Sunday and the 2nd leg with Barcelona just under two weeks away Arsenal fans will be restless on the fitness of their two impact players. It’s no secret that this Arsenal side have underachieved in the last 5 years without a trophy and part of that blame has been down to injuries. Could we see a ‘deja vu’ like scenario this season with the Gunners?
The last time Arsene Wenger and his men travelled to the Nou Camp the squad was severely hit with injuries and the Barcelona side picked holes in the makeshift defence. However, with the 2-1 victory over the Catalan side at the Emirates Stadium, confidence would’ve been boosted for the return leg on the 8th of March. But now with Cesc Fabregas pulling up with another hamstring problem, it looks like the star midfielder will miss the chance to lead his team out at Wembley on Sunday. However, the 23 year old will be doing everything in his power to make sure he is fit for the game after his update on Twitter saying : “I don’t know if I’ll make Sunday or not, but all I know is that from this moment to Sunday I won’t sleep if it’s necessary. I’ve waited too long to captain a final for Arsenal and I won’t give up till the last second.”
The worrying thought is that Cesc could rush himself back too soon and do longer term damage to that troubling hamstring and miss another 2nd leg tie at his boyhood club. Whilst Theo Walcott looks set to miss both crucial games in the next two weeks, there is a chance Fabregas could feature along with Robin Van Persie and Laurent Koscielny who both missed the Stoke game. If this latest injury news does ruin Arsenal’s chances of silverware this season, then it’s not long before a finger of blame is pointed.
Wales’ assistant coach, Raymond Verheijen, made comments on Twitter regarding Arsenal’s injury history and stated that “The [Arsenal] players deserve better injury prevention”. And according to Verheijen it can’t be just down to bad luck but who is to question Arsene Wenger and his coaching methods? After all, he is responsible for Arsenal’s loved style of football.
I hope that injuries are not the cause of another trophyless season for this Arsenal side who have proved a lot of critics wrong so far. Currently they are 90 minutes away from lifting a trophy at Wembley and 90 minutes away from knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League, plus they’re keeping pace with Manchester United in the Premiership. However, if they are to finish off what they’ve started this season, they will need the likes of Fabregas to be at full fitness or this Arsenal side may be rueing their injury history rather using their trophy cabinet.
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