Arsenal have occupied top spot for the whole season in this year’s Injury League and manager Arsene Wenger has been speaking about the impact that this has had on their campaign.
Sitting clear at the top of the table, with more injury points than Chelsea and Manchester City combined, Arsenal are set to welcome back Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal to their squad this week as they travel to Goodison. As has been the case all season, however, this is offset by the potential loss of two more players with Kieran Gibbs and Serge Gnabry who are both a doubt for the game with ankle and knee problems respectively.
Theo Walcott is out for the season while Abou Diaby has only just returned to training after more than a year out. Jack Wilshere is still some way from a return and it will be a couple of weeks before Wenger will be able to call on Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil.
Speaking to the press on Friday, Wenger said
“It’s not one injury that has an impact on a squad like ours. It’s the combined injuries of a few players in the same area who can create and score goals.
“That has an impact. At the same time we had Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey and Ozil out, so you cannot say that you have exactly the same creativity and the same goalscoring opportunities we had before.
“[When you’re out for] three months, then it takes two or three weeks. He [Ramsey] has worked very hard for a while in training now. What he lacks is competition.
“He’s an all-round midfielder who can score goals and always drives the team forward. He’s a real box-to-box player so it’s good to have him back.
“It’s an area where we are short because we have many midfielders out. We have Wilshere and Ozil out in this area, so of course it’s good to have him back.”