Do you want the bad news or the good news, Arsenal fans? OK, the bad news is that Lukas Podolski has damaged his hamstring much more than the club originally believed. Arsene Wenger has announced that our German international forward will be out of action for about 8-10 weeks, and after his double against Fulham last weekend that is, like his shot, a hammer blow for the Gunners.
Wenger said, “We have paid a very heavy price for that win(Fenerbahce). We have to be patient now.”
Err, excuse me, Arsene, but this is no time for patience, this is time to get on the phone, get into that transfer market and get a replacement. Because we already have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missing from that left side. Yes, Cazorla can do a job there and I have high hopes for the pacey Ryo Miyaichi, but a thin squad has got a lot thinner. Podolski will not be back until around November, when we face Liverpool and Man Utd, so hopefully his return is in time for those.
Actually, Arsenal having dithered with transfers this summer could now pay off, because we did not know who was going to get injured, obviously, but we now have the money and the opportunity to plug the gaps. Another of those gaps was caused by the injury to Arteta, but the good news today is that Ramsey and Wilshere are fine after Tuesday and should be okay to play against Tottenham. The concern we have all felt, however, should show Wenger that he does need to sign somebody, although it looks like he is planning to get Cabaye.
Some more good news for us is that Thomas Vermaelen is expected back after the international break, which will take the pressure of our overloaded pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny. Again, though, it seems blindingly obvious that we need a signing there.
For the big derby match this Sunday, however, we can field a strong first team, probably with Cazorla on the left and Rosicky in front of Ramsey and Wilshere. The bench will not exactly be fearsome, though, and that is a real cause for concern.