So the nightmare didn’t happen. Rather than calling up Sebastian Squilacci Arsene Wenger chose Bacary Sagna as his makeshift centre half and played Carl Jenkinson at right back against Sunderland. And it kind of worked too. Sagna played well and Jenkinson looked comfortable until his second rather rash tackle that is.
Jenkinson’s misdemeanor means that at least Ignasi Miquel got a bit of a run out. Wenger clearly doesn’t feel that he is ready for first team action yet, which is a shame both for Arsenal and for him.
This weekend Arsenal host Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup in game that the team should feel fairly confident of winning. The good news for Arsenal fans too is that it looks like Laurent Koscielny will be back to partner Per Mertesacker at the back.
Wenger said of his injury
“It’s a calf problem. We think it’s a question of days [until he returns] because he had a positive scan.”
“He [came off for France] at half time [on Wednesday] and we decided to give him a trial in the warm up.
“He was not good enough. I don’t think it’s long-term.”
More of a worry, for The Mail at least, is the status of Thomas Vermaelen. The paper suggests that he will return to training this week, but will struggle to make the squad for the Bayern Munich Champions League a week on Tuesday.
He has had an anti-inflammatory injection in the hope of avoiding ankle surgery. An extended lay off for the captain would be disastrous for Arsenal as they look to close in on at least a fourth place finish in the Premiership.
As for Jack Wilshere, it seems like Arsenal’s talimsanic midfielder will be out for a week or so. Wenger has the choice of whether to play him against Blackburn on Saturday or give him a few more days to recover before starting him against Bayern.
Wenger has plenty of midfield options including Ramsey, who had another good game on Saturday, Diaby, who played for most of the second half, Rosicky and even Oxlade Chamberlain who can all play in the central midfield berth alongside Arteta and Cazorla.