Arsenal are on a high with their 20 games unbeaten run in the League under new manager Unai Emery. The Gunners are currently 4th in the table and are looking good to challenge the other teams to a Champions League spot fight at the end of the season.
Despite their unbeaten form and the position in the table, life has not been easy for Emery at the Emirates with continuous injuries to crucial players have always tied him up with limited options to work with and he has maneuvered the issues brilliantly and most of the time came out with the desired result.
In their 2-2 draw against Manchester United defender, Rob Holding was stretchered off the Old Trafford and the latest reports from the club suggest that the defender is sidelined for six to nine months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Laurent Koscielny who is coming back after a long-term injury could have been a like for like replacement for Holding, but the Frenchman was also brought off with a cramp in their U23 Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday. emery has clearly suggested that he does not want Koscielny to rush his return.
“We are on a gradual way with him ( Koscielny),” Emery said.
“He is played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday. Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League.”
“He is working with us with very big performances every day in training. He is playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.”
Adding to his headaches was Skhrodran Mustafi’s hamstring pull against Huddersfield as the German defender immediately suggested for a substitution.
Emery’s defensive options can be a concern for the Spaniard with players like Mavropanos, Koscielny still out and first choice defender Rob Holding out for the season. The Spaniard has preferred three at the back formation and opted for it in important matches against Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester United but with lack of option in the backline, the former Paris Saint Germain manager may forcefully go for a more authentic four at the back formation in the next few matches.
However, if you think that Arsenal’s defensive ins only plagued with injuries then you are wrong, their 2-2 draw against Manchester United also saw Aaron Ramsey picked up a knock in his ankle and is in doubt for their next fixture. Mesut Ozil, on the other hand, has not yet seemed to play a big role under the Unai Emery system and his back injury concerns have not made life easy for him under the new boss. The German midfielder can be on his way out of Emirates with Inter Milan keeping close tabs on the former Real Madrid play-maker.
Unlike the defence, in attack Emery do have the options to toggle around but here also Danny Welbeck is out with an ankle injury and set to miss the season. There are also rumours of the England international leaving the club after this season, with Turkish giants Galatasaray interest in the 28-year old forward.