The international break is never something domestic club managers look forward to and one manager in particular who has a real disdain for the international friendlies halfway through the season is Arsene Wenger.
Earlier in the season he was incensed when Abou Diaby was called up by Didier Deschamps against his will. The rest was predictable. Diaby suffered a thigh injury which kept him out for months and after an impressive start to the season it was understandable why Wenger was so perturbed by his countryman’s actions.
Now another French international has limped out of action for Les Bleus and once again it was an Arsenal player. Laurent Koscielny limped out of the loss against Germany in Paris this week leaving Wenger with a defensive problem ahead of the game with Sunderland this weekend. With Thomas Vermaelen still nursing an ankle problem Wenger was expected to utilise Koscielny with Per Mertesacker in the game at The Stadium of Light.
While the loss of Koscielny was bad enough he has also been dealt bad news regarding more of his current first-team players. Wenger would undoubtedly have been very impressed with the performance of Theo Walcott at Wembley against Brazil this week but the forward was injured in a collision with QPR stopper Julio Cesar early in the match and is reportedly still sore from the incident.
Aaron Ramsey, whose performances have improved in recent weeks, suffered a calf strain while away on international duty with Wales just to add to his selection woes this weekend.
But the list stacks up as Santi Cazorla was forced to travel all the way to Doha, Qatar to face Uruguay in an international friendly so his state if fitness may also have to be assessed.
If things couldn’t get any worse than another Arsenal player suffered an on-field ailment this week. Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky suffered what has been referred to as an ‘intestinal problem’ during his countries 2-0 win against Turkey. The good news there is that despite skid marks in his shorts no lasting damage has been done and he will be available for the game.
Talk about your squeaky bum time!
image: © Ronnie Macdonald