Theo Walcott being stretched off isn’t the ideal image any Arsenal fan would want at the moment. After being out for so long, the speedster has been in incredible form in front of goal, netting 5 goals in 5 starts. However, he recently picked up an injury against Spurs in the FA Cup. Although no official word has come out from Wenger regarding the injury, The Guardian has written that he could be out for up to 4 weeks.
That is a huge blow especially since we are short in the attacking department. If what The Guardian are reporting is true, then he would be missing games against Aston Villa, Fulham, Coventry, Southampton and Palace. No disrespect to those teams but Arsenal look more than capable to go on in case he misses out.
So who should replace him? He played that game against Spurs as a lone striker but since Giroud will be back from illness, I expect the Frenchman to lead the attack this time around. Wenger has two options: either to start Podolski on the left flank with Cazorla on the other, or to leave Cazorla on the left flank and start with Gnabry. Although starting with Podolski seems like a stronger option, I’d like to see Wenger giving Gnabry a chance against teams like Aston Villa and Coventry.
In Aston Villa’s case, A.Luna seems to start regularly at left-back. He tends to get forward regularly and he scored the all important third goal for Villa when they beat Arsenal earlier in the season. So starting Gnabry would be great on the counter attack.
All in all, it seems like our squad is getting better and better. It finally has the depth and Wenger can rotate players without affecting the overall quality of the team. The next few games are a must-win and anything less than 12 points as well as qualification through to the next round of the FA Cup will be unacceptable.
*UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Theo Walcott will miss the rest of the season through injury.