Let’s be honest Arsenal fans. How many of you thought that we would never see Kim Kallstrom start a game for the Gunners after it was revealed that he had a micro-fracture in his spine when he signed on January deadline day? Pretty much all of us then, because he was only supposed to be a stop gap transfer while Aaron Ramsey got better.
If only Arsenal could have had a slightly smaller injury list this season, who knows what we could have been fighting for now. One of the worst aspects of the Gunners’ injury problems this season has been losing so many of our key players in the middle of the park at the same time. So this picture of Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere should bring a smile to a few faces.
With Aaron Ramsey already back playing with the first team, Kim Kallstrom over his problems and starting to show what he can do and Mesut Ozil already having rejoined training last week, the report in the Daily Mail that Jack is back in training makes Arsenal’s midfield start to look magic again.
Arsenal 3 – 1 West Ham Player Ratings by KJ
Arsene Wenger made quite a few changes to his Arsenal team, some of them forced on him because the FA cup semi-final exertions. So Kallstrom, Giroud, Rosicky and Koscielny came in for Gibbs, Chamberlain, Sanogo and Ramsey.
Arsenal could really have done with a fast start but we didn’t really get it, so it looked like patience was going to be the key, as well as not conceding an early goal of course. Our new Swedish midfielder was understandably unused to life in the Premier League, but he did look assured on the ball and got an early tackle in.
Arsenal vs West Ham Preview, Line up and predicted score by KJ
After a dramatic win on Saturday, Arsenal need to go back to the Premier league now and beat West Ham to maintain our top 4 aspirations. Going into this game, our team is going to be absolutely knackered throughout the squad. The majority had to play 120 minutes at a high intensity. The likes of Sagna, Mertesacker and Cazorla have barely been rested this season and that 120 minutes has probably tipped them over the edge. I’d be surprised if they were physically and mentally prepared for the game against West Ham.
Everyone at Arsenal will certainly have received a boost by getting into the FA cup final with a penalty shootout win over Wigan Athletic, but there is now a Premier League run-in to focus on and the Gunners could really do with another boost from some of our injured players.
And we may even get it for the visit of West Ham tomorrow night. As reported by Arsenal.com, the team could be boosted by the return of two key players in Tomas Rosicky and Laurent Koscielny, although Arsene Wenger admitted that both of them are not certain to be fit and will face late fitness tests to make sure.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, it looks like they are going to have to wait a little longer for the return of the excellent French centre back Laurent Koscielny. And with their toughest tackling and most defensive midfielder, Mathieu Flamini, missing his second game with suspension, there will be a big onus on Per Mertesacker and club captain Thomas Vermaelen to keep Andy Carroll quiet tomorrow.
While the West Ham team do not really have anything to play for other than pride, the England international striker knows that a good showing in his remaining Premier League games will probably mean that he is on the plane to Brazil for the World Cup this summer. So Arsenal must be ready for the big striker to be pumped up and ready to cause us problems.
I remember writing a while back about the FA doing Arsenal no favours, as usual, when they announced that the away game against West Ham which had to be changed was to be played on the Tuesday after the FA cup semi-final. Well injuries, a suspension and the fact that the game at Wembley went to extra time have just made the situation worse.
Well it was rollercoaster ride of emotions for anyone connected with Arsenal Football Club today, but the end result is that the Gunners will be running out on to the Wembley turf on Saturday May 17th to face either Hull City or Sheffield United. But is that all that matters?
Arsenal were far from great today and I wonder if that performance will just dilute the fact of the result, as we have to travel to West Ham on Tuesday. Then we go to Hull, which could well be a precursor of the final, before hosting Newcastle and West Brom, with the final game of the season for us at Carrow Road against Norwich City. And we probably need to win every single one of those games in order to beat Everton into fourth spot and qualify for the Champions League.
There is good news and bad news for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger and his players attempt to book a place in the FA cup final in just over a month’s time. As usual, the Gunners squad is ravaged by injury, but at least two key players will be on from the start against Wigan Athletic at Wembley.
Unfortunately, one of those is not the England international left back Kieran Gibbs, so we really neen his Spanish counterpart Nacho Monreal to step up and show the sort of form that we saw last season. Monreal has, for some reason, been pretty woeful recently and I’m sure that Wigan will be targeting that flank as a potential weak link.
Arsenal vs Wigan Preview, Line up and predicted score by KJ
This is it Arsenal fans! Our season has started to fall apart and we need to win against Wigan to prevent one of the most embarrassing collapses in our recent history. Losing is unthinkable.
Positive injury news on Jack Wilshere!
Whilst there are some recent disappointments on the injury front upon hearing that neither Mesut Ozil nor Laurent Koscienly will be available for this weekend’s semi final cup clash against Wigan Athletic, it is good news that they will soon be returning to the fold in a week at the most.
We also heard that Aaron Ramsey should be returning to the Arsenal starting line up for the Wigan game, whilst Rosicky, Chamberlain and Gibbs could also overcome fitness doubts. However I think arguably the most positive outcome of the injury update was hearing that Jack Wilshere could also soon return to the team.