Is Spring coming early? It definitely feels like it from a football perspective. Ozil is available again, Alexis should also finally be available again, although Wenger remains still vague on whether he will start or not against Chelsea. On top of this there is progress to be reported on Coquelin, Welbeck and Rosicky. Wenger is quoted on Arsenal.com as follows: “Coquelin is back in full training today and he is ahead of schedule. He has still a few steps to go through. Welbeck will be in full training next week so that is positive news. It is possible Rosicky will play in the under-21 game [on Friday]. He was a bit sick at the beginning of the week but we planned for him to play tomorrow night. We have a few players coming back because we go into a very important period now for us.”
Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160121/team-news-ozil-alexis-and-coquelin#f1qrEibWPlcv2usY.99
It feels to me that Arsene has treated the period that started just after the last CL game and finished with the hard, dark and challenging away games at Pool and the Dump up-north as one to come through with as many points as possible, whilst still keeping something in reserve for the most important period of the season: the final three months of the PL/CL/FA Cup competitions. Just read that last sentence again of the Wenger quote above which makes me think he planned the return of so many quality Gunners to a large extent! Ozil had a few mini-breaks, Alexis has not been rushed back and now we have Elneny as well. With Coquelin back in training and Rosicky finally not far off playing for us again as well, all of sudden things are really looking up on the player front.
Now, it really is quite amazing that despite our injuries in midfield we are still TOTL, and with all the above mentioned players returning to the squad we really have a very good base to push through and win the league. Add to that the strong progress Joel Campbell is making and Welbeck finally being in full training again, and we really should have the strength in depth to make it through those hard March and April months when trophy attempts are so often ended. And it is great we are still fighting on three fronts: PL, FA Cup and CL. However well we did in the previous mid-season period, nothing is won until the end of the season and we are now in very fine position to go for all that shiny silverware.
So now I have painted this glass half full picture for you, let’s be having your predictions:
- Will Arsenal win the league – if not, in what position will we finish?
- Will Arsenal finally beat Barcelona in the CL – how far in this competition will we go this time round?
- Will Arsenal win the FA Cup, if not, how far in this competition will we go?
- Will Mesut Ozil out-assist (produce more assists) than the PL top scorer scores goals this season?
- Do we still need to buy this January to win silverware or are we more than strong enough with the current squad?