Arsene Wenger has given the latest Arsenal team news ahead of tomorrow’s late kick-off at Villa Park. Andre Santos, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky are all out, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been passed fit. There are no new injury concerns from our 2-0 win over Montpellier. Kieran Gibbs and Gervinho should be included in the squad, having been on the bench at the Emirates in midweek.
The news on Abou Diaby is becoming increasingly frustrating and Wenger’s updates sometimes make me feel like it’s Groundhog Day. “He is 2-3-4 weeks away” seems to be the standard response since Diaby picked up his injury against Chelsea all the way back at the end of September. The good news is that Diaby has already played 20% more game this season than last season, although when you actually look at the numbers (6 appearances vs 5) it does seem slightly less impressive.
Andre Santos, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott
“Santos is out for 10 days with an abdominal strain. Oxlade-Chamberlain looks alright. Theo [Walcott] is out for Saturday, but has a chance for Wednesday at Everton.”
“If all goes well, three to four weeks.”
“He should be back with us on Monday. He started in team training on Monday. Last year from January to the end of the season he was one of the most influential players in our squad. I hope he can repeat that because until now we haven’t seen him and he was injured at the European Championship. He has a similar injury to Scott Parker, they had operations at the same time and they will come back basically at the same time. It is very difficult [mentally] for him, because Tomas is a guy who loves to play, who is happy on a football pitch. When you have been injured as many times as he has been, it is not easy to take.”