It couldn’t last. For three games we managed to start with our first choice back five, a luxury rarely afforded over the past couple of seasons, where injury crises have been all too common.
But now, with Gallas out for four to six weeks (depending on which report you read), Senderos comes in alongside Toure, and with Djourou off on loan at Birmingham, there is a worrying lack of cover in that most key of positions.
This all deflected from a few people’s opinions that Lehmann should be axed after some shaky moments in recent weeks – I, amongst others, thought that now was not the time for that. Not only has Lehmann the ability to pull himself out of the slump, but with Gallas missing we’re extremely short of experience at the back.
But now there is no decision to make, because the curse of the internationals has struck, and Mad Jens is out for a couple of weeks with an Achilles injury. The question is – who comes in?
For me, there is only one choice. It should be Almunia. The man has patiently waited for his chance, has improved and impressed in pre-season. If Fabianski comes in now, you might as well tell Manuel to pack his bags and go. The Pole’s time will come, but I don’t think it should be yet.
Some good news – it is looking increasingly like a new Wenger contract is imminent. Let that keep you smiling while you worry about our threadbare squad.