As already seen with Eduardo, when a player returns from a long term injury, it is inevitable that they will soon be struck down by muscular problems. Today, it was confirmed that Rosicky has the predictable groin strain, which will keep him out for a few weeks.
And by a few, I mean an unknown amount. The timescale doing the rounds is six weeks, but that should be taken with a large pinch of salt because a journalist asked Wenger if the injury could take that long to heal, and he was non-committal in his answer. So the reality is we don’t know.
It doesn’t ruin our plans, and it isn’t a massive disaster, because Wenger is not foolish enough to rely heavily on a player who has missed the last year and a half of his professional career through injury. Even with Nasri out, we still have plenty of options in the attacking third. That said, he is a quality player, as he showed in pre-season, so hopefully he’ll be back soon.
If we need players, it is further back, and it was interesting to hear the manager talk about his plans for the rest of the transfer window:
“We can still make do with one or two players more. One could be in the defensive areas, and one in the attacking areas.”
“We make a few enquires for players, but we are nowhere near to signing anybody at the moment.
“Usually the transfer market only speeds up from August 26 up to midnight on August 31 – and especially in the last two hours.”
Interesting stuff, and completely contrary to his earlier comments that all business would be wrapped up by the weekend. In truth, that was probably a game played with Bordeaux, essentially threatening to pull out of the Chamakh negotiations (which would probably result in the player leaving for free next summer) if the offer on the table was refused.
But then transfer talk is a game Wenger loves to play with all of us, merrily sending us off in one direction while he conducts his business in private. We’ve had utterings of intent of signing players when none have followed, likewise we’ve had declarations that nothing will happen, only for Adebayor, Diaby and Walcott to arrive within a week.
So, as ever, we should take what he says lightly, and never ever play him at poker.
In seriousness, we could second guess Wenger all day, but realistically, we won’t know where we are until September rolls around. In the meantime, we have bigger things on our plate, namely tomorrow’s Champions League draw, which will see us pitted against one of Celtic, Atletico Madrid, Fiorentina, Anderlecht or FC Timisoara.
When it comes to qualification rounds, the glamour ties are not desired, so in theory we’d want the Romanians, mainly because no-one had heard of them before this season. But having knocked out UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar in the previous round, they cannot be underestimated. Personally, I’ve had a hunch for a while that we’ll be facing Celtic, which would be very interesting.
And that’s about it for today, other than the ‘story’ that Wilshere has been overlooked by the England Under 21s. I doubt he’ll lose sleep.