By 1970’s GoonerWhen things were beginning to look up on the field and we started getting some players back from injury Walcott’s abdominals give in. This comes at a time when the other close alternative, The Ox, is also on the treatment table needing another 5 to 6 weeks before he comes back.
So ignoring the League Cup encounter with West Brom what alternatives has Wenger got?
In my opinion there are three.
GnabryHe had a decent game against Stoke. He looked assured for his age and relative inexperience and impressed me more with his tracking back and defensive capabilities rather than his forward runs. I think he will improve the more games he plays. But should Wenger risk playing him in very important games against Swansea, Napoli and West Brom?
Ryo MiyaichiI watched him play enough times when he was on loan to Bolton and he impressed me enough. He was good at going forward with pace but he was mature and experienced enough to track back and defend. Above all he was able to keep the ball and bring other players in the game.
But I also watched him during Arsenal’s pre season games this summer and he didn’t play so well. Again he needs games but I am not sure he will get them. He is a more hardened and experienced player than Gnabry however.
Wenger seems to have preferred Gnabry to start against Stoke so if it was a straight choice then we more or less know the outcome.
But there is a third way.Wilshere
Yes why not play Wilshere on the left wing and Ozil on the other (or vice versa if you like). Arteta would come into midfield alongside Flamini with Ramsey the Rambo completing the trio. Ramsey could play a little further up behind Giroud.
This arrangement has its weakness that you will have a left footed player playing on the right wing and also you will miss the pace that a genuine winger would provide for the team.On the other hand Gnabry’s (or Miyaichy’s) pace cannot really be compared to Walcott’s can it?
You will also need to keep at least one wide player wide so as to stretch the opponents and open the pitch up.
But what you really gain is more experience and nous which will come from fielding two players who are not rookies.
I would go for the Wilshere option.