By 1970's Gooner
If we take a look at the Arsenal players involved in the Euro we quickly surmise that Arsenal's key players in defence, midfield and attack will definitely be missing from the opening game against Liverpool (currently set for August 13).
Players such as Ozil, Koscienly, Ramsey, Giroud, Sanchez, and Xhaka are likely to be missing from the starting line up.
And we all know that a winning start to a League campaign is so important for what is to follow.
We have here at 'Arsenal Analysis' looked at the Arsenal players that have been involved or are currently involved in the Euro at France and Coppa America. We have then given to most of them a four week holiday as is the norm under these circumstances as Wenger has done in the past.
Here is a list of the players and the date each departed or is likely to depart from the relevant competition. We then looked at if they can make it to the first team squad and make themselves available for the game on 13th of August.
The first item is the date of last game played. The second the date they return to Arsenal and the third the time left for preseason prior to 1st game.
Date of last game Return to Arsenal Time left for preseason prior to 1st game
Ospina 23.6.2016 23.7.2016 3 wks Will be ok
Cech 21.6.2016 21.7.2016 3 wks 2 days Wenger may play him
Bellerin 27.6.2016 27.7.2016 2 wks 3days Did not start a game
Koscienly 7.7.2016 7.8.2016 3 days!!! If France lose semi!
Xhaka 25.6.2016 25.7.2016 2wks 5 days Unlikely to be risked?
Ramsey 7.7.2016 7.8.2016 3 days!!! If Wales lose semi!
Wilshere 27.6.2016 27.7.2016 2 wks 3days Will not be risked?
Sanchez 26.6.2016 26.7.2016 2wks 4 days Will not be risked?
Ozil 7.7.2016 7.8.2016 3 days!!! If Germany lose semi!
Giroud 7.7.2016 7.8.2016 3 days!!! If France lose semi!
Campell 11.6.2016 11.7.2016 4 wks 5 days Will be ok
Other players not involved in tournaments:
Debuchy :Is he coming back?
Jenkinson: Still injured
Ox: Now back training from long term injury but unlikely to be risked by Wenger
Welbeck: Long term injury
Gnarby: Theoretically available. Was very sharp for the Under 21s last season
Iwobi: Dissuaded from playing in the Olympic tournament (no wonder)
So there you have it. The key players who are likely to be missing from the first game are Koscienly, Xhaka, Ozil, Giroud, Wilshere, Ramsey and Sanchez.
Koscienly, Ozil, Giroud and Ramsey are definitely out. Even if they lose their respective semis and assuming a 4 week holiday they will only have 3 days of training before the first game.
Worse still they will only return in early September!! Can you imagine a line up for the first month of the new league that will be missing these key players?
Surely Wenger will give them a 4 week holiday so as to avoid injuries and burn out later on in the season.
If Wenger fails to sign a new forward then expect Walcott to be our main striker! Surely Wenger will not let it come to that.
Sanchez will have had 2 weeks and 4 days of pre season. But looking at what happened to his hamstring last season when he returned from the Coppa Wenger is unlikely to make the same mistake and rush him back.
The same applies for Wilshere for obvious reasons. Wenger will take it easy with him.
Xhaka with a 2 weeks and 5 days of preseason will pose a dilemma for Wenger, but I think he will not risk him, not for the first game.
The players that featured with their national teams but are likely to start are Cech and Bellerin.
So here is the probable line up against Liverpool assuming of course that any new signings (if there will be any) will not be ready by the 13th of August.
Bellerin Gabriel BFG Monreal
Campel Cazorla Iwobi
It looks really weak to me which makes it imperative for Wenger to sign that forward and defender as soon as possible so that they can be utilised during this early period in the league when most needed.
Otherwise we may be playing catch up form as early as August!!!