Just when Arsene Wenger thought his injury problems were behind him, with Theo Walcott looking likely to return to first team action this week, Nicklas Bendtner decides to off road in his Aston Martin on the way to training on an empty road and Denilson has had a fractured bone in his back confirmed by Arsenal’s medical team.
Thankfully, Bendtner seems to be simply bruised and battered and no doubt a little shook up by his little escapade on the A1 yesterday on his way to training. Wenger seems to be taking a safety first option with the young striker, whilst he’ll miss tomorrow’s Champions League game against Olympiakos he should be back for the weekend fixture against Blackburn.
It’s unfortunate as his performance in the comeback against Standard Liege was probably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt since he’s been at the club. He was fantastic, pulling the Liege defence all over the place and dragging the Gunners back in to the match. he’s certainly been playing well this season and it’s a disruption he could do without.
The news about Denilson sounds a little more serious and it’s unusual as its taken over two weeks to confirm the injury he sustained against Manchester City. He has been extremely impressive so far this season, capped with wonderful goal in the 6-1 rout of Everton on the first weekend of the Premiership season. His work rate, passing and distribution have kept Arsenal ticking along despite the defeats to both halves of Manchester’s footballing rivalry.
After the progress he made last season, and the consistency he seems to finally have added to his undoubted talent, it’s a real shame. He’s pencilled in to return in time for the clash with Chelsea at the Emirates on Sunday November 29th. To be honest, the run Arsenal have over the next 2 months, they’ll be happier with the quality of the opposition they face in the period he’ll be missing than later in the season.
December and January will be tough on most clubs, but Arsenal have to play Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton as well as their favourite away trip to Bolton Wanderers. At least they don’t have to go to Blackburn or play the return of the Gunners new grudge match against Manchester City.
Walcott’s return can’t come soon enough for the young lad BUT he really needs to ease himself back into action. Whilst he may have fallen behind Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright Phillips in the England pecking order, he needs to focus on returning to a consistent level of performance for Arsenal first. He doesn’t need to worry too much about England, they’ve already qualified for the World Cup.
With his attributes as either a winger, a striker or even playing as right midfield, Walcott has options few other players can match. Fabio Capello is quite aware of the qualities Walcott can bring to the England team, he simply needs to concentrate on getting a good, consistent season for Arsenal. If he manages that, he should easily be in the 23 man squad that goes out to South Africa come June next year.