Arsenal made light work of a Borussia Dortmund side with many similarities to The Gunners. Both teams are well off the pace in their respective leagues and will see cup competitions as their best chance of winning silverware.
The Germans unbelievably find themselves in 16th place (in the relegation play off spot) in the Bundesliga, but they have obvious European pedigree and the players to be challenging again in this seasons Champions League.
The fact Arsenal brushed aside their visitors so easily does deserve credit, but, Dortmund massively underperformed and having already qualified for the knockout stages won’t be too bothered by this result.
Here are a three things we learnt from last night game:
Arsenals’ injury luck is sadly too real
Even when things are going well for Arsenal it seems this injury curse takes no prisoners. Arsene Wenger will have loved the performance his side produced last night, but won’t be able to enjoy it as he will have to again think about who he can plug the extra gaps his already holey ship received yesterday.
Mikel Arteta injured his calf and looks set to be sidelined for 6 weeks. While goal scorer Yaya Sanogo limped off with a hamstring strain and no timeframe has been set on his injury layoff.
Today it was also confirmed that Jack Wilshere will be out for 3 months after ankle surgery. When it rains, it really pours for Arsenal with injuries.
The Ox marked his 100th game for the club by coming of age
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown patches of form and perhaps hasn’t been given the run in the team he needed, or deserved. This combined with some injuries have meant slow progress, but last night’s performance surely marks his arrival as a first team starter.
With injuries Arsenal have sustained in midfield, The Ox has been given a run of games and he seems to be taking his chance cement a first team birth. It’s hard to believe he has played 100 games for the senior squad but it is time for him to start producing his best for the Gunners on a regular basis. I expect him to grasp this opportunity and to make Theo Walcott work hard for a starting place when he returns.
Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell will be gone in January
Wenger all but confirmed that these two fringe players will leave the club in the upcoming transfer window by not playing them last night. Sanogo was given the nod ahead of these two international strikers who will be fed up by their lack of first team football.
Although Arsenal fans won’t be too surprised to see Podolski leave, the German has never sparkled in red and his lack of positional nous means Wenger is often forced not to pick him, it is Campbell departure that may baffle them.
The Costa Rican was one of the stars for his side at the 2014 World Cup and looked to be an excellent squad member for Arsenal. Personally I’m disappointed that Wenger has given him such little pitch time. He has international experience as well as Champions League experience following last season’s campaign with Olympiacos when they made it to the last 16.
Clearly Wenger isn’t impressed with something, maybe his attitude or how he trains, whatever the issue if he isn’t going to play then he has to be moved on.