Mikel Arteta won’t play during busy holiday period
Sorry, Arsenal fans, more Mathieu Flamini.
On Tuesday, Arsene Wenger revealed that Mikel Arteta hasn’t recovered from his calf injury yet, and will be unavailable throughout Arsenal’s congested holiday schedule. The Gunners are currently without Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby as well, leaving them painfully thin in midfield.
Arteta suffered the injury at the end of November, and it was conceivable that he could have returned at around this point in December. But he hasn’t recovered quickly enough, and Arsenal will have to do without him for a few more weeks.
The good news for Arsenal fans is that Aaron Ramsey is nearing a recovery from his hamstring injury and could make the 18-man squad for the Gunners on Boxing Day.
Without Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby and Ramsey in the lineup, Wenger has been forced to play Mathieu Flamini almost every game, while using out of position players in front of him in midfield. Flamini’s form has been very poor, but the Gunners don’t have much in the way of other options. Francis Coquelin was recently recalled from his loan at Charlton, and can’t be a worse option than what Arsenal have been doing in Arteta’s absence.