It just feels like the curse that comes with the International break has returned for the Gunners. However, Walcott was on a goal drought along with being almost non-existent in recent games. So before being pushed to the bench by Wenger, Walcott will have a week’s rest.
A statement on the Arsenal website said the 24-year-old was struggling with a “minor hip/groin injury”.
The statement added: “The Arsenal forward sustained the problem in training with the national team on Thursday and will fly back on Saturday to be assessed by the Club’s medical staff.”
So what does this mean to Arsenal?
Don’t get me wrong, Walcott is one of Arsenal’s most prized possession, especially this season, but the fact that he is now sidelined will give Wenger a chance to explore. With the situation over his contract extensions, Wenger always felt a little obliged to give Walcott a start. With him out of the way, maybe Ox will get a run of games we all feel he deserves? He scored for England yesterday (granted it was against San Marino, but what a goal it was) and has looked bright in the last few games he’s played in an Arsenal shirt.
It would be ideal to start Ox (as he seems to fade a bit in the second half) and sub Gervinho in a hope that he continues his good second half run he’s been on in his last two games. Maybe the reason why his forehead is so big is because he’s trying to handle the tons of criticism he gets from supporters. If you have noticed, Gervinho did not celebrate with the fans when he sealed the victory against Swansea; he chose to be dissolved in his teammates. That made a little sad, to see how damaging, the “supporters”, can be.
So in conclusion, Wenger can use Walcott’s forced time on the sideline to move the spotlight to Ox, and can give Gervinho a second half run to boost his confidence or even a possible starting role as the mystery over Podolski’s injury still remains a concern. This will give Walcott a real sense of competition, causing him to hopefully improve his game instead of sitting comfortably on his 100K/week wage and under performing for the better part under his new contract.