Arsenal have been dealt a major injury blow with the news that William Gallas will miss the remainder of the current campaign because of a knee injury. The Frenchman picked up the knock in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Villarreal.
Gallas damaged the medial ligament in his right knee during a clash with striker Giuseppe Rossi. Despite staying on for several minutes after the incident, Gallas eventually limped off in the 43rd minute.
This is a major blow to Arsenal, because ever since losing the captaincy, Gallas has been a rock at the back for Arsene Wenger. The team are currently on an excellent unbeaten run and have been tighter at the back in recent months.
Gallas has been instrumental in this and the fact that he will miss the rest of the season, including the FA Cup semi-final and remaining Champions League games, is massively disappointing for the player, the team, the coaching staff and the fans.
Stepping in for Gallas in the next few weeks will be Johan Djourou, who will partner Kolo Toure in defence. He has already played a number of important games this season, so it is my football prediction that he will perform admirably. However, there is no doubt that Gallas’ presence will be missed.
The 31-year-old’s injury isn’t the only problem for the Gunners though. Manuel Almunia has been ruled out for three weeks with an ankle injury and Gael Clichy’s back problem will keep him out for a couple of weeks.
Elsewhere, Robin van Persie and Eduardo will need late fitness tests on similar groin problems ahead of tomorrow’s game against Wigan at the JJB Stadium.
Overall, the injuries have been a problem for Arsenal all season. Then, just as it looked as though they were getting back to full strength, they get dealt these blows. Wenger will be frustrated, but will know they can’t let it affect their form during what is a crucial few weeks for the club.
By Thomas Rooney