Arsenal midfield rotation is key for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners' Premier League title hopes - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Arsenal midfield rotation is key for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners' Premier League title hopes

Wenger feels he has enough options to keep his side's 'engine' fresh without weakening their performance

Manager Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal's rotating midfield “engine” is showing no signs of fatigue as the Gunners look to last the distance in the Barclays Premier League title race.

Arsenal will be out to consolidate their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League when they host relegation battlers Fulham on Saturday.

The Gunners fought their way to an impressive win at Aston Villa on Monday night to reclaim a one-point lead over Manchester City.

With the likes of Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain able to offset the loss of Theo Walcott to a serious knee injury and Mathieu Flamini coming in for the injured Mikel Arteta against Villa, Wenger feels there are plenty of options at the heartbeat of the side.

"In midfield we have plenty of quality players who you can rotate easily without really feeling, 'today we are weaker'," Wenger said.

"We have fantastic players in midfield and it always allows us to keep what we call the engine of the team fresh.

"It is a real team effort. Maybe because every player in his position has a strong personality as well - you have that feeling.

"I would say purely on the football front it's true that we only have excellent players in every position and that allows you to have different types of teams that can really be efficient."

Czech midfielder Thomas Rosicky could play in a protective mask after surgery to correct a broken nose suffered when he was caught by a stray elbow from Gabriel Agbonlahor, although full-back Nacho Monreal is a major doubt after twisting a ligament in his foot.

Captain Thomas Vermaelen (knee) is also sidelined, along with midfield duo Arteta (calf) and Aaron Ramsey (thigh). Striker Nicklas Bendtner could return from his ankle injury in the FA Cup tie against Coventry next Friday night.

Wenger, meanwhile, feels Walcott should be "very positive" of making a full recovery from his knee setback.

The 24-year-old is set to be sidelined for six months after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in the FA Cup third-round win over Tottenham, which shattered his World Cup dream.

Wenger revealed the operation had gone "very well" but said: "The damage was real in the knee so he will have to take the needed time, so let's not be hopeful that he will go to the World Cup.

"That is not possible, but overall his long-term future is very positive. It is about being fit for next season now."

Following the injury to Walcott, Arsenal are expected to move for some offensive cover during the transfer window.

Auxerre forward Paul-Georges Ntep has been touted as a potential target, along with Schalke's German forward Julian Draxler, who is said to have a £37million buy-out clause.

Nottingham Forest's 20-year-old defender Jamaal Lascelles is another reported target.

 

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Commuter travels 320 metres, 75 steps, two ticket barriers and a labyrinth of roads to get to work
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK edition of wedding show forced to recast after wave of drop-outs
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week