With injured players finally making it back to full strength over the past few weeks, the timing could not be better. With an F.A. Cup final and only four Premier League games left, getting key players back for the home stretch is vital for Arsenal’s hope at competing with Europe’s elite next term.
Arsenal has seen three players either come back from injury, or reclaim their form from previous campaigns. Aaron Ramsey has come back from a lengthy thigh issue that had hampered him for the better half of the new year. Attacking midfielder Mesut Özil has been sidelined for about six weeks with a hamstring injury; but should be well enough to travel to Hull this weekend and at least be a cheerleader on the touchline. Lastly, Lukas Podolski has been a man in charge as of late for the Gunners, scoring twice against a tough West Ham team, and being the vocal leadership the team has been without for the better half of the last two months.
Aaron Ramsey started this campaign in blistering form, brimming with confidence, and showing a real desire to not only continuously improve, but a undeniable desire to win. Scoring 8 goals in the Premier League prior to Christmas had coaches, players, and fans alike claiming he was the “surprise player of the year”. Unfortunately, a thigh injury derailed what could have been a breathtaking season and left individuals wondering; “what if”. With only a total of five games remaining this term Ramsey has little to prove that he belongs on the pitch with the best England can offer. If Ramsey can trust in his leg, that it is back to full fitness, there should be plenty more of his quality floating about the pitch reeking havoc on defenses left, right, and center.
With Arsenal’s record transfer signing back in action this week, there was automatically going to be a boost in morale; however, the timing could not have been more appropriate. With only four games remaining before this season comes to a close, Arsenal are once again fighting to maintain a 16 year long tradition of taking on Europe’s elite in the Champions League. Mesut Özil has the undeniable technical and visual ability to help his team control their own destiny and stamp their ticket to Europe. Özil has been a major asset to this Arsenal club, bringing the quality of play of his teammates to a new level. With his abilities, Arsenal are a free flowing and effortless team that appear to create chances for the fun of it. Özil brings a threat that Arsenal have been lacking over the last month, a man willing to attack a defense and drive his team forward.
Lukas Podolski has been rather hit or miss this campaign for the Gunners. Starting the season on the sideline does not help matters much. Podolski scored two beautifully taken chances midweek against a feisty West Ham team and looks to continue this vein of form against another rugged team, Hull. Podolski has never been one to hide from the lime light and that is just what this Arsenal team needs at the moment, a player willing to step up and take charge. The fiery German is just the man to help this Arsenal club hoist its first trophy in nearly a decade when they go for the F.A. Cup in a month’s time against this same Hull club. Podolski has all the needed qualities of a leader, now he just needs to band his teammates together to put the final touches on a trophy winning campaign.
With injuries and form returning to Arsenal over the past few weekends, hopefully things will continue to brighten. With four games remaining in the Premier League, one F.A. Cup final, and a spot in next season’s Champions League on the horizon, Arsenal have more than their fair share of work cut out for them. Thankfully the see multiple players who are more than able to push forward and take chances returning to the pitch and finding the back of the net. With Podolski’s net finding form and Aaron Ramsey logging minutes on the pitch, this weekend should be a victory in hand for Arsenal who should have a vocal cheerleader in Mesut Özil standing by if the need should arise. Final prediction: Arsenal 3 – 0 Hull