Arsenal's abundance of talent in midfield is often hampered by injury. It seems it was before the dawn of time since Arsene Wenger had a full compliment to choose from. Even now, a brief glance at the fantasy league selection possibilities from the Arsenal squad, (the only place to get such accurate information, obviously!), shows a big enough scattering of red blotches to convince the casual hypochondriac that they may be in danger of contracting measles if they look for much longer.
Diaby, the Ox, Walcott, and the as yet unproven, but much vaunted, young talent of Zelalem are all rendered stricken, 2 of which have been regular first team starters when fit, but for now, none of this matters. For this is the weekend where both Santi Cazorla and Mesut Özil are on the teamsheet, and if fully fit, must both start.
So, the conundrum is, who misses out? Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky or Flamini? Given the Welshman's form, it is impossible to consider leaving Ramsey out, and the same could be said for Flamini, who has to have earned Wilshere's respect quickly given his propensity for liking "tough tackling". Rosicky started the season very brightly too.
Playing 4-1-4-1 seems to be the Arsenal way with Giroud up front supported by, well, all four of the people behind him, AND both full backs when on the attack, same in the knowledge that Flamini is covering the holes left in their wake. Were it Arteta in the same position, would the confidence be as high?
My thoughts are, that the keeper and back four sort themselves out, and Giroud is the first name on the team sheet while fit, purely because he is the only proven striker, and Cazorla and Özil have to start. 5 players left to fill 3 places, and for me, those 3 should be Rosicky, Ramsey and Flamini. Injuries and yellow cards, (yes Mathieu I'm looking at you) will doubtless enable the players left out to get their fair share of pitch time. Until Walcott returns. And Podolski. And the Ox. and Gnabry scores again in a cup competition.
Ah, the beautiful agony of choice!