Arsene Wenger has allayed concerns over Mathieu Flamini and Kieran Gibbs, stating that the duo have a chance to feature against Newcastle on 2 January after shrugging off injury worries. Flamini was not in the matchday squad with an inflamed ankle he picked up against Southampton, while Gibbs came off in the latter period of the second half with cramping in his calf.
The Gunners are already without seven players through injury and any other setback would have come as a major worry for the north London club, who are running on empty after a gruelling series of fixtures. Chambers replaced Flamini in the middle and did an acceptable job, which can force Wenger to rethink his transfer strategy in the upcoming transfer window.
An injury to Francis Coquelin had fans urging the manager to delve into the market but should Chambers be able to live up to expectations, it will be a win-win situation for Wenger, who can then wait till the summer to get his priority targets instead of settling for short-term options. Flamini has also been good in the few games he has played, with his performance against Manchester City, where he completely shackled David Silva, proving that he still has something to offer at the top level.
"He might be all right. I could have pushed him but he was a little risk so I decided not to take it because it was an inflamed ankle. Gibbs is cramp on his calf," Wenger told Arsenal's official website, when asked about Flamini and Gibbs.
The 2-0 win over Bournemouth meant that the Gunners are top of the league till at least when Leicester City take on Manchester City at the King Power Stadium. Mesut Ozil produced his best performance till date in an Arsenal shirt, picking up a goal and an assist a piece to banish memories of their 4-0 thrashing against Southampton. Wenger will be hoping to keep this up through the length of the season so that the Gunners can end their decade-long wait for the title.