Arsenal’s game with Watford was probably over as a contest after four minutes, much to Arsene Wenger’s relief.

As soon as Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners in front the frailties that have dogged Watford since the turn of the year were clear to see.

Just two wins in 13 Premier League matches threatens to spoil their excellent return to the top flight. There is no realistic threat of relegation, which has perhaps contributed to their dip in form, but it is Odion Ighalo’s goal drought that stands out.

Three strikes in his last 16, compared to 12 in his previous says everything. His last two have come in the FA Cup and they have a very winnable semi-final against Crystal Palace that might also be creeping into their thoughts.

Arsenal still maintain faint hopes of the title, of course – and look more much comfortable now that it is out of their hands – but most of the post-match hoopla was about the development of match-winner Alex Iwobi.

The focus may have already switched to next season.

Early signs are good but Wilshere won’t be rushed

Wenger confirms Jack Wilshere is back in full training but talk of a return for the development side this week – against Newcastle – appears to be a little premature.

The boss was quick to quash any suggestion that he would be involved.

‘Wilshere back for the Under-21’s? Not yet, no, we have not decided that yet,’ he explained. ‘It is his first week and we’ll see how he responds to that.’

Cazorla in a race to play competitively again this season

Santi Cazorla has started to run outside but the Spanish international is still ‘a few weeks away.’

‘At the moment he looks like he has a chance to be completely fit before the end of the season,’ Wenger added. ‘Although you always have to remain cautious when returning to full training the knee is fine. The delay has been caused by an ongoing Achilles tendonitis problem.’

Trio close in on a return

Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini will ‘hopefully’ be available for the trip to West Ham, but the given the form of Mohamed Elneny neither will be rushed back. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ‘is progressing well’ and it is envisioned the winger will be available within three to four weeks.

Aaron Ramsey
Injury: Thigh Strain.
Estimated return date: Hoping to return next weekend.

Mathieu Flamini
Injury: Hamstring Strain.
Estimated return date: Hoping to return next weekend.

Santi Cazorla
Injury: Achilles Tendonitis.
Estimated return date: Late April / early May.

Jack Wilshere
Injury: Hairline fracture of the fibula.
Estimated return date: Full training. Late April.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Injury: Knee ligament injury.
Estimated return date: Late April / early May.

Tomas Rosicky
Injury: Thigh muscle strain.
Estimated return date: Full training. Late April.




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