As the season wears on, injuries were always sure to bite.
Players primed for short, rapid bursts of physicality are playing 55-60 games in a season, often with two days of recuperation.
It means that managers are left counting bodies to see who can make a lineup. It also leaves the way open for new heroes to be found.
And at Arsenal, we have been dealt a big blow on the injury front – as midfield dynamo Lucas Torreira has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
His injury was dealt out by a crude scissor challenge as we ousted Portsmouth in the FA Cup. It left the Uruguayan leaving Fratton Park in a protective boot and the prognosis didn’t look good from the outset.
It is now official, as the club have declared our midfielder missing from our squad, meaning the next time we will see him will be in pre-season at the earliest.
And that leaves Mikel Arteta with a predicament.
There are two players that have been read the riot act, so to speak. Both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Matteo Guendouzi were regulars under both Freddie and emery, but both have seen their game time slump, with Arteta keen to see more from both youngsters.
With Torreira injured though, it leaves Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos as our first choice pairing in central midfield, and precious little cover without AMN and the crazy-haired Guendouzi.
AMN in particular had done his chances no harm with a series of committed performances at right-back, and had featured in the centre and did well. Now, with Torreira injured both players could find themselves being given a lifeline.
A chance to wipe the slate and prove to Arteta that they are not surplus to requirements and can benefit the team with their inclusion.
We have enough in numbers to see through to the end of the season – and the difference between success and failure could also prove to be the difference-maker for who stays and who gets cut from next seasons squad.
Good luck AMN and Matteo.