Here is the 6 stage injury process we go through at Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger acknowledges that if you work a player too hard, they can pick up injuries but also says, ‘how can you drop someone who loves to play?’
The injury happens and the manager curses the bad luck of the injury.
The recovery date:
The manager goes optimistic, we’re usually given the standard 3 weeks return.
The player comes out in the press and says they’re doing well, but they don’t want to rush themselves back.
Week 9 into the injury, we still haven’t seen Chambo, Wilshere, Welbz, Rambo or Tomas.
By the time those boys come back, we have Ozil, Sanchez, Santi and Koscielny injured… and so the cycle continues.
Ok, ok, so maybe a bit exaggerated, but I swear, in years to come, they’ll be teaching kids at Public Relations School how to deal with a crisis using Arsenal’s bespoke approach to making the best out of a consistently terrible injury list.
Tonight England take on France in friendly at Wembley. Part of me feels it’s far too soon for that sort of game, especially when Lassana Diarra tragically had a family member amongst the victims of Friday’s attacks… part of me feels like this will be a massive fuck you to the embarrassing scumbags who think they can impact a continent through spectacular acts of cowardice.
It’ll be interesting to see what tone the game is played in. I know that the French players aren’t happy about it and you do wonder how much enthusiasm the English will have for going 100% ‘we need to win’ against their broken European brethren.
We’ll see. Hopefully the evening goes off without event. Just pottering around London yesterday, the place feels on edge. Not good.
Arsene Wenger is on a roll these past few weeks. He’s really going in hard on FIFA and rightly so. Firstly, he’s asked for blood tests to be introduced after he was probes on his L’Equipe comments last week.
“I’m not satisfied with the level of testing because I believe blood tests should be done,”
“If you want to go into a bit more sophistication you have to do blood checks. Urine checks are superficial and not deep enough to say absolutely sure that we have no doping problem in football.
“I think no [we don’t have a problem] and I wish no but on the other hand, can you have 740 football players at a World Cup and come out with zero alert on any doping? It’s a little bit surprising. I hope it is true but I think to be completely sure about it, you want to go into deeper tests.”
Ok, so now we’re getting somewhere with this. Wenger thinks the tests aren’t thorough enough and he wants blood tests introduced. I get that, I find it amazing that urine samples are the only method. But, this leads onto his latest attack on FIFA…
“We face a situation where it’s impossible for the players to get through a season and have a rest. This kind of friction that it creates between the clubs, national teams and international competitions can create a split.
“One day the clubs could move away and say, ‘Enough is enough, we pay a huge amount of money for our best players so we’ll get them together ourselves and organise our own competitions’.
“It’s important that all of that gets on the table while we have the opportunity.”
Now for me, the two are interlinked. You’re asking players to run faster for longer and in more games. The weight of competition placed on players is beyond scary these days. Also, factor in that you throw more money into the melting pot, so there’s more on the line. Factor in that because there’s more money on the line, it’s easier to lose your job… and your livelihood.
Then you start to build a picture of how the doping can occur. How do you keep players fit enough for long enough? Currently, what we’re asking of players is only acceptable for the super human players. So you can see how we’re building a situation where doping becomes more likely.
I think Wenger is right. I think we need to get the football calendar in order. I think we need to reduce the amount of games. We need to enforce a winter break. We need to start treating the players like humans, not cattle that we put at the mercy of big name sponsors.
I also think that might be part of the issue we have with fans in the country. Jurgen Klopp said he was appalled to see fans leaving early in his recent match up against Palace.
… and look, so am I. But here’s the thing, you’re at so many games through the season, that some of them start to lose occasion. People have lives to attend. When you’re literally spending 3 chunks of your week at games, you start to get football fatigue and people make the decision that they don’t want to spend 3 hours getting out of a carpark after the game.
NFL is 16 games. It still pulls in the mega money. Germany have a smaller league and a winter break, it still works. No one needs to watch international friendlies in the season, they’re so boring and they impact club football horrendously.
But we’re in a situation where the answer to football popularity is more, more, more…
That has to stop at some point because we’re killing the game and we’re killing the players.
Right, that’s my rant over. Have a bloody fantastic day!