How to solve the global injury crisis

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I could easily find myself drawn into the debate about injuries today.

I guess I will.

Reading around at certain people hacking away at what the issues are is about as entertaining as reading journalist tackling the… ‘HOW TO DEFEAT ISIS’ story which seems to be the political version of ’10 STRIKERS ARSENAL ARE BUYING THIS JANUARY.’

My main beef with the people having a go at the story, is that very few take time out to understand the basics of how injuries happen. Looking at an Opta sheet is going to tell you that. Looking at the latest clickbait injury infographic won’t help either. You have to dig a little deeper.

I read one article that fires off 465 theories as to why we have injury problems, casting doubt over accredited experts and a lot of reasonable theories without actually offering up anything conclusive or new.

Not meaning to tell anyone how to do their job, but if I were a famous journalist at one of the world’s most prestigious broadsheets, I might take some time out to call in some world-class expertise to support my story, on the record or off.

It is true, there is no one reason Arsenal have horrendous injury issues, there’s a multitude of factors. But there’s one consistent thread in all of this… Arsene Wenger.

There’s rarely one defacto reason for failure in anything, it’s usually a collection of smaller issues that build to the bigger one. I mean, Arsenal fans have coddled themselves with the…

‘Just two more players would have done it’

… for about 10 years. The reality is, Arsenal could have had 4 world-class additions to all of those squads and we’d have still fallen short. Mainly because we’ve not been doing the basics properly for years. If you don’t have smarts on the tactical front, you’ll fall down. If your players aren’t the freshest, you’ll fall down (look to how average that last United team was, their secret? The fittest). If you’ve lost your swagger for motivating players, you’ll struggle.

There are many factors involved with our injuries. Buying injury prone players, lack of rest, overly intense training, lack of rotation, rushing players back, small squad… NOT SMALL PLAYERS.

But remember, when you’re feeling for Wenger and imagining the intellectual turmoil he’s in. He is the one who said this on the condition of Sanchez in the week.

“a little hamstring alarm”

Then played him.

Anyway. There’s a problem. It’s nuanced and of course incredibly complex to an outsider who needs access to the Arsenal IBM Watson data cruncher to engage in a debate, but put it this way, a better manager wouldn’t need ten years to solve this.

On the injury front, the club are going to assess Sanchez this week. Santi is a big concern, another player we all knew was at breaking point. Kos might not be so bad.

Moving forward, we’re probably going to stick with Flamini in the DM role, well, depending on how bad he continues to be over the next few weeks. He’s not good enough, but we don’t have many options. I think we saw the sort of risk Ramsey could be in that holding role… I’m also concerned he’s being rushed into the mix too early again.

Chambers played in midfield for the U21s, so long-term, maybe he’s being primed for more advanced positions. However, he seems the most likely to be a total disaster in that role.

We’re so, so lucky we have two relatively easy games coming up.

Let’s see how we’re looking after those two!

Limping into January… so standard.

 

202 Responses to “How to solve the global injury crisis”

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  1. Zimbabwean Gunner

    No no Namibian Gunner? Whats wrong my fellow African brother? My brother from another mother? lol

    DM? Who is DM? I have finally won ze trophy!!

  2. David Smith

    Its much more simple than all that. There are only 2 reasons for our level of injuries
    1/ Wenger wont look into or deal with the cause
    2/ There isnt anyone to tell him to do the above

  3. Highbury4ever

    “We’re so, so lucky we have two relatively easy games coming up.”

    The last 2 were supposed to be “easy” as well…

  4. Zimbabwean Gunner

    We can change the training methods. We can move from London Colney. We can bring in anyone who is 10 times better than Shad Forsythe. We can even go get someone from the moon and ask them to keep our players injury-free.

    We can do all that but for as long as we have a manager who knowingly plays a player who has a ‘slight’ hamstring problem then nothing is going to change.

    Quite unbelievable that you pay a man 8 million quid a year to do the bare minimum but that man cannot tell a player that ‘listen Sanchez, you have a problem. You, alongside Ozil, are my most cherished treasures so I am not going to risk you at Norwich’

    Seriously? Arsene Wenger will get what is coming to him one day. He takes Arsenal fans for mugs. If it was a one-off thing, I would understand and lay off the fella but for this to keep recurring every season is nt even mind-boggling anymore.

    Wenger is being careless at best and myopic at worst. How does he live with himself? The whole footballing world knows the bloody obvious problems at Arsenal, well, have known about these problems since time immemorial but Wenger is hell bent on proving everyone wrong.

    Its insane.

    Its madness.

    Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results every time.

    Insanity.

  5. PieAFC

    Same problems every year. Nothing new, more annoyed I believed it would be any different.

    We will probably be the team that loses to Villa in this so called ‘easy game.’

    Sunderland, with Fat Sam, he knows how to play against us, do whatever to stifle a draw.

  6. Louis Almeida

    Wenger’s training methods are 100% wrong. I don’t think Ozil had ever been injured before moving to Arsenal. In his first two seasons he missed prolonged periods of football.

  7. jwl

    I think reliance on young players, Wenger’s youth projects, is another problem. Apparently our bodies don’t stop growing until mid 20s, so asking 20, 21 year olds to play two or three matches a week in elite football is too much.

    Players who arrive at Arsenal when they 24 or above, they seem to handle the rigors of a season better. Part of injury problem is that we many injury prone players, and they are injured often like a carousel of sick notes.

    And we are possession team, so that means we have ball more often which leads to our players being tackled more than necessary.

  8. gunnergetyou

    “Sunderland, with Fat Sam, he knows how to play against us, do whatever to stifle a draw.”

    No doubt Fat Sam will be licking his lips at the prospect of getting one over Wenger. He’ll be drilling his players to make an extra effort to get in our faces and get stuck in.

    Especially after seeing us given the run around by the mighty Grabban and Brady

  9. Relieable sauce

    Lets pay Kronke £3m to see if he can tell us what the problem is.

    We are a well run club apparently.
    Do any of the believers look at the evidence?
    The fans expecting Wenger & co to suddenly change and show some ambition and competance are deluding themselves, to put it mildly.

  10. Santos

    Wenger OUT. That’s all I have to say. Sincerely hope the old man steps doenbat the end of the season. He’s antiquated and nobody needs to be reminded. If Pep joins Manure/City, I will jump from a condo.

  11. Santos

    All links to players are as usual, clickbait news. Déjà vu. This cycle of shit is dependent on the departure of Ernest.

  12. bennydevito

    Ha ha! Nice one Kenyan! And we’ll done Zimbabwean, good to see a new contender in the mix.

    Where’s Bankz nowadays? Being the record holder I guess his work here is done…

    Afternoon Grovers, good post again Pedro. You write for the metro and occasionally the mail yes? Why don’t you get in touch with some serious experts and put a seriously damning piece together and simultaneously publish them on here and there? Would be an excellent start.

  13. vicky

    Ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester United on Sunday, Wenger was asked if he had ever completed a transfer with Mendes involved.

    “Nearly, that was Ronaldo. Since then, never,” he replied. “

    He goes to different directions, he has special clubs. “I do what is right for the club and in a legal way, but if I think he has a player that is absolutely essential for the club I would do it. [Mendes] has done nothing special to me.

    “Did he do [the Martial deal]? I don’t know. He is involved a lot with Monaco but I don’t know if he was involved in the Martial deal.”

  14. MidwestGun

    Yes we really tried to sign Kingsley Coman in the summer of 2014,’ Wjustifiesrmed to beIN sports. ‘The transfer was almost completed, but he preferred Juventus.’
    _____________
    Really?….. who did we try to sign in the summer of 2015? Ohhh that’s right nobody.
    Seriously, the insensitivity Wenger shows to the fans is behind belief at times. He is either incredibly naive to the situation or gets off on trolling.

    The team we ” almost signed ” would rival Barcelona and Real Madrid, easily.
    It’s about like my buddies at the bar telling me about the women they almost slept with…. I don’t take them serious anymore either.
    And some people wonder how the man can generate so much animosity.

    Well, there is your answer. How about telling us about the players we almost signed last summer. Bet that list is impressive as well.
    So…. over it.

  15. Louis Almeida

    Wallace,

    Ruben Neves is the best young player in Portugal. Already the captain of Porto at 18! Plays defensive midfield with playmaker abilities. Has a high interception and tackle rate each game. For the few that want an Arteta-type, they’ll really like him. Is it feasible in January? In a short answer, no. Porto know he’s their prized asset. And they can get more for him in the summer, especially as many big clubs will chase him. Then there’s the issue of Jorge Mendes. A lot of managers/clubs don’t deal with him. Wenger is one of them. Mendes is also the agent of William Carvalho. Would Wenger get involved? I do not know but both are fantastic young players and the future of Portugal’s midfield.

  16. whitty

    Wenger will write a book about telling us about the players he almost signed.

    His face will be in the news for a long time after he has fucked off.

    It will never end ………

    Wenger out.

  17. DM

    Lol Zimbabwean good job bro! U got it!

    I’m off work ill today, not been feeling too great and not been online till now. Not an excuse though, it’s yours fair and square brother!

  18. MidwestGun

    If Sunderland doesn’t sit back, crowd the middle and target Flamini and Ramsey by pressing them when they are in possession and then quick counter after a turnover by having one off the ball runner up the channel behind Mert then they haven’t been paying attention.

  19. Follow the money

    Wenger won’t deal with certain agents and I also think he’s never signed a player that has third party ownership, because these people are sharks and refuse to be bullied by Wenger and let him dictate the terms of the negotiations. He might throw a low ball offer out there but when they laugh and say “Think twice that” he gives up. Chickenshit

  20. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t think I’ve ever been less enthused about an Arsenal game in the lead up this weekend, Ozil is essentially the only thing that will make it an attractive prospect to watch.

    I like the symmetry in Wenger taking us from boring, boring Arsenal, to playing great football, but now becoming boring, boring Arsenal again but on a much larger sort of scale.

  21. Igbo Amadi-Obi

    It would appear like Mr. Forsythe is not quite the fitness messiah we expected. Or how can you explain that in his first full season, we are experiencing an injury crisis unprecedented in our recent history? It is clearly one thing to work with the German National Team, where players gather for friendlies, qualifiers or 4-5 week tournaments; and another thing to be in charge of fitness for a team that plays an average of two games every week for one year. And what was his position when a player with a troubled hamstring was made to start a game 4 days later? If Mr. Wenger didn’t accept his professional advice, what’s he still doing at Arsenal Football Club? Interesting again is that injuries like calf, hamstring and groin point to conditioning issues.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    ‘If Mr. Wenger didn’t accept his professional advice, what’s he still doing at Arsenal Football Club?’

    Because he is Arsenal Football Club, there is no one at that club who has more say than him.

    It isn’t any one thing, it’s a combination, most likely anyway, of having a squad one third sick note, training facilities, our approach to recuperation and Wenger’s training methods.

  23. AC Gooner

    Well done, African Gooners today. Nothing more to add to the post. We have all heard it a million times. Arsenal and injuries and thin squads. Rinse repeat.

  24. Emiratesstroller

    Following stats I published earlier today about Walcott and Wilshire here
    are further stats of full games [at least 80 minutes] played by Oxlade-Chamb and
    Gibbs.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain
    11/12 0
    12/13 1
    13/14 3
    14/15 11
    15/16 3

    Gibbs
    8/9 5
    9/10 3
    10/11 3
    11/12 11
    12/13 22
    13/14 20
    14/15 16
    15/16 0

    Gibbs early injury record was fairly awful, although in more recent years he is
    surprisingly less injury prone. That may be due in part to the left full back position having been more regularly rotated.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain has now been with club for 5 seasons and has yet to complete 20 full games in EPL!

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Having read the breakdown of playing stats of these 4 players during their playing careers at Arsenal it is becoming increasingly clear to understand the problem at Arsenal.

    These 4 players are simply not ‘robust enough’ to play full games in the rough and tumble of the English Game. The consequence is when you factor in 2 or 3
    other players who are regularly injury prone we are effectively relying on a relatively small squad of perhaps 17-18 players available at any one time.

    This is putting on increased demands on several players to start games when
    the Manager and coaches know very well that they are not 100% fit.

    It is interesting that Wenger attempted to divert attention to injury problems
    of both Ramsey and Sanchez by blaming their international managers for their injury problems. Realistically Ramsey has played only 2 games for Wales
    since September and Sanchez has played 4 for Chile.

    By contrast they have played significantly more games for Arsenal even when
    the manager knows very well that they are not 100% match fit.

    What is fairly obvious is that our squad lacks depth of quality and is therefore
    overdependent on small number of players to play more games than they should be doing.

  26. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Well, The Sanchez thing is annoying and avoidable , but the positive is he needed some damn time off Anyhow. At least apparently it’s not long term.

    More concerning to me is the injury to Santi. I think it’s fair to say our turn around in form last year was a result of Coquelin and Santi’s chemistry in the
    pivot providing a base for Ozil and Sanchez to operate. And I know Santi hasn’t been effective lately either but he had played every minute but about 10.
    We are now without either Coq or Santi and could be long term.
    Ramsey is near the top of the League, top 3 last I checked, in getting dispossessed. This can’t happen in the middle of the park with frequency.
    Flamini, is Flamini.

    And now also as predicted by many after a run of matches Giroud isn’t very effective.
    So, For me, I’ll be watching to see if Ozil can solve the riddle of trying to bounce a ball off Giroud’s head with about a half a yard target area. That in itself is worth a look. This is Ramsey’s chance to recapture the BtoB role as well and Ox to start playing a part. Will be interested to see what happens Saturday.

  27. Zimbabwean Gunner

    DM
    December 1, 2015 16:57:59
    Lol Zimbabwean good job bro! U got it!
    I’m off work ill today, not been feeling too great and not been online till now. Not an excuse though, it’s yours fair and square brother!
    ——————-
    Get well soon DM. Hope to see you soon on ze Trophy battlefield soon.

  28. gunnergetyou

    Good news on Sanchez. Reportedly his hamstring not as bad as previously feared. He really is superman. I’m half expecting him to be fit for the weekend.

    Apparently Walcott should be back in the squad too.

  29. Hitman

    Whatever happened to the internal whitewash..I mean investigation into the injury epidemic ?
    Was there ever a final outcome Ivan or did it get brushed under the carpet?

    I bet there was no mention of small first team squad, failure to sign sufficient players, size of players, lack of rotation and planning, training method, firmness of training pitches, medical team.

  30. Rhys Jaggar

    ES

    Those stats of AOC and Gibbs: where the figures for 80mins+ are, how many times were they in the squad? How many times available but not selected? How many times injured?

    Gibbs this season has been mostly fit but Monreal has been an ever-present pretty much. I think the past 4 years he’s been OK fitness wise.

    I think with AOC, with respect to both the player and the manager, in hindsight he would have done better developing for another 2-3 years at another club. He is an explosive player and therefore, in the EPL with its intensity, he will be most likely to be injury prone. He’s not like Fabregas was who was a silky, gliding kind of player.

    One discussion to be had is which kinds of players you can integrate into a 1st team squad at 18/19 and which types its better to wait until 22/23. It’s not definitely a position split, it’s also partly a physique-type. For example, you look at Dele Alli playing 35 – 37 games two seasons running for MK Dons as a teenager – he’s quite a big lad, not quite the size of Ross Barkley, but certainly very well built. But he did it in League One with a coach with a hinterland at Liverpool….

    It’s obviously a tight-rope you play as a manager – if you wait too long to sign someone, they will be snapped up elsewhere. But if you buy them too soon, maybe they become a sick note due to over-training, fatigue injuries etc etc.

    It will of course be interesting to watch the lad Watmore at Sunderland – rightly or wrongly described as ‘the next Gareth Bale’. How many games can he take injury-free? Will Allardyce rest him when necessary? At what age would he be ready for Champions League football?

    Interesting also to see how Bilic handles Reece Oxford at West Ham – is he still 16 or now 17? Clearly shone on opening day but hasn’t been seen too much since.

    Also interesting to see if Klopp sorts out the Sturridge sick note situation, not to mention Andy Carroll at West Ham. Both had multiple injuries – will the new regimes get it right finally or are they just as bad as Arsenal??

    At Arsenal currently, I would file things under:

    Serial sicknote-itis: Wilshere, AOC, Walcott, Rosicky (could also be filed under ageing).
    Over-use injuries: Sanchez, Coquelin, Koscielny;
    Aging injuries: Arteta;
    First-time injury: Wellbeck.

    So 7 of the 9 injuries are arguable issues the club should be taking a hard look at and two are just one of those things, I think. But 7/9 as potentially or partially avoidable is too high a percentage, I would say.

    My diagnosis:

    Sanchez: due to lack of rest, squad rotation both in 2014/15 and 2015/16. 100% due to managerial decisions. Also lack of firm-ness when the player wishes to keep playing, train on rest days etc etc.

    ‘We love your intensity, we love your work ethic, we loved it enough to spend £42m buying you and £5m+ a year paying you. But even you need down time and we want you roaring us to win the title from March to May, not burned out exhausted. You loved winning the FA Cup last year, just think how much you’ll love lifting the title this year. So please: trust me when I say you need to rest, then we can all have a fantastic time in May. OK?’ For £8m a year, Wenger should be able to say that and show that he means it. Shouldn’t he?

    Coquelin: yes, maybe one of those things, but he has played like a dog for 12 months. The lack of squad back up in his position meant no rotation was possible. Again a 100% decision of the manager in the summer. 100% responsibility for Wenger, equally not playing Flamini or others in games against lesser opposition. Just because Coquelin didn’t have a £40m price tag on him doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of Arsenal’s top 5 ‘wrap in cotton wool’ key players this year, does it? He should have been pencilled in for certain games and rested for certain games up to Christmas. He wasn’t.

    Wilshere: I think this one is filed down to ‘trying too hard to get back quick’ along possibly with ‘injury prone player’. Too many times he comes back then breaks down again quickly. Says the rehab regimen is wrong for him. Doesn’t matter if it worked on different physiques, on him it is failing. I would consider loaning him out in Portugal, Spain or the like. Less physical league, his skills will be appreciated, he can get fit and play regularly in a less intense league for 12months. If he can’t cope with the rest of this season anyway. A combination of the medical staff and the player combining to give Wenger headaches. But Wenger drove him into the red zone aged 19. We all know that……

    Walcott: current injury due to inadequate warming up due to early injury of AOC. What do you do? Play for 10 minutes with 10 men?? Difficult one. I have to say that the pragmatic approach was Walcott to gradually ease himself into the game over a 15 minute period, thereby minimising the advantage to opponents whilst minimising risk of injury. One of those ones where hindsight is obvious, but clearly a combination of manager and player must think about how they could have done things differently.

    AOC: was he ready to play fitness-wise when asked to start on a cold, wet evening in Yorkshire? If not, Wenger takes 100% responsibility. He must have had detailed reports from his conditioning team and he has been a manager for 10 million minutes after all. Poor selection policy IMHO.

    Rosicky: who knows but the man has been a sick note to rival Darren Anderton. Probably to be filed under ‘any more games we get out of him before season’s end is a bonus’. A great shame, as he was a player I liked to watch.

    Koscielny: played a lot but is it actually anyone’s fault. The most difficult of the 7 to pin on Wenger.

    Who in Arsenal FC is doing this kind of analysis, but instead of me winging it on a blog, them doing it backed up with all the internal club statistics??

    There should be an NED doing that………one day a month evaluating all the player management evaluation data……and reporting not to Wenger but to the Board. I don’t know what percentage of ESK’s equity is valued as being ‘the playing squad’, but he should be most interested in optimising ‘return on playing staff assets’. He isn’t capable of evaluating Wenger’s detailed performance, so he should have an NED who is capable doing it for him.

    If not for him, then for the fans……..

  31. Hitman

    Alexis is made of Sanchezite.
    That looks like a real word as came up automatically in spell checker lol.
    Wonder what it means?

  32. TitsMcGee

    Wenger’s “almost starting XI”:

    Ibra
    Ronaldo
    Yaya
    Coman
    Bale?
    Higuain
    Mata
    Hazard

    Plus a multitude of others that escape me right now.

    Why even mention it other than a desperate attempt to get some form of credit for it. My guess is he’s trying to imply that if it wasn’t for the big bad monster clubs who play unfair with their money and desire to win at all costs he’d have signed all of them.

  33. Mickey G

    Every team suffers injuries. We are not even top of the pile injury wise at the moment. The persistent problem is that we always seem to have a small number of players on which we are totally dependent. As a result they are never rested and eventually break down. Less established squad players only get a look in when this happens and become incumbent by default. Coq for example. Wenger has definitely lost his mojo. He used to be so much more bold. He used to be ruthless in outing the old and ushering in the new. Old guys like Arteta would hardly have been offered a contract once he turned thirty ten years ago. He seems terrified to drop his A-listers now. Why he couldn’t find a few squad players to challenge them is beyond me. It’s baffling.

  34. TitsMcGee

    How much of Sanchez coming back by City is just damage-control by Wenger et al and how much is truth?

    He’s shown before that he’s spineless with regards to criticism.

    I’d say City is best case scenario.

  35. Mickey G

    I think the difference is David Dein would have challenged him back in the Highbury days. He used to tell Wenger to identify the players and he’d worry about the rest. You could almost imagine him signing players without Wenger input if Wenger refused to identify anyone.

  36. TitsMcGee

    Rhys.

    Arsenal has led the EPL for going on 10 years with injuries. You gonna conveniently explain away 10 years worth as well?

    Ask yourself what is the common factor. Players change. Staff change. Results stay the same.

    Unless of course you are gonna talk about 10 year coincidences?

  37. Hitman

    You’ve got to credit Wenger’s policy of rotation by injury.
    Sanchez now gets well deserved 3 week rest.
    Genius.

  38. Dusty Kart

    It’s a shame Hill wood isn’t still around he could have said I almost signed Sir Alex Ferguson boom boom!!

  39. babatunde

    but it doesn’t matter who we did or didn’t buy, if we’re carrying 6-10 injured players between now and the end of the season we aren’t winning shit.

    Wallace, erm, has it occured to you that partly why we are always carrying 6-10 injured players is because we didnt buy enough quality to rotate properly. Or ,lemme guess, you think our ten year injury tale of woe is a coincidence

  40. MidwestGun

    Not to mention, for like the millionth time. JW, Rosicky,Welbeck were known injuries BEFORE the window closed. So effectively we started the season 3 short. I like to add Arteta in there as well , a given he would have dead legs. So make that 4.

    There is no justification for not buying last summer, none.

  41. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Even without that, I just think from a psychological standpoint as well, you need to buy, need to refresh. Fergie was a master of that as well.

    Barcelona, near perfection, still bought.

    I really cannot for the life of me understand people trying to back Arsene Wenger on that count, not only footballistically is it stupid, financially it is as well.

    He is just terrified of spending, terrified and lazy. Unless it all falls into place for him, he won’t do it. Any chase, any competition, any difficult negotiations, any arguing over price, anything that conflicts with his view on what the transfer should be…forget it.

  42. David Smith

    Maybe we need to cut Wenger some slack.
    He spent a decade, forsaking better offers from bigger teams, suffered losing players, damaged his reputation, all to play his part in building a new stadium in North London.
    Now, this most loyal of employees is about to willingly do the same for a new stadium in LA

  43. MidwestGun

    Cesc-
    True. .. just makes me cringe when people were saying we started the season with a strong 22. You can’t count long term injured and Arteta and that’s not even getting into the quality of some of the others.
    Not the greatest at maths but I counted 20 that includes Flamini, Campbell, Chambers.
    I even included Giroud. Lol.

  44. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t know here guys, but what do people think of Deulofeu?

    He’s impressed me when I’ve seen him this season…

  45. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    I honestly believe, and I’m not saying this to cause a fight, these people that say those things are being disingenuous.

    To say the opposite is to critique Wenger, and they just won’t do it.

  46. Cesc Appeal

    Yeah for £4 Million, great bit of business, whether they keep him or a bigger club comes in for him, Everton have done well there

  47. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Even taking emotions out of it, the 2 players we were short were in central midfield if you count Ramsey as a RM and Theo as a CF. No backup for Santi or Ozil.

    If you count Ramsey as their backup then we were short a RM and a CM.
    and that’s me counting Flamini as Coquelin’s backup.

    So essentially we started the season 2 players short, imo not even taking into account the quality of those players in the squad or starting.

    Pretty sure Wenger is counting on Welbeck and JW to fill those spots. So we will see what happens in January. Not real optimistic about reinforcements tho in the form of a transfer. So if you think we were good last summer you are basically agreeing starting short was a good idea.

    At least that’s how I look at it.

  48. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Yeah exactly.

    Plus, everyone talking about players returning, you’ve only got to look at those stats ES posted earlier on Wilshere, yeah he will return, then he will return again, and again, and again.

    We need to get some reliability into this squad, some consistency. Of course you’re going to get injuries, and having some injury prone players is fine if their quality makes it worth it, but not one third of your squad! And arguably, none of our injury prone players are actually worth their wages and worth sticking by, probably take Ramsey out of that though.

  49. David Smith

    Pay no attention to players comeback from injury dates, these dates will be massaged to give Wenger an excuse not to buy in Jan

  50. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Reminds me of that really bad Mad Max movie…. ThunderDome .. with Tina Turner. ….. she kept saying. …. 2 men enter, 1 man leave.

    Only with us it’s 1 man enter, 2 man leave.

  51. MidwestGun

    On a completely different note…. does it mean you are starting to lose your mind when you are putting away groceries and accidently put your cell phone in the refrigerator and not realize it?

    Hahaha.

  52. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Ha.

    Not if you were on the phone to someone and you placed it in there and said something like ‘cool off’ all James Bond like…then you’re a bad ass, or arse if we’re speaking the Queen’s.

  53. Wallace

    babatunde

    “Wallace, erm, has it occured to you that partly why we are always carrying 6-10 injured players is because we didnt buy enough quality to rotate properly.”

    yes, all those other big sides with their pool of 18 top quality players that they rotate on a weekly basis. Europe’s full of them, isn’t it?

    it’s like at Barcelona, if only Enrique would give that Neymar-Messi-Suarez attack a go, I’m sure they’d be brilliant together, but no, he’s always resting one of them.

  54. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    No. …
    It was more dumb arse….. then bad arse…. as you say. Was trying to figure out how my refrigerator got a ring tone. Lol.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Diaby will hold the record for most games missed for some time. Might be unbreakable record, the first thing unbreakable associated with him.

  55. Cesc Appeal

    I think the point is, we have a ridiculous amount of players who are prone to injuries, rotation has little to do with.

    Wenger built his house on sand.

    You can’t have one third of your squad be sick note. You just can’t.

    The injuries are his look out, completely, it happens every year.

    We need a big, big summer, lots of chopping, changing and replacing, Wenger isn’t the guy to do it.

  56. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Very good.

    I thought at one point the weird bond he has with Wenger might have even unbreakable, but finally, painfully, even that broke.

    Diaby is evidence though of how long Wenger will stick by a crock, idealise their value and deluded himself over their ability to get fit…quite worrying given the current consensus out there that our squad is chock full of crocks.

  57. MidwestGun

    Rspc –
    Ummm no ,probably no Nba today. Taking a week off. Did a lot of midweek betting last week on holiday.

    Don’t know what happened to good ol’ Tom.. think he lived in Cali. … maybe he ran out of water, had to move.

  58. Bamford10

    Arseblog reporting that Cazorla suffered ligament damage in his knee in the Norwich game. Could be bruising, could be a tear. Could be weeks, could be months. To be determined.

  59. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Mid

    Millwall an Southend fucked two 6 team btts at the weekend…
    An Arsenal turned me over on a win bet 8/13
    Bummer

    Tom was a constant repeater poster !

    Maybe pedro sin binned him ?

  60. Bamford10

    To reiterate what I said earlier, four factors that likely contribute to our injury woes, IMO, are:

    1. poor/outdated conditioning regimen
    2. rushing players back after injury, causing re-injury
    3. playing vulnerable players when they should be rested (Ramsey, Alexis)
    4. signing/keeping less athletic, injury-prone players

    #2 and #3 are driven by a lack of squad depth/quality; all four are driven by Wenger.

    Please add other factors to this short-list if you have thoughts on this.

  61. babatunde

    yes, all those other big sides with their pool of 18 top quality players that they rotate on a weekly basis. Europe’s full of them, isn’t it?it’s like at Barcelona, if only Enrique would give that Neymar-Messi-Suarez attack a go, I’m sure they’d be brilliant together, but no, he’s always resting one of them.

    Well, yeah, He does rotate them. For cup matches, bringing them off at 73th minute etc. Then they are quality players and have being playing at a high level for many years which cannot be said of much of arsenals players. nice try though. You think our injury record is coincidence.?

  62. TitsMcGee

    Caller on Sky today was ready to fire the entire medical staff.

    Amazing what people say/pretend to think with regards to making excuses for Wenger.

    The stadium.
    The medical staff.
    Big bad wolves.
    Blue sky.
    Oil trade.
    Kicks to our players’ hamstrings.

    Just absolutely refuse to even acknowledge the “possibility ” that the common factor is Wenger.

    Referencing Barcelona and players like Suarez Messi Neymar and using the desire to form cohesion as a reason why we run players into the ground is so way out there silly, like debating with children.

    Forget the fact that Barca don’t have the injuries like us and it’s apples and oranges.

  63. babatunde

    Perhaps wenger should stop spending money on duds and injury prone has beens and over-beasted youngsters. and buy 18 top quality players instead. Then see whether our record improves or not. You may not have noticed it, but the best players seem to have good injury records, whether through extra conditioning or quality or whatever. If Suarez was carrying a hamstring strain going into the El classcio, do you think he would have been played. For all the talk of the 18 man squad, they still seem to be able to rotate when needed. So yeah, Sanchez injury, definitrely wengers fault

  64. babatunde

    Its simple. Mr Wenger has admitted to playing players in the red zone. For whatever reasons,( I have my own theories about that0, barcelona players are in the red zone less than ours. The question then isnt what barcelona do , but what we can do- knowing that. It seems rather simple. sell off the more injury prone ones and the ageing ones, and acquire replacements.

    Btw, Barcelona are giants not because they are cohesive but because they are world class. You cannot really cohese your way to the title with the unbalanced, inadequate team the man has assembled

  65. David Smith

    Or even a Voyeur RSPC.
    Rabiot on loan with option to sign permanently seems to be the rumour. Young, talented, promising, in a needed position, French, won’t cost too much., potential resale value, of reports are true, just a couple issues, a stubborn manager who hates buying, and Spurs are reportedly after him, we know Wenger won’t face competition in signings

  66. MidwestGun

    Santi’s injury wasn’t Wenger’s fault but leaving him on the entire second half was. Now it could be a ligament tear.
    He was injured in the first couple of minutes of second half, we had only made one sub at that point. He was noticeably struggling. Shades of when the same thing happened to Ozil a few seasons back.
    Guess Ramsey will be back to Cm. If he reinjures hammy, who freakin knows what the plan is. Pretty much out of CM’s with a pulse if that happens. Last time Ox played there I remember bad things happening if memory serves.

    For a so called player’s manager, you would think player health would be first priority but evidence doesn’t point to it.

  67. Wallace

    babatunde

    just to clarify. i’m not absolving Wenger of blame for Alexis. he should have been rested. the fact Wenger didn’t think he could afford to rest him is entirely his fault. the Chile coach – Sampaoli – admitted playing him through injury the set of games prior to the last int’l break.

  68. Emiratesstroller

    Midwest gun

    Personally I think that the injuries to both Sanchez and Cazorla were most definitely Wenger’s fault.

    There were already clear signals that Cazorla was struggling in recent games
    and everyone including Wenger has known for some time that Sanchez was not 100% fit.

    When you have two midfielders out before season starts with longterm injuries and others like Arteta, Ox and Ramsey who are also picking up quite
    regularly injuries the one thing that you don’t do is sit on your hand and do
    not buy anyone.

    If one is being perfectly frank we started season with just 3 reliable midfielders in Ozil,Cazorla and Coquelin. Only one of the 9 registered midfielders in
    our squad has not been injured sofar this season and that is Ozil.

  69. pliget

    Cescappeal I agree. We maybe need a few big windows of getting in not just luxury players but players who have character, who will put steel into the side when 0-1 down on a wet wednesday in Norwich (or on a sunny day anywhere), who have a bit of “bite” to them, and have size and strength and character enough to challenge Wenger and anyone who says 4th place is ok, that mediocrity is ok.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    Pliget

    Unfortunately I think we’re in place now where there are such deficiencies in the side they will need to be gently cured over several windows.

    Again, Wenger isn’t the man to do it.

    So you can maybe look to one star buy, for example at ST in the summer, or ‘big money buy’ rather, then a culling of the sick notes, so we’re losing Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky this summer, two of which are sick notes, add a couple of reliable, decent buys, not players that set the world alight or that we all covet, but players who are going to be available for the vast majority of the season.

    In the long run, players like Wilshere and Oxlade have massive question marks over their heads, they are both living on potential (Oxlade obviously is younger and less injury prone…that isn’t hard though) but you can have the potential of Messi, if you’ve missed 129 EPL games through injury you’re next to useless.

    If the slightest naughty tackle sends you out for for 4 months then your body just isn’t built for this level of football, that’s not even considering Wilshere weak joints and muscle injuries.

    Big, big questions. I said in the summer I would have been ruthless, both Wilshere and Walcott would have been sold, Rosicky and Arteta would have been let go and I’d have brought in quality, wanted Schniederlin and Aubameyang particularly.

    We just don’t though, far easier for Wenger to sit on his arse and just slide slap bang into the same mistakes he does every year.

    Time for a fresh start I think, start with the manager.

  71. pliget

    re injuries, maybe our medical team are rubbish. I don’t know. All I do know is that they have been in place for a long time and we have had above (above? – top of the league…) average injuries for, it seems, many years. How long before this changes? Either listen to them or sack them or get Arsenal a 10 pts a season handicap from Richard Scudamoney because “the gods are against us (/we are incompetent)”. Is that not what we pay Arsene Wenger 8 MILLION (christ, million!!!) pounds p.a. to do?

  72. Cesc Appeal

    If you’ve got a set of great mechanics, but you put a shit engine in the car, it isn’t their fault if they can’t keep it running.

  73. pliget

    Sorry for the last post – maybe a little alcohol-fuelled.

    Cesc Appeal I agree again. I feel for AW a little bit. I am sure he is trying his best and wants to do the triple very season. But the seemingly obvious causes (Cech rested in CL, Sanchez played every game, squad players seemingly never shown any confidence because they are never played unless there is really no other option) for our disappointing results seem so obvious. Even to me! And I have not made any transfers.

    Again, I think we need someone to stand up to Wenger and call him on his dithering and avoidance of taking confrontational decisions. Ivan “appointed by AW and loving my £2m every year” and Chips “I know and care nothing beyond my chairman’s fee” Keswick are too pusillanimous to do so, and Kroenke cares nothing beyond his bank balance (and is just wanting the bank balance to rise so his bid for 100% will cost him less).

    Phew. It became another rant again :). I need to sleep now.

  74. TitsMcGee

    I am sure he is trying his best and wants to do the triple very season”

    You really think so?

    I don’t see it. You don’t go out and spend net £7 million after a 3rd place finish the season before and leave the squad short annually if you have a burning desire to win the treble every season.

    Just doesn’t add up.

    I think his goal is top 4. All of his irrational behavior makes sense if you look at it with top 4 as his goal.

    Either that or he’s completely delusional or he’s sticking it to world football by deliberately trying to win as cheaply as he can in some sort of ego trip.

  75. Bamford10

    City beats Hull 4-1 at a trot, with stand out performances from David Silva and Fabian Delph. Second consecutive game that ESPNFC writers have lauded Delph’s performance and given him an 8/10.

    Two things: one, Silva’s return is bad news for those who imagined we had a chance of staying close to City; two, it looks like even a Fabian Delph — who cost City £8million — might’ve given our midfield more depth and solidity.

    Wenger can really go fuck himself. Leaving some £150m in the bank, adding only Cech to a squad that needed several additions, making Arteta — a past-it, crock — captain, playing Sanchez and Ramsey when he knew they should rest, etc. etc.

    Cannot wait till this fraud fucks off. Sadly, it’s going to take disaster and failure to get rid of him. And said disaster and failure is going to need to be obvious, as apparently his idiocy and incompetence over the past ten years haven’t been obvious enough.

  76. Bamford10

    And Wenger is NOT trying to win the triple. Not even close. He knows very well that this squad cannot win the title much less the triple. What he is interested in is running the club in accordance with his “principles”: frugality, free play, loyalty (largely to crocks and mediocrities), a “socialist” wage scale.

    As long as he can thumb his nose at the world and show that he rejects its ways and means, he is happy. As long as he can do this and remain “in the mix,” “in the conversation,” he believes he has been successful.

    He does not care all that much about the title, nor does he care all that much about competing with the best in Europe. If he did, he wouldn’t leave £150m in the bank while relying upon crocks and mediocrities.

    Please fuck off Wenger. You’re a fraud, and we all know it.

  77. Bamford10

    McGee

    “he’s sticking it to world football by deliberately trying to win as cheaply as he can in some sort of ego trip”

    This is more or less precisely what he’s doing.

  78. Mick Kartun

    Will Arsenal’s board ever sack Wenger? They should but they won’t.
    Arsenal are heading in only one direction and that’s backwards. When you are managing one of the top 10 richest clubs in the world and have two of the most expensive players in the league then 4th doesn’t seem to be right. How long will we have to wait for Wenger to decide to leave for himself? Because there is not a single person on our board that will stand up like a man, and show some balls to kick this old senile le fraud out of the door. AKB muppets every year always said let’s judge him after the season over and repeat it those words over 10 years with same excuse. Why would the board sack wenger? When he helps them save millions, and make millions. Believe he will be around for a while because to them he is a cash cow manager. I don’t think wengers problem is just only his old depleted tactical knowledge but also most of all are his stupidity, stubbornness and naive arsed brain and he won’t change his ways even if ISIS terrorist put his gun to his head. He has no visible passion and appears incapable of motivating players to give their all from the first whistle and worse of all that I am getting bored by wenger too many years, same thing same shit same movie every year. Remember Brian Clough, a brilliant manager who won to European cups and league titles at Nottingham Forest and made in to a movie. Well that couldn’t bring themselves to sack him either and he got them relegated and then retired and Forest have been in the championship ever since. The moral of this story is it doesn’t matter if you were great 10 years ago if you are clearly past it now you should go before you make things worse, and if you won’t jump willingly you should be pushed. AKB muppets tell angry gooners who doesn’t like it the way is ran to go somewhere else and support another team, just that simple. They act like those dicktators saying who ever don’t like my way of running the government leave the country or be killed. Shame on you, go to hell with your Guru the loser. We can’t stop supporting Arsenal just because of bad results and because of a manager that has lost everything that once made him great is c*nt loser right now. It’s Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC. They forget AFC is for customers as the fans and they get money from the fans. They should be accountable and responsible to the fans. Ohhhh……to be a gooner.

  79. Joe

    The worst part of it is, we missed out on Klopp, who would I would of killed for to have at Arsenal. He would of made it fun to love and watch Arsenal again.

  80. Joe

    Liverpool is a real threat for the top 4. Not that I care. We have no chance under Wenger to win it anyway. What’s the point?

    To be embarrassed by the big clubs like Zagreb and olympiakos?

  81. Shaun Wilson

    Wenger will never leave Arsenal unless he becomes infirm or dies. Where does this leave the true supporters who love Arsenal and who are appreciative of his past efforts but really do want the Emporer to put on his fucked up zipper jacket and just retire? I personally can’t stop supporting the club, but I’m increasingly losing interest in the idea of ever competing for anything other than second rate trophies again.

  82. Wallace

    it’s going to be a fascinating team that we put out atthe weekend. I’d probably go:

    Cech
    Bellerin – Mert – Gabriel – Monreal
    Chambers – Ramsey
    Campbell – Ozil – Ox
    Giroud

    it would make up in energy what it lacks in guile. I’d be tempted to give Bellerin a break if we weren’t so new everywhere else, but Sunderland at home, even with 10 out, is as good a time as any to give Koscielny a breather. likewise it should be a good time to try Chambers/Ramsey. we know what Flamini can do, the weekend would be a good time to see if Chambers has the potential to offer more in that position. the Ox gives us a bit more pace up top, but really hoping theo makes the bench as I’m sure it’ll impact positively on Giroud’s performance. it’s a big game, anything less than 3pts after the last two games would be pretty disastrous.

  83. Wenker-wanger

    All profits to be directed to stans precious new LA stadium? Makes sense. Which leads to the conclusion that Wenger knows this and is therefore doing his bit with not bolstering the squad. Far from excusing Wenger with the lack of transfers being out of his control financially, it means that Wenger has no real passion or ambition for the footballing side of our club. In short, if this is the case then Wenger is a spineless feeble yes-man, happy to take his £££££ and keep quiet and get the limited AKB plaudits for getting 4th place. The club seems to be running to stand still, that position at maximum ££££ efficiency with limited spend for attaining 4th place. The £150m should be forgotten by the fans, its purpose seems likely to be outside of arsenals use and with a manager happy to meekly allow it to happen. Whichever way you look at it, £150m in the bank is not legitimate when you have a team forced by injuries to be fielding arteta and flamini.

  84. Cesc Appeal

    Chambers at CDM?

    Yeah, not sure about that at all, slow, sluggish and has a turning radius like Mert.

    Granted he only came on for 10 minutes against Zagreb there, but he looked poor and uncomfortable.

    Obviously it may be that he needs to grow into the role..but really, we’re here again? Round pegs, square holes, developmental stage…ffs.

    Round and around and around and around.

  85. Cesc Appeal

    Mirror poll showing three quarters of Arsenal fans blame Wenger for the injury crisis, like to know what the other quarter think though!

    General consensus out there is that we need a big, big January. The title is there to be taken by anyone, right now you could make a case for City, United or Arsenal…City likely the strongest.

    I mean, you could even throw Liverpool and Spurs in there, whilst they’ve improved as sides it’s not so much a compliment to them as it is a statement on the league right now.

    I think in a lot of peoples eyes if Wenger dithers and sits around all January that will be another chunk of support from the fan base he loses, all slowly being eroded.

  86. Louis Almeida

    I agree that Chambers and Mertesacker in the same team is not good. Lack of pace. That said, how good are Sunderland in transition. Could we get away with it?

    That side has quite a bit of energy but lacks guile and ball retention. If Cattermole kills Ozil then we’re pretty much finished.

  87. Wallace

    Louis

    “If Cattermole kills Ozil then we’re pretty much finished.”

    true, but that’s a pretty big ‘if’. especially at home.

    people talk about how easily we can get overrun with Cazorla at CM. well, we should be a lot more physically robust for the next few weeks, but let’s see how we knit together as an attacking force without the little Spaniard to orchestrate things.

  88. Louis Almeida

    Wallace, I hope not but Cazorla and Alexis are now gone. That means teams will place extra emphasis on Ozil, especially as he already has 3 goals and 11 assists thus far. He’s our outright danger man so I could see Allardyce telling Cattermole to follow Ozil everywhere.

    I agree that we’ll likely be more robust but our attacking game will suffer. People wanted pace and power, they’ll have it now but I think the chemistry will drop a lot.

  89. Wallace

    I genuinely think Chambers has a lot to offer. CB is probably his best position, but the hole is at CDM. he’s a well built lad, and, at least when he first broke into the side, was very aggressive. if he can recapture that form I think he could do an excellent job. lack of pace won’t be such an issue in the middle, but then i don’t think he’s as slow as people think. anyone but a speedster is going to look cumbersome out wide.

  90. Wallace

    Louis

    “I agree that we’ll likely be more robust but our attacking game will suffer. People wanted pace and power, they’ll have it now but I think the chemistry will drop a lot.”

    I agree. I don’t think the next few games are going to be very easy on the eye at all, but Sunderland & Villa is as easy a run as we’ll get. we have to take advantage of that and hope the new team gels quickly. I think the priority’s got to be a solid defence, and then hope Ozil supplies the magic.

  91. Louis Almeida

    Wallace, here is more on Ruben Neves. Porto have no plans to sell him. AT the age of 18 he is already a key figure for the side and the president never wants him to leave: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/chelsea-arsenal-target-ruben-neves-6938452

    Money talks and he will leave at some point but no time soon. When he does leave everyone will break the bank for him as he’s a sensational player.

    I’m not convinced on Chambers but I wasn’t sure of Coquelin so hopefully he’ll do a good job if chosen to play DM.

  92. Cesc Appeal

    See I think Chambers need to put some timber on, needs to start getting on his gains.

    CB is definitely the position I think that is meant for him. The worry is, Chambers and Ramsey, one is a very tentative player, the other can be excellent, but can be wasteful with possession, we could concede the middle of the park very easily, particular as we have Oxlade wide who is wasteful with the ball and Campbell who is average, if Giroud plays like he has the last month we’ve got nothing up top either.

    I don’t know. We’re due a ‘reaction’ game, but Mert CB, Chambers CDM, Oxlade and Campbell wide with ‘can’t be bothered’ Giroud up top…not confident about that.

  93. Dream10

    Best XI we can put out at the moment

    Cech
    Bellerin Mertesacker Gabriel Monreal
    Flamini Ramsey
    The Ox Ozil Gibbs
    Giroud

  94. Wallace

    Louis

    I think Neves is exactly the kind of player Wenger is looking for for the midfield. but Portuguese clubs are excellent at getting a whopping price for their best players. think Tielemans is more likely, although I don’t think he’s as good a match for what we need.

  95. Louis Almeida

    Dream/Wallace, I would rather Neves. I think he’s the best young player in Portugal. Carvalho is very good too. Either would do but the former has a slightly higher ceiling IMO and this is when you remember that he is still only 18 and has already captained Porto.

    Even as a Benfica guy I can appreciate his ability. I’m sure Wenger is watching him but then I’m sure all the top managers in football are watching him. I think he’ll stay for a few more years, maybe until 20/21 then make a big move. If we want him we’ll have to pay through the roof and that’s without getting into the problem of Mendes. It’s worth it though, fantastic player. His teammate Tello said the other day that he’s near Busquets’ level. That is a huge exaggeration of course but it shows how highly he is rated. He’s also more aggressive than Busquets. Decent height at 5ft11 too.

  96. Dream10

    Wallace/LouisAlmeida

    Agreed. Neves can play #6 and #8. Tielemans is more of a #8. I would sign them both.
    Would rather we rebuild properly once and for all.
    We have Arteta,Rosicky,Flamini and Cazorla who are above 30. We also have Wilshere who is injury prone and wants to play as a CM even though AW does not trust him in that position. Coquelin and Ramsey are our only decent CM options in their athletic prime.

  97. WengerEagle

    ‘but Portuguese clubs are excellent at getting a whopping price for their best players.’

    Is this not down to the 3rd party owners getting a huge chunk of the transfer fees?

    For instance, I think that Porto only saw £20 million ish of the £50+ million fee for Falcao.

  98. Micheal

    Would anyone seriously be surprised if we don’t sign a soul in January ?

    The same factors which prevented us buying a single outfield player in the summer are in still very much in force as January beckons. There are major reasons AFC did not spend money in the summer and none of knows exactly what they are. The underlying issues – too small a squad, too many injury-prone players and lack of cover in vital positions – remain the same as they did in the summer and are made worse by our current crop of hospital cases.

    But has AFC’s policy changed ? I seriously doubt it.

    Stand by for more disappointment and frustration.

  99. Bamford10

    Dream

    Wenger doesn’t trust Wilshere as a CM? How do you figure? The position he doesn’t like him at is CDM.

    And Coquelin and Ramsey are our only “decent CM” options? Coquelin isn’t a CM, and Ramsey is injury-prone, though I agree he isn’t a bad athlete. He’s actually not as strong or as athletic as some imagine, though.

    It’s not a popular opinion here, but injury issues aside, I personally rate Jack over Ramsey as a CM. Neither has looked good enough in some time, but Jack at his best is a better CM, for me, than Ramsey.

    I too like the idea of signing younger promising options though (of course).

  100. Dream10

    Bamford

    AW said a couple of times last year that he sees Jack as an offensive player,
    “a provoker” , someone who can create with technique in the final third.
    Wilshere has a better touch and dribbling than the Welshman. However, I believe Ramsey is better than him at all other aspects.
    For me, one of Jack’s major issues is lack of situational awareness. He wants to indulge himself with his skill in the heart midfield without regard for his partner. The main reason whythe Cazorla-Coquelin partnership works is Santi lets his passing do the work rather than the dribbling (his lack of dribbling speed makes him stay back).

    When AW switched to a 4-1-4-1 last season to play Jack in the centre and Mesut on the left, our results were disastrous. We were averaging around a point a match. He scored a tremendous goal against City at home, but his positioning over a couple of a couple of months left a lot to be desired.

    Jack’s best performance for us was Marseille (H) in the 13/14. He played on the right that night and was sensational. Scored two goals. Less defensive responsibility on him helps him play better and improves our results.

  101. Louis Almeida

    So just did a bit of research; Phil Neville is the assistant manager at Valencia, owned by Peter Lim, who is s business partner at Salford City. Gary is now the manager. It’s all very friendship oriented and clicky. Ironically, if that happened in England I’m sure Neville would be the first to criticise.