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. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    Strange that Phil didn’t get the job. Thought they said he would be the interim manager,

    Does Gary have his badges?
    Think the Valencia owner, Peter Lim has a stake in Salford City.

  2. WengerEagle


    Yeah remember reading about Phil Neville’s friendly relationship with the owner, agree that it’s a bit clicky and isn’t exactly how a football club should be run IMO.


    As knowledgeable as Gary seems to be, it seems a massive leap to go from punditry and helping out with Woy for England to landing the Valencia managerial position.

    They are a massive club and tbh it’s too soon for Gary I think. He hasn’t proven that he has coaching credentials.

    It’s also beyond me why they stepped over Phil in terms of their appointment as he’s been in Spain since the summer and will have already built up a rapport with the team.

    Maybe he’s the one that they originally really wanted but he wasn’t prepared to throw in the Sky gig for an assistant position?

  3. Cesc Appeal

    Actually gutted about that, Neville was probably the best pundit on Sky, hit so many nails on the head and was incredibly insightful.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    £22 Million for Neves? Seems very cheap for a Porto player who is also 18 and captain.

    Looks a great buy though, that all round midfield player we need, seeing as Ramsey and Coq will fast become our only options there, with Cazorla getting on in years, would be a very smart buy…cannot see £22 Million though.

    Considering we spent essentially FA in the summer though, could make a big purchase in January, the league is there for anyone. Not sure the fan base will forgive Wenger if he blows this.

  5. Dream10

    Wenger Eagle

    I think Gary will find it difficult at Valencia. They’ve had seven managers in five years. They need managerial stability. Perhaps the Valencia owner is using this as a PR stunt as he has a relationship with the Nevilles and the rest of the Class of ’92.

    Gary is in a no lose situation and he knows this. He used the England assistant’s job as a side relationship to his main commitment, MNF. He gets to try out at a UCL club. If he fails, he can run back to Sky and ask for more money as their is fear BT gain market share He’ll be a fixture in media making millions just like Andy Gray. He might not flourish as a manager, but he knows how to play his options.

  6. El Tel 1

    Problems for Arsenal

    We seem to be the Team EVERYONE wants to beat. The word get in their faces? Does this only apply to The Arsenal?

    If we don’t win a game it becomes a disaster. Does this only apply to The Arsenal. Chavski have had a disaster out start to the season yet people still think they will be there at the end.

    FACT. Arsenal get poor decisions more than any other team. If we had been given all the decisions that have not gone our way we would be top.

    If all our players were fit there would be no places in the squad for all those new players to sit on their arses. Agreed that the back up players should be better quality but apart from striker and DM everyone thought we had a good squad at the start of the season.

    Reading comments on here is laughable at times. Delafeu has a good game and he is the player we should sign. Neves ( Never heard of Him ) comes into the news and all of a sudden the experts ( Computer Game Warriors). Know everything about Him and how he is the next best superstar.

    We all love a bit of fantasy but if any one of you were a Manager of a football Club for real you wouldn’t have a scooby.

    I have read here today that Wenger doesn’t want to win trophies. Of all the things Wenger is at fault for this is NOT one of them. Wengers problem is He is too tense, He trusts nobody and the way things are said and written about Him I don’t blame Him for this. He needs to relax and enjoy the game a bit more as He is more desperate than uncaring in my opinion.

    To explain. We all know that The Arsenal board love the money more than football itself. If Wenger can’t win a trophy the only way to keep His job is to give them what THEY want.

    Another Note. Wenger rests Cech for Ospina, we lose. Wenger gets caned. Wenger then plays tired players instead of resting them. We don’t win, they get injured, Wenger gets caned.

    I sound like a Wenger apologist but I am far from this. I just want to read balanced comments not childish rants slagging off everything Arsenal.

    I have wished many times since 2006 for Wenger to be sacked. He makes too many mistakes because He is tense. He takes no risks like He used to in the early years. The joy is being sucked out of the game by the average Joe (English thug players) who still Lord it up in the EPL.

    I read that the tactic would be for Cattermole to destroy Ozil this weekend. Is that right? Is that fair sport? For one, Cattermole would not be able to roam around the pitch as Ozil does ( He will drag Cattermole Into places He won’t want to be) and they will multi task their attack of our sublime midfielder. They will be rigid and ruthless with their tactics and they will use the long ball or free kicks to hurt us.

    Anyway, back to Wenger. He makes too many mistakes. Mistakes that are mysterious as a Manager of His high standing should not be making.

    Winning the Title unbeaten was the worst thing to happen to Him and The Arsenal. We were always the Team to beat going back to the 30’s, especially as we are Londons elite. The Notherners detest anything London. If you don’t believe this then speak to them. This is no conspiracy, it is fact. They hate London and our people. They think they are harder and call us Southern softies. They think we are flash because we have jobs and money. They have a massive chip on their shoulders because they think we look down on them.

    Football, is more than just a game. It is a culture in England. Foreign Managers come here yet the football doesn’t change. Kick bollock and bite is still the order of the day. Until this changes football in England will always be left behind.

    We have the most exciting League in the World but the quality is still lacking.

    I hope this is a balanced post yet expect to be smashed as it is on this site that I love which is the wrong place to write it.

    Wenger out. 100%

    But not because He is a useless idiot. It is because we need change. The reason Klopp is loved is because he is enjoying what he does. He doesn’t show the strain. He makes mistakes as every Manager does but his enthusiasm wins the fans over. Wenger was labeled a Proffesor and probably believes the hype. How many Proffesors come across as enthusiastic?

    Come on you Gunners.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    People don’t get up to beat Arsenal more than any other team, it’s because they know how to beat us, if you played a Wenger team in 2005, you can use the same tactics 10 years later. Fergie expressly mentioned that in his book.

    Referee decisions? Next.

    Injuries, well it sort of is his fault, if you weren’t being selective on what you were reading you would have seen the great stats ES put up yesterday about players like Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey, the fact that the former two in particular average an appalling amount of game time for us, yet them, along with Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Welbeck and Oxlade account for about a third of our squad.

    You are limiting yourself before you kick a ball.

    Consider we’ve dominated the injury rankings for the majority of the last 10 years.

    Wenger deserves every inch of the flack he’s getting currently, if I can see this, and other fans can see this (three quarters as of a Mirror poll blaming him), I could see this coming in July, whey can’t he?

    You can muddy the issue all you want, it’s as simple as that, Wenger gets the basics of football management wrong, consistently.

    It’s not hating to do with everyone hating Arsenal, or luck or reffs or anything else, we do it to ourselves.

  8. WengerEagle


    Tbh I was surprised that they even sacked Nuno, they were really impressive last season, easy on the eye and efficient, gave Atletico a run for their money for 3rd place (finished 1 point off them). Some memorable matches thrown in their like the 2-1 win over Real Madrid and the 3-1 win over Atletico. Picked up 4 points out of 6 vs Real and Atletico and 6 points out of 6 vs Sevilla.

    They finished in 8th the season before that so what Nuno achieved last season was pretty remarkable in my book. Had them playing with an attractive brand of footy too, the likes of Feghouli, Parejo, Alcacer, Gaya, Mustafi, etc were all very good to watch.

    Even this season as slow a start as it’s been, they are still only 10 points off of 2nd spot and 5 points off the UCL places. They destroyed an excellent Celta Vigo side in their backyard 5-1 not even a month ago.

    Their struggle in the UCL is the main reason I reckon because to be fair, they are in a shit group and might not get out of it now.

    True RE Gary btw, he always has Sky to fall back on who will practically beg for him back if it goes tits up.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    We can’t keep perpetuating this siege mentality, everyone band together, it’s everyone and everything versus Arsenal…no, the problem is internal.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Sanchez going back to Chile apparently, fingers crossed he gets some rest and comes back fit for the Christmas fixtures.

  11. vicky

    Will be interesting to see whether Gary, a good pundit, transforms himself in to a good manager. I am bit amazed that a club of the standing of Valencia are taking such a big chance with him. He for all his punditry is a rookie in the field of management and can’t speak a world of Spanish either. By the way poor Phil is doomed to again live in his brother’s shadow. An intriguing decision.

  12. Redtruth

    It’s a myth to say Wenger has lost his way.

    Wenger’s tactical ineptitude has resulted in just one Champions league Final in 18 attempts.

    Schoolboy defending from Vivas and Keown cost us league titles in 1999 and 2003.

    Mental strength and spirit has been Wenger’s mantra since he arrived at the club.

    Selling our best players is nothing new (Anelka, Petit, Overmars)

    Wenger has been shopping for players at lidl throughout his tenure just ask Vieira.

  13. Paulinho

    “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.”

    We still don’t have pace and power though, and our chemistry even with Cazorla is questionable against any team with any sort of energy or organisation.

    We look, on paper,more conventionally solid but we probably won’t be because Chambers will be awful as CM and Flamini, is well, Flamini.

  14. DUIFG

    If caz is out for a sustained period of time that pretty much an end to any passing fluency for the season.

    clocked over a thousand passes already

  15. MidwestGun

    We all love a bit of fantasy but if any one of you were a Manager of a football Club for real you wouldn’t have a scooby.
    Huh? Who on here said they wanted to manage a football club? Questioning the manager is not the same as wanting to be one.
    For example, When I go to a restaurant and the food is bad and I criticize it, it doesn’t mean I think I can be a professional chef. It means the food is shit, and they might need a new chef or the one there needs to do better especially when he has a big reputation and has been there for 20 years.

    El Tel…. man you say you want to read balanced criticism not rants and that comments were laughable but ironically that’s exactly what I thought when I read that comment. Bit of a laughable rant. No offence.

    You were so all over the place I wouldn’t know where to start really, so in the end you think Wenger needs to go so who cares how others reach the same conclusion? Not sure what your point is to be honest. That your a more balanced fan? …… ok then. Good job.
    Seems to me your comment was like a scatter bomb trying to hit multiple targets and missing them all.

  16. gonsterous

    No mid week games ?? I’m sad.. I can’t watch the arsenal.. they have been shooting themselves in the leg lately though !!

  17. Thank you and goodnight


    El tel always claims he wants wenger out yet 99% of the time he posts sticking up for him. I think I’ve only ever read one post of his where he did have a little moan about wenger. As for not strengthening the squad, many of us posted on here what was needed and how injuries would affect us again this year……yet the only guy who didn’t see this was wenger…….Maybe we might make better managers than you realise if the genius that is Wenger keeps getting it wrong while we get it right….again and again and again.
    As for blaming the board and owners of being money grabbers and wenger doing their bidding so he can keep his job….what rubbish. If that’s the case how can wenger then claim to love the club, yet blatantly lie to the fans almost Everytime he opens his mouth. Wengers very wealthy he doesn’t need the money so If he loved Arsenal like he claims why doesn’t he be honest and tell fans truth?? As for not strengthening squad as returning players would be sitting on their bums….again what rubbish. You sound like wenger not buying as he’s scared it will stunt youngsters growth. …bollocks. Not having genuine competition and having to work for your first 11 place in lineup is what stunts a players growth.

  18. MidwestGun

    Let me tell you now
    Ev’rybody’s talking about
    Revolution, evolution, masturbation
    Flagellation, regulation, integrations
    Meditations, United Nations

    All we are saying is give Pep a chance.
    -John Lennon

  19. N5

    Cesc 13:18 spot on. I like El Tel, he’s a top guy, but Cesc hits every point square on the head. We’ve all been seeing the same issues over and over and over, yet Wenger who’s paid £8m a year either doesn’t see it or doesn’t care, both are not the qualities of a top manager.

    RE teams beating Arsenal, same tactics, same formation, same build up, same selection, same same same. It’s so easy to prepare for Arsenal. It takes real hard work from players like Sanchez to keep us challenging.

    RE Injuries, we can go round and round over this, but the fact is we top the injury table more than anyone else and have done for years and it’s not even close. Bad luck is short term, incompetence is long.

    RE Klopp, I don’t believe people like Klopp because of his energy. I think it’s because he hasn’t stagnated for years his bad turn has been short.

    Being able to be critical doesn’t mean we’d be better managers, of course not and to be honest it’s quite silly to have a “well Wenger knows better, so you don’t have a say” mentality. We don’t have to be Messi to say if a player has skill.

  20. MidwestGun

    TY&GN –
    Honestly, I’ve never had an issue with El Tel, had some good conversations usually about other sports actually. Just not sure what the point of that was. Too, Rev Kev for me.
    I only answered because he seemed to be taking a shot at me. Cesc and I were talking about Delafau , basically just saying he was a good buy for 4 mill. Proving that there are good buys out there that can help teams. Disproving the nobody is available and better theory. Never actually said we should sign him.
    Cesc only asked what people thought about him.

  21. Lamia

    We all know that we have a excessive number of players who are injry prone and cannot be relied on to complete a season. We all know who they are. It seems Wenger rates these players so highly he is not prepared to show them the door and is prepared to gamble on their fitness . Of these players I think Ramsey is the only one worth keeping.

    Giving that this is the case, it is the duty of Wenger to ensure that we have a large enough squad full of quality players to cover for these sick note players. Anything less is negligent and indefensible. I have read Pedro’s opinion about our injuries and maybe he’s right. Ronaldo is kicked every game and he is rarely injured, Messi until recently, was never injured and god knows how many times he gets kicked during games. Aguerro can’t play 2 games without breaking down. Is it size, bone structure, style of play, training, wh knows, but isn’t it the duty of someone paid over 6 million to make contingency planning for these circumstances .

  22. salparadisenyc

    All we are saying is give Pep a chance.
    -John Lennon

    Finest segment in the comments without doubt.


  23. MidwestGun

    This was my concern yesterday , the reason for our uptick last season was the Coq /Santi pivot, imo. Now both out long term it seems.

    Wenger might get that Ramsey /Wilshere pivot he has been dreaming about for years by default.

  24. salparadisenyc

    1st team Midfield players

    TR7 (injured)
    Arteta (injured)
    Wilshire (injured)
    Coquelin (injured)
    Cazorla (injured)

  25. MidwestGun

    I sense a lot of talk about how great some youth players are doing coming on
    from the Arsenal… PR machine. How many Bellerin’s do we have waiting in the wings who can start and immediately have an impact and handle big time pressure at the highest level?

  26. Jamie

    “Wenger might get that Ramsey /Wilshere pivot he has been dreaming about for years by default.”

    Nightmare scenario would be those two pinning the midfield with Ox on the left and Campbell on the right. Literally no positional awareness between them. Giroud up top for good measure. Could be a long December.

  27. Gunneruni

    The ominous and cowardly silence from the Emirates tells me Cazorla’s injury is quite bad and he’ll be out toll the end of the season.

    The PR machine at arsenal will announce in the few days that Wilshere is nearing a return to the first team.

  28. salparadisenyc

    3x fit first team midfielders heading into the December labyrinth of fixtures.
    I see this summer plan now, makes perfect sense.

    Money says Wenger whips out the term Force Majeure in his next presser.

  29. Uwot?

    So now we have no coq or Santa.a complete & utter f****k up by our tight fisted,cheapskate ,clueless manager.beggars belief.!should be fired as an Xmas present to all long suffering fans.& what will he do in January?sweet f**k all.wants to go down in history as the manager who spent less than anyone & wins the league.crazy.but wev’e known this for years.the only ones who want to keep in a job are the pundits & opp suits their agendas…

  30. tunnygriffboy

    Santi out for 3 months apparently. I was all for playing Ramsey alongside Flamini to put some energy in there. Flamini and Santi way to unathletic. Ramsey was excellent there last time he had a proper run there. I didn’t expect it like this though. Bloody nightmare. We really are down to the bare bones

    Was hoping Santi could be pushed forward to the No ten with Ozil taking Alexis role on the left with Ox being the dribbler on the right to balance this

    The injury situation is now at an all time high. Disaster. Ah well knowing 3 important first team players in Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky were going to be out for half a season, knowing that players would have to play more games to cover for them and then not getting reinforcements in always seemed sensible

    PS : If Giroud shows the same body language and workrate he showed against Norwich then I’m putting my heard through the window.

  31. gunnergetyou

    Rumors surfacing that Santi is out for 3 months. We’re fucked.

    If these are 3 ‘Arsenal’ months we can definitely rule out seeing Santi again this season.

    Playing Sanchez was one thing but Cazorla playing on one leg is the one that sticks out for me

    Time to unleash the Ram and the Ox. We need the Ramsey of 2013 to come back.