Some players are just more injury prone than others. That’s a fact. No matter how much you think there injury record will improve, it never will. From Darren Anderton and Jamie Redknapp in the 90s to Michael Owen in the 00s, some players always struggle to stay fit.
The key is to not have too many of these said players in your squad.
One of the major contributors to Arsenal endless injury crisis is we carry too many players with poor injury records;
8 players in our current squad who, over the last 5 seasons, have missed a lot of games, and will continue to do so. I would bet that over the last 18 months, at least half of that list has been injured continually throughout.
Every side suffers injuries. According to the physio room, each Premier League side currently has out, on average, 5 players. Manchester United have the most, at 9, Tottenham the least, at 2. Injuries are an unavoidable part of football.
Arsenal’s problem is that as we carry so many injury prone players, whenever a ‘normal’ player picks up an injury, his loss is exaggerated.
Look at the players involved in out current injury crisis;
The list can easily be split into two. Mesut Ozil, Mattheiu Debuchy and Olivieir Giroud have very good injury records. The rest have extremely poor records.
You can not legislate for Giroud injury his ankle blocking a clearance, or Debuchy being crocked in a horrendous challenge, or even the odd knee or hamstring here and there.
But what you can do is ensure that you limit the effect by having a very fit squad. Unfortunately Arsenal do not have that.
By the time we pick up our 2/3 ‘normal’ injuries that every club suffers, we already have 4/5 long term injuries to our injury prone players. This then puts us in an injury crisis.
At Arsenal, over the last 4/5 years, we have always had 4/5 long term injuries, the same handful of players going in and out the treatment room. This then makes it seem like our injury crisis is never ending, as a combination of the above players will always be out.
So how do we solve our current ongoing injury crisis? It is not by changing the training ground, or the medical staff, its by changing the playing staff.
First out of the door should be Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo. These three have been forever injured. They have missed more games than they have played. The ironic thing is that by selling them, it will actually make no difference on the 1st team squad, as neither will be missed. But what it will do is create a bit of a mental change. It would immediately reduce our ‘injury list’ by 3.
The others create a controversial debate:
Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey
It seems one of either Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey is always injured. In the 90s, we mocked Spurs & Liverpool fans for putting Redknapp and Anderton on such a pedastool, yet both were always injured. No point being a brilliant player if you are injured. Wilshere & Ramsey for Arsenal are quickly falling down a similar slide.
Both are talented, but both miss a lot of games. The harsh side of me says ‘get rid of both, we have the money to buy equally as talented, but less injury prone players’. The more moderate side of me thinks we should dump one of them.
As previously said, you can afford to carry one or two injury prone players. At the moment, Arsenal are trying to carry 2 in the same position. Jack Wilshere’s injury record concerns me more than Aaron Ramsey’s. He has not played over 30 league games since his break through season – 2010/11. Is it time we were ruthless and cut our losses with him? Buy someone better and less injury prone? Think with your head, not your heart
Kieran Gibbs is now 25. When he is on the pitch, he is a great full back. In my opinion, he is England’s best. His record is worse than Wilshere’s, in the fact he has never played more than 30 league games. He really is made of glass.
He is another one who I always think should we cash in on. He can not even be trusted to remain as second choice left back, as chances are high that if the 1st choice left back was injured, he would be too.
It is another head over heart decision. If Kieran Gibbs can not play over 30 league games, should he be at Arsenal?
In his younger days, Theo Walcott had a lot of injuries. Many of these were associated with weak shoulders, which he has since had pinned in. His latest injury is a tad abnormal. I put it down to one of the ‘normal injuries’ that every side suffers during the course of a season.
The question over Walcott is how does he return from his injury. He has already had a few set backs, and a player who relied so much on pace, would he have lost a yard having been out for nearly a year?
If it is clear he has lost something, or he does continue to break down, we should flog him quickly. Cash in whilst his stock is high, and move on. Let’s not carry him. Let’s not hope that one day it will improve. It rarely does.
So who would I ship out:
On a last chance
Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey
Give him time
Arsenal carrying injury prone players is not a new things. Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermalaen all had poor records before we signed them, yet we still signed them. Decisions like this just opens us up to entering an injury crisis.
To solve our injury woe’s, we do not need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to ensure that we have a squad full of players with good injury records. Stop buying players with poor records. Ship out the players with poor records.
It really is that simple.