Tag Archives: Daniel Sturridge

Vincent Kompany explains Arsenal’s injury problems

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For a long time I have been of the opinion that there was nothing wrong with Arsenal’s training, medical team, pitch, or forcing players to return early, when it came to our injury issues over the years.

I had a much more basic reasoning for Arsenal’s injury problems. That we had too many players who were naturally injury prone.

The recent problems of Vincent Kompany has supported my opinion further.

The Belgium international has now picked up his 35th injury since joining Manchester City. And incredible amount. Despite many different managers, many different training programmes, one thing has remained a constant, Kompany being injured.

It is not just the amount of injuries he has had, but the length of time it takes him to return from injuries. 9 weeks for a ‘slight thigh strain’, 6 weeks for a minor calf strain. Not only does Kompany pick up a lot of injuries, he also takes an age to recover from them.

In 2015/16, he suffered 5 injuries, seeing him out injured for 283 days our of 365.

He reminds of the likes of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby. It takes an age for him to get fit, and when rumours start rumbling that he is fit once more, or he actually steps on a football pitch, he breaks down again. Another month+ out.

Daniel Sturridge is another one. Always out injured. Takes forever for him to return, and he is only a slight ankle twist from being out for another 6 months.

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The likes of Daniel Sturridge & Vincent Kompany picking up so many injuries when others around them seem immortal can not be a coincidence. It will be due to the physical make up of their bodies.

We are all unique. Some of us put on weight just by looking at a Krespy Kreme, others can eat for 6 and never put on weight. Some take a dozen days a year off work with colds, headaches and other alignments, others haven’t taken a day off work in 12 years. It is all to do with our genetic code.

And it is the same as with muscles and joints. Some of us are built strong. We would have never have picked up an injury. When we fell out the tree as a kid, we bounced, got back up, and climbed back up. Others are built weak. Always turning an ankle on a kerb. Always in and out of hospital as a child due to breaking arms just falling over.

We are all made differently.

When it comes to Arsenal, the biggest reason we suffered so many injury problems over the years was simple. We had too many players who were naturally injury prone.

Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, Samir Nasir, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and, of course, Abou Diaby. The majority had injury issues when they joined us, injury issues whilst playing for us, and injury issues after leaving us.1551

You could perhaps carry one or two injury prone players. Talented guys who when fit, were
worthwhile keeping around. Arsenal did this when they had both Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie. The effect of the Dutchman being out was felt less due to having decent back up.

The trick is simple. Do not have too many injury prone players in your squad at one time. And if you do have one who often breaks down, ensure the back up players are of sufficient quality.

There is no point keeping someone like Abou Diaby around if his cover is Jack Wilshere. Then Jack Wilshere’s cover is Aaron Ramsey. The odds are all 3 players will be out at the same time. And then you are screwed. This happened more than once at Arsenal.

This year, however, feels different. We do not seem to be carrying as many naturally injury prone players in our squad as yesteryear.

The likes of Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta have left us. Jack Wilshere out on loan. Last year these 3 players scored 303 Premier League appearances between them. With Jack Wilshere making the only start.

But offloading all three, Arsenal have basically taken 3 guys out of the treatment room, off the PhysioRoom.com Premier League Injury Table, and instantly made Arsenal’s injury problems less problematic.

No changes in training, no changes in pitch, no horse placenta. Just getting rid of injury prone players has given us a fitter squad.

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Of the 6 players currently out injured, none of them would be described as injury prone.

Santi Cazorla is borderline. It is his 2nd long injury in 12 months, and how long it it taking him to get back fit is mystifying, nearly to Tomas Rosicky levels. Danny Welbeck is similar, But neither are yet at the level of the likes of Diaby, Rosicky, or Arteta.

The others out injured are not a worry.

Now by getting rid of those who are historically always out, it has meant that we have felt the impact of injuries less.

Santi Cazorla is out. in previous years, we would also have Arteta, Wilshere and Rosicky out. Which would have left us with just Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin in the middle of the park. Ramsey would then pick up an injury for being over played – and he has only just returned from 3 months out – and we would be screwed.

But Arteta, Wilshere and Rosicky have been replaced with Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka. Two players with good injury records. And what that has left us with is options, even when a couple of key players are out injured.

Per Mertesacker is another one. The Arsenal captain’s absence has not been felt as Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel has remained fit. Koscielny’s long term achilles and back issues seem to have cleared up.

So there is no genius reason why Arsenal have not suffered the injury problems this season that we have previous. It is just that we have less injury prone players.

Arguably just Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott.

The likes of Vincent Kompany, Daniel Sturridge, Andy Carroll & Jack Wilshere highlight that injuries are often more to do with the players own individual make up, rather than anything more serious than that.

Think of history. Arjen Robben, Darren Anderton, Jamie Redknapp, and many, many more. Players who were always injured. Whilst team mates barely missed a game.

For me, Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck are in last chance saloon. Both have now missed a lot of game time over 12 months injured. If they can not get fit, and stay fit, then they should be shipped out, replaced with players who can stay fit.

Chelsea won the league a few years back using hardly any players. They kept everyone fit. The same with Leicester last year. Spurs only fell away when they started to lose players in the last 10 games. Fitness is key in the Premier League. You need to keep your players fit.

And to keep your players fit, you need to recruit fit players.

It does not matter how talented you are, if you can not stay fit, you are useless.

Keenos

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Arsenal set for busy end to transfer window

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The transfer window will slam shut on Wednesday at 11.30pm. Less than 60 hours to go. And in that 60 hours, Arsenal still have a lot of work to do.

Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez

The deals are all but done for Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez. Fees agreed, contracts signed, medicals reportedly completed. All we are waiting for his the FA to reopen Tuesday morning so that we can send across the official paperwork, and the deal is then signed, sealed and completed.

I would imagine as I am writing this, both players are at London Colney and/or the stadium getting their promo photos done. Arsenal might even announce both deals today before they have been full ratified by the FA.

Mustafi has been called up for Germany’s friendly game against Finland on 31 August 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Norway on 4 September 2016. Perez unsurprisingly not selected for Spain.

Both Mustafi and Perez will be able to use the international break in different ways to gain full match sharpness and be ready for the home game against Southampton on September 10th.

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Defenders Loaned Out

The exit door could be very busy at London Colney over the next 60 hours with numerous players slated to be loaned out.

Arsenal are ready to allow Mathieu Debuchy to depart the club. Most likely on a season-long loan. A reported calf injury could hamper the deal, but a club will likely take a gamble and get the French international in. His destination likely to be somewhere in Turkey, or the mid-lower reaches of Italy’s Serie A.Mathieu+Debuchy+Calum+Chambers+Manchester+a7sYRe78Nyrl

Also exiting will be Calum Chambers. Since his breakthrough 2 seasons ago, he has struggled to nail a place in the team, mainly down to lack of playing time. He needs to go somewhere in the Premier League and play a season at centreback. We will want him to go somewhere where he will be guaranteed to play every game. Hull and Middlesbrough seem like the front runners.

Letting both go would leave Arsenal with just one recognised right back whilst Carl Jenkinson recovers from his injury, but Mustafi has played at right back before for both club and country. I would also imagine a deal for Chambers would involve a recall clause.

Major Exit?

Could we see Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave the club over the next few days?

Serge Gnabry

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The next out of the door could be Serge Gnabry. Top scorer for Germany at the Olympics, he was in impressive form. But is there a place for him at Arsenal?

With Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi & new boy Lucas Perez ahead of him, he will struggle for game time.

One thing Arsenal have to take into account is his contract. It expires at the end of this season. the club would probably prefer a loan deal for the barley-21 German star, but that would open the risk of losing him for nothing at the end of the season if we do not tie him down to a new contract.

Arsenal might be willing to cut their losses with Gnabry and sell for a cut price deal.

He will end up in Germany, whether on loan or a permanent deal.

David Ospina

I began writing this thinking we might see David Ospina make the surprise move to Barcelona to provide competition for Marc-André ter Stegen, replacing Claudio Bravo. But they have already secured Jasper Cillessen. That door is now closed, but it would not surprise me if someone came in for a late bid for the Colombian, with the offer of first team football.

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Minor Loan Deals

The likes of Yaya Sanogo, Chuba Akpom and Jeff Reine-Adelaide could well see themselves also exit the club in loan deals.

With the changes to the loan system coming into place, we can not think that we will keep Akpom and The Jeff to play against Nottingham Forest before loaning them out. A decision will have to be made on them in the coming days.

As for Sanogo, any loan deal will be an option, or we might just put him down and turn him into glue.

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Late Madness

It has been the slogan of our summer after a Twitter ITK tweeted that Arsenal were going to do a madness.

So far the predictions that we would smash our transfer record has not happened, but you feel that if all the domino’s fall into place, we could see one more final transfer on the last day of the season.

Could Arsenal take advantage of Daniel Sturridge’s unhappiness under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool? Or a move for long term linked Antoine Griezmann or Julian Draxler? Or maybe a big money move for James Rodgriguez or Isco? Or will Dimitri Payet become Arsene Wengers man?

We have the money there, we could still make a late move for someone.

Keenos

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Arsenal to target star English striker

Arsenal’s number one target this summer needs to be a new striker.

Arsenal’s number one target this summer needs to be Daniel Sturridge.

In the Premier League, Arsenal have created more chances than any other side this season. In Mesut Ozil, we have the man who has created more chances for other players than anyone else in the league. Yet when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, we are 4th. The same place where we are in the league.

In fact, we are joint 4th with Liverpool. And have only scored 1 more goal than West Ham, and 5 more than both Everton and Chelsea. An inability to convert chances into goals is the key reason Arsenal are not topping the league. We have needed a new striker since 2012, when Robin van Persie decided Arsenal were not moving in the right direction for him.

The top 3 teams in the Premier League have the top 3 goal scorers. Olivier Giroud is 8th.

This summer we need to make amends for not having a top striker for near on half a decade. We need to go out and make the right signing. That right signing is Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.

Sturridge is a natural goal scorer. Since joining Liverpool, he has scored 51 goals in just 88.

He is the complete forward. He is quick, powerful, has a trick and can finish.

He can play with his back to goal, as a hold up man, and also run in behind, he can play across the front 3 and is mobile. He would be the perfect centre forward.

When I look at how the team would line up with Daniel Sturridge leading the line, I get a little excited.

Ozil behind a front 3 of Welbeck Sturridge Sanchez.

It is mobile, aggressive and quick.

In Daniel Sturridge, you would have a striker who would drift left and right. When he drifts, you then have Danny Welbeck who can slot inside and become the central forward.

It has worked recently for England. Welbeck has got a lot of goals recently for his country playing out wide and coming inside. It is a role which seems to suit him best. He is not the greatest goal scorer. He will not create a lot of goals. But with his pace and ability to come off the touchline at the far post he will become dangerous.

I picture the Liverpool side that nearly won the Premier League a couple of years ago.

Sturridge Suarez Sterling

What made the forward line so dangerous wasn’t just that Suarez was a world class striker, but the interchangeability between them. Suarez would pop up on the right, with Sturridge in the middle. Sterling down the middle with Suarez on the right. It made them impossible to mark, impossible to keep tabs on. At one point you would have both Suarez and Sterling on the left, doubling up on the full back, with Sturridge coming into the middle for an easy tap in.

Welbeck Sturridge Sanchez would create a similar scenario. And with Ozil pulling the strings, we would have one of the most dangerous front 4’s in Europe.

He is also English. which is a big factor.

Some people previously have questioned his attitude. Claims that he is disruptive in the dressing room. I feel this is a fallacy. And with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there are players he knows already in the squad. Players whom he has travelled the world with. Players whom we have previously seen him larking around with on international duty.

The fact he is English, means that he is a proven Premier League player. A proven goal scorer. There are no worries that he might not settle in the country. Might not do it i the league. He does not need to learn a new language. Although he does need a new hair cut.

The big negative of course is his injuries.

At the time of writing, he has played just 24 league games in the last 2 seasons. He has only played 30 league games once in his career. The same season he achieved that – 2011/12 – was also the year he played his most career games, 43. He has only played over 30 games in an entire season one other time.

He obviously has injury issues, and there are times where we will have to carry him. But that is where keeping Giroud and Welbeck come in. No matter what some might say, they are good players. Giroud has scored 78 goals in his 176 games for the club.

If we can get, and keep, Sturridge fit for say, 30 games, he will get you 20 goals in the time. Giroud and Welbeck will then do a sufficient enough job in the games he misses. It would be about managing Sturridge well, keeping him fit for the bigger games, the important games.

Question is, would you be happy signing Sturridge, investing a big chunk of wages and a big transfer fee, for a player who will only be fit for half the season.

Personally, I would say yes, as his performances in that half a season are what could win us the league.

Keenos

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