Tag Archives: Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany explains Arsenal’s injury problems


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.


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.


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.



Thomas Vermaelen is NOT looking to leave Arsenal in January

This morning we all awoke to stories about how our captain, Thomas Vermaelen, is looking at leaving Arsenal. About how he is unhappy at the club and is fearful for his World Cup spot. Some of the headlines in this mornings paper’s include:

“Thomas Vermaelen may consider move to boost Belgium World Cup hopes”
“Thomas Vermaelen hints he will consider Arsenal future”
“Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen says he may leave the club”
“Unhappy Thomas Vermaelen may quit Arsenal”
“Thomas Vermaelen could QUIT Arsenal”
“Thomas Vermaelen hints at Arsenal exit”
“Thomas Vermaelen: I’ll quit Arsenal if I don’t win first team spot back”

When ever a story such as this comes out, I tend to ignore the headlines, as they are attention grabbers and often not even associated with the actual story. I have read an article which is of complete different tone to the headline itself. I also rarely take note of the story itself, and concentrate on what the player actually said.

Often in journalism, a journalist will get some quotes, and then twist it into the story they want to print. The story that will sell more papers or get more hints for their website. They can twist quotes to an extreme, where it ends up that the story barely resembles the quotes, or context of the quotes.

So what did Thomas Vermaelen actually say?

“I’ll have to think about that when it’s necessary. January is still a few months ahead. Of course, never playing will not be the ideal situation for me to go to the World Cup, that’s for sure,” Vermaelen told the Daily Mail.

“People ask me if I panic because I’m not playing a lot but I’m not. I have spoken to the manager but it will remain private between us. Things can happen in a split second and change my situation. That can happen tomorrow or next weekend.

“In that case, we will speak differently in January. I have to be ready for that”

Now these quotes can be taken in many different ways. I can see how many papers have gone with the “Vermaelen looks to leave Arsenal” route as that sells more papers. But the true facts of the matter are Vermaelen has merely said he needs 1st team football. That his is not panicking. That he has spoken to the manager and that anything could happen.

Now a few thoughts on this

1) I am please that Vermaelen want’s 1st team football and is unhappy he is not getting it. I want my players to be ambitious, not be happy picking up a pay cheque and sitting on the bench. It makes them better players as a result. If he were happy being 3rd choice, he would not be a player I would want in the side.

2) He confirms he has spoken to Arsene Wenger over the matter, and that what was discussed will remain private. This is not a ‘secret meeting’ like some are reporting, but a usual meeting between a player not playing and his manager. Discussions such as these should be kept private. Why should the press or public know what happened in the meeting?

3) Vermaelen will get his chance. As he says: “Things can happen in a split second and change my situation”. With Laurent Koscielny pulling out of the recent French International’s with an injury, it would not be a surprise to see Vermaelen line up alongside Mertesacker in the centre of defence this weekend. And if he plays well, Koscielny might find himself on the bench when he returns.

4) It is good that we finally have these type of problems. For too long, we have had a bare 11 of class players with not much underneath. We have been criticised heavily by the press for not having depth. And now we have it, they seem to be intent on stirring things up. Guess they do whatever sell hey? Anyway, it is up to Arsene Wenger to rotate his squad and keep everyone happy. I am sure he has the man management ability to do it.

Going through all the news reports this morning, only one source tells the true story, with itv.com going with:

“No panic from Thomas Vermaelen over lack of playing time.”

Whilst he might not be entirely happy with his current situation at Arsenal, he is clearly happy at Arsenal, and his extended spell as 3rd choice centre back should have driven him to train harder, stronger and longer. This will make him a better player. And at the end of the day, if he has not done this, and when he gets the chance he does not take it, there is no problem with him leaving.

His World Cup place is not at threat. Vincent Kompany is a guaranteed starter. Then Belgium play with either Vertonghen on Vermaelen playing centre back with the other at full back. There will be no issues.

Remember, whenever reading a story in the British Press. Ignore the headlines. Ignore the story. Read the quotes.