Arsenal's Injury Conundrum
So in the past 103 games Wenger has only been able to select the same team consecutively on one occasion. 'So what?', you might say, 'so he likes to tinker with the team, rest players, try different combinations', but you would be wrong; this statistic becomes more interesting when you realise that due to injury he had no choice in all of these changes.
This begs the question, why are Arsenal players so prone to injury? We know that players in all teams pick up knocks in games, and that managers may chose to give them a rest in order to recover; but things are different with Arsenal, the players are picking up injuries which means they are unable to play in the next game.
There have been many articles written speculating on the training regime that Wenger introduced at the club and how his holistic approach covering everything from diet to post-match routines helped to prolong the careers of older players. However with the recent move to younger players the situation seems to be reversed. It is notable that players who have left the club in recent years don't seem to have carried their injury-prone tendencies with them. Players who go out on loan seem to have no problems with playing game after game for their loan club yet when they return to Arsenal the problem reappears.
Injuries at Arsenal also seem to be more severe and recurrent than at other clubs, just how many times to we hear of a player getting a knock yet being out for months and then re-injuring themselves on their return? Just what is happening on the Arsenal training ground or fitness room that is leading to this fragility?
Is it time for Wenger to analyse the methods he is using to find the flaw, if any, in his techniques? Wouldn't it be nice to have all the players who walk onto the pitch at the start of a game also walk off at the end? Maybe then we could have the consistency we strive for.
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