We all know the problems most of the football teams have. It is a universal problem in the world of football to have injured players in the team.
Imagine this: a team pays millions of bucks for a player who is a future star, or maybe is a star, and the player plays for a week or two and gets injured.
The team cannot use the player anymore for a certain amount of time and while he recovers there is a risk other players might get injured too, thus forcing the manager to use players who do not play in the positions required. Inevitably, the level of football for that team decreases.
But all this is known to football managers. They know there is a risk when buying a player. But risks must be taken and sometimes it pays off.
Arsenal is a clear example of what could happen to a team when it loses players due to injuries. In the last two seasons Arsenal were ravaged by injures, damaging their chances of lifting the Premiership title significantly.
In season 2007/2008 there was a stunning number of injuries—60 throughout the whole season. Several of which were serious and by that I mean injuries that had sidelined a player for over a month. Arsenal had lost the services of a lot of key players for a big part of the season.
I could make a list of at least five or six reasons why Arsenal were the team that was most affected by injuries concerning the big four in EPL.
One of the reasons is the fact that Arsenal buy players out of England, meaning they would come from a league in which the game is less physical than the English one. There would be time for adaptation needed but during that time the chance of the player to sustain a injury would be significantly higher.
Typical example of such injury is the one suffered by Eduardo da Silva. In his first Premier League season he sustained a broken leg, leaving him out of the game for more than six months.
Not once or twice has Arsene Wenger said that the only preparation he makes in terms of fitness is done in pre-season. This is understandable due to the heavy schedule in the Premier League and Champions League but considering the number of injuries throughout the season it is not a very successful tactic.
Another reason, and I will not think twice to label “the most important one,” is the missing depth of the squad. A team usually needs a squad of no less than 24-25 players.
In season 2007/2008 Arsenal have had a squad of 24 players, five of which were still not at the level required due to their ongoing development: Kerrea Gilbert, Alexandre Song, Justin Hoyte, Denilson, Johan Djourou.
The young age of the squad could also be a problem when it comes to injuries. Young players could be a bit overzealous at times and that could lead them to go into a tackle without judging the situation first, and thus injuring themselves or other players.
International matches are also one of the main reasons players end up injured. International managers push the players to the limit and it is a fact that many of them sustain injuries during matches for their country. The significantly high number of international footballers in Arsenal does not help them when dealing with the injury problem.
It is hard to predict when an injury can occur but certainly there are ways to minimize the risk for players to sustain one. I just hope Arsene Wenger could find a way to minimize the injuries for Arsenal this season.