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What do Heitinga, Wenger and Ferguson have in common?

April 15, 2010

You’ll get the answer but let me get this bit out of the way first.

Well done Tottenham. I know. It hurts to say it but it was due. For over 11 years we never tasted a day like this in the league. No other team enjoyed such fortune over their most bitter rivals. We lost statistically yesterday but then again we’ve lost a game or two psychologically before that. For me the 4-4 hurt a lot more than what happened yesterday. In the Lasagna season, Henry came on and scored a goal we scarcely deserved that afternoon. Both teams last night missed out key players so no excuse this time on the injuries front really.

We lost to what I thought was a really good goal from Rose. Once again you can point out Almunia’s inability to catch the ball from a corner and his reaction time once Rose hit the volley. But his strike was fantastic. If one of our players scored that goal we wouldn’t have pointed towards defensive mistakes like when Cesc scored the solo goal in the home leg against Spurs.

Now back to my question in the post title. All 3 men had been “moaning” about the injuries they’ve had. Arsene even said back in November that this season was exceptionally bad and we’ve had more injuries since. The latest being Vermaelen last night and possibly Denilson as well. At this rate, we’ll have to bring back all our players out on loan. At least they’ve been somewhat immuned from this injury curse.

There was a lot of discussion, theories even as to why have such bad luck when it comes to keeping players fit. Is it our style of play? Is it that our players cover a lot of distance? Are our players brittle? Etc etc.

I don’t think there is one single reason where Arsenal can be held accountable for the injuries our players have suffered.

And then Clichy mentioned the issue that was on my mind even before he said it.

We are the only championship in Europe who are not having a rest during Christmas. I don’t want to hide behind anything but when you are having two weeks off during Christmas you have time to recover, but we are playing game after game every three days and so of course you are going to get injuries. If you look at the Barcelona game we had six or seven players out who could have been in the starting XI. That shows you that at the end of the season whether you are Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal, English football suffers a little bit because we played so many games. We like playing on Boxing Day but it can be difficult.

Yes, that’s right. The Winter break.

Apart from tradition, I couldn’t find many reasons against it. Would it be difficult to do in a year where there are the Euro’s or the World Cup? Possibly. But the other leagues can find space for it so why can’t it be done in the EPL? Just a 2 week break from the vigours of league football.

It wouldn’t prevent leg breaks like the ones suffered by Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey but it could lessen the amount of minor injuries that occur when the games come, excuse the cliche, thick and fast.

Apart from Arsenal, this season has seen

  • United play a game without any recognised central defenders against Fulham and at the time they had only fit defender (Evra).
  • Everton at one point have more injuries than us. They even had 2 players withdrawn once in a Europa league match within the first 20 minutes due to injuries.
  • Liverpool and Spurs have had key personnel out due to injuries and so forth.

It doesn’t help that some players are risked even they are even ready. Something wasn’t quite right when Gallas’ name was on the teamsheet when we played Barcelona at the Emirates. Something was even more fishy when Rooney was declared fit to play against Bayern. Both players didn’t last even 2 thirds of the matches they played. How rigorous and valid are these tests? Did these players get tested in a low key friendly match before?

I don’t follow the other leagues in Europe like I do with the EPL but I can’t think of any non EPL team that have had such a woeful season with regards to injuries. Arsenal are just one club badly affected in the EPL who have had it worst but like I said other clubs in the Premiership haven’t had it too easy either.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mannix permalink
    April 17, 2010 00:56

    Injuries,injuries, when you play against low profile team like Wolves,Stock,Hull, Birmingham,Sunderland expect thngs like tht to happen just right infront of Referee.Why?Because everytime they bring you down on tackle Ref either wave go on or give jst a free kick without any warning..When the worse happen tht’s where you’ll see card shown when its too late,unlike when we (Arsenal) commit foul, it is a straight yellow.I believe Referees never like Arsenal & i don’t knw why!If you doubt me u can pick any of our recorded games.

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