Arsene Wenger has confirmed the club will investigate the factors involved in the forever growing list of injuries, as concerns start to escalate over the depth of the squad.
Central midfield has been the Gunners most stocked area, but with high profile players such as Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Jack Wilshere (foot) and Mesut Ozil joining Theo Walcott (knee) on the injury table, the Arsenal boss feels it’s time to look into each case in more detail to potentially help reduce the risk of further problems.
The international break made things worse with Wilshere fracturing a bone in his foot during England’s friendly win over Denmark, while Ozil played a full 90 for Germany and then again for the Gunners in the FA Cup against Everton before feeling a hamstring pull as early as two minutes into the Bayern tie in midweek.
Arsenal are notorious for suffering injury crises over the years and Wenger has admitted it is a growing concern especially during a vital period of their season.
The Gunners boss told reporters:
I am concerned that this happens. If you look at our overall injury list going into such a decisive part of the season, we have not Wilshere, not Walcott, not Özil, not Ramsey and we went to Bayern without [Kieran] Gibbs and [Nacho] Monreal.
We are analysing very deeply why it happened and to see if there is a link between all these injuries.
For Walcott it’s completely bad luck. Wilshere – I don’t think it is linked with the other injuries, it’s more linked with his history and the kick he got. But the rest, maybe we have to find why it happened.
It’s very difficult to find any obvious reason why. For example, a player like Özil –he was rested against Stoke, then he goes to Germany and he trains different, sometimes on a different ground with different sessions.
He played the whole game [for Germany against Chile] and the whole game for us against Everton and he produced on that day, doing more physically than usually and he paid for it the next day. Why? I don’t know.
Aaron Ramsey’s recovery is an ongoing concern as he is still feeling pain in his troublesome thigh. Wenger is hoping to have the Welsh star back in action within two weeks but that is still up in the air given his previous setback last month.
Wenger discussed Ramsey’s injury:
That’s our worry at the moment, Ramsey is taking longer than expected.
He had a first setback and then he planned to join in [training] on Thursday but he had recurring pains in his thigh. Of course he’s now a little apprehensive because of the setback.
We have to be very cautious with him. When will he be back? I believe it’s two more weeks now.
It’s about time Wenger and the medical team looked into why they continue to get persistent injury woes within the squad. Their style of play certainly doesn’t lend them to easy treatment from opponents, but when it’s more muscular injuries rather than impact it is hopefully something that they can find a trend and limit similar cases in the future.
In Walcott’s case, he was completely over played. He played four times in the space of 13 days (something absurd like that) over the festive period and this was surely a massive factor in his setback. Wilshere will always struggle with injuries, so nothing new there. The way he plays, bursting at players will always lend him to nasty tackles.
I’m certainly no medical expert, but if there is anything they can do to limit future muscular injuries then that will be a massive breakthrough for Arsenal Football Club. Imagine Abou Diaby staying fit for a months worth of football? However that sounds like a parallel universe..