Club record signing Mesut Ozil has been sidelined until the New Year with damage to his knee ligaments. That in itself was horrible news, but according to the latest comments by Wenger, he had actually picked up the injury in the first half of the game at Stamford Bridge itself.
Wenger said that the midfielder heard crack from his knee, but was cleared to play on. In fact, the injury was not discovered even after the game and it was after Ozil joined the German national squad that the full extent of the damage was made clear.
This raises further questions against the beleaguered Arsenal medical staff. Despite the addition of Shad Forsythe over the summer – a decision that was universally praised – Arsenal have been struggling with a series of injury problems to our top players.
Wenger also stated that he was deeply shocked by the extent of damage suffered by Ozil and he put down the spate of injuries suffered by the club to bad luck.
I am deeply shocked. He [Ozil] wasn’t involved in a collision with anybody.
It was just after making a pass with the outside of his foot that he injured his leg so it’s very hard to believe that you can damage your ligament with just making a simple pass and it’s very difficult to take that he will be out for a while.
He had a little problem just before he went out at half-time. He had a little pain with his knee, he felt a crack. I said to our physio to keep an eye on him and if there was anything wrong with him, tell me because when you’re 1-0 down, you want to keep your offensive players on the pitch.
I am not a great believer in coincidences, but this time it really is coincidence. You cannot say our injuries are preparation mistakes. The big injuries we have are really accidental.
Scientifically we are quite good. We have been hit hard after seven games. I would never have thought we would have had so many bad injuries.
Whatever the reason for the injuries, they have highlighted again that Arsenal have a very small squad, too small to compete successfully on multiple fronts if injury strikes. And with Arsenal’s injury record, it really is time that Wenger learns his lesson and invests in some reinforcements.