Arsenal’s constant battle with injuries could be down to something as fundamental as their tactical approach to matches, one leading physiotherapist has claimed via Press Association Sport (via Daily Mail).
The Gunners well documented struggle with first team injuries continued during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Norwich, with Alexis Sanchez pulling up with a hamstring problem, Laurent Koscielny suffering a hip problem and Santi Cazorla also damaging his knee in a challenge shortly after the second half restart.
The latest injury woes are likely to affect the trio’s availability for Saturday’s home fixture against Sunderland as well as the crucial Champions League clash with Olympiacos in Greece four days later.
Chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo believes it well could be Arsene Wenger’s tactics at the club that are leading to so many players being absent.
“Tactically, there are certain teams that play in a very specific way,” she told PA Sport.
“It could be that tactically things are just leading to injuries, you can’t blame it on refereeing. It is normally down to training and the tactical approach to the game.
“It may be that they are encouraged to behave in a certain way in certain situations that makes them more prone to injuries during the game.
“It is such a bizarre situation for that to arise and quite often it is because of something the team are doing that is inherently leading to injuries.
“Quite often if we see collective issues at one specific club, we have to look at a bunch of things specifically related with that club.”
With such a highly acclaimed physio group in charge of proceedings at the Emirates, it’s baffling how we still continue to see these muscular injuries. Is it the way they warm up? A lack of pre-match preparation? Unfortunately I cannot find an answer, but you’d imagine Arsenal’s backroom staff could by now.
It appears the issue could well just be down pure bad luck and a lack of rest for certain players who are pushed to their boundaries at club and international level.
Margo believes Arsenal’s problems are at the mercy of England’s elite competition’s high intensity and the lack of a winter break.
“Injuries do happen in a game but quite often they brew in training, when players are pushing the boundaries,” she continued.
“At this time of year we are always saying British football needs a break because they have been going strong.
“Players have to play at their maximum and go all-out. Particularly in Sanchez’s position, the career is quite limited to be at the top so they are pushing their bodies to the boundaries.
“But there are a lot more games and some of these guys are being pushed to the limit and high expectations are being made of them.
“When Wenger first came along he introduced a different way of eating, nutrition and thinking into the club when he first arrived. His whole approach and management – it was working really well.
“But something isn’t quite right at the moment, it is very difficult to pinpoint specifically what it is – somehow they need a rest. Football needs a break.”
While Margo makes some solid points in regards to the fixture schedule in England, not all other elite clubs have the same level of injury problems that Arsenal do. There is something fundamentally wrong at the club and it may well be down to the fact we rely on certain individuals to play week-in, week out.
Santi Cazorla’s injury was a freak accident, but in the case of Alexis especially he is not rested enough despite his desire and dedication to play every single minute of each game. Wenger needs to handle his players more efficiently and to do that he needs to feel confident in the options he has on the bench. The likes of Joel Campbell, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are not the calibre of players to fill in for Francis Coquelin and Alexis. Consequently the duo are played until they are broken.
All we can do now is hope that when all three injured stars are assessed over the next day or so the problems are not worse than already feared. We simply cannot afford to lose any more stars.
(Source: Press Association Sport)