Speaking ahead of the game against Swansea on Saturday, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit back at an old foe of his, claiming that the medical staff at the Emirates are ‘well-organised’ and that people should stop ‘over-analysing’ Arsenal’s problems with fitness (via Arsenal.com). The Gunners have now lost Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the next month, and the manager confirmed that the duo would be unable to represent England during the international break as well. They join the already sidelined Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky on the Arsenal bench (via Arsenal.com).
With most of Arsenal’s British contingent (and the rest of the squad as well) being ridiculously injury prone, questions have regularly been raised about Wenger’s training regimens. One of his most vocal critics is Dutch coach Raymond Verheijen, who has commented on the latest crisis at Arsenal as well:
Here we go again! Ramsey, Walcott & Oxlade-Chamberlain out injured. I lost count. Has this pattern repeated itself 5 or 6 seasons already?
— Raymond Verheijen (@raymondverheije) October 28, 2015
Wenger however, has sent out a message of support to his medical staff, saying “I trust my medical staff to do well and my coaching staff to do the fitness planning very well. I can only invite you one day to see what work is done behind and we have some players who are more injury prone than others , but we are very well organised on that front.
“It is easy [to blame injuries on training methods], yes. We have players every year who play 50 games and some who play less games because they are more injury prone. That is always a question we have to answer when we have injuries.
“We have to analyse every single case and every single exercise and I think you have to not over-analyse when players are injured. When a player is injured, they are injured, this has always happened. We have not too many muscular injuries but it is post-international games when we get all these injuries so is it linked with that? I don’t know.”
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When asked about the estimated recovery time of the players, the manager added, “We have two kind of injuries – the injuries who will be coming back after Christmas, which is Rosicky, Wilshere and Welbeck. [Then] we have the short-term injuries. Most of them like Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain should be back after the international break.”
For the short term, we will be forced to rely on the reserves to step up and fill the gaps in the side. With three tough away fixtures one after the other – at Swansea, Bayern Munich and Tottenham – one can only hope that the team produces their best form, or we risk losing the momentum that has been so carefully built up over the past month.