Koscielny’s ‘chronic’ Achilles adds to Arsenal injury worries


Laurent Koscielny has returned to Arsenal from international duty so he can receive treatment on a long-standing Achilles complaint.

Although the reports this afternoon say the decision to let the defender return to the Gunners is ‘precautionary’, France Football says it’s because he’s suffering from ‘chronic tendinitis of both Achilles tendons’.

Koscielny has been nursed through a number of games this season already, but with a punishing schedule and only two senior central defenders, it can be no surprise that he’s not able to shake off what could become a very debilitating complaint.

Although Arsenal do have Calum Chambers to fill in, it leaves them short of a right back due to the injury to Mathieu Debuchy.

As we don’t play again until next weekend against Hull there may be hope in the short term that we can get him fit enough to play, but over the course of the season it’s hard not to see the lack of depth in this area proving costly.


    • Chambers isn’t even available for the hull game or I’d have hoped for Bellerin at RB and the former in the middle. Rest is the only way to treat tendinitis(about 6 weeks of it too) and looks like we’ll play another of our best players through injury.

      I think the biggest causes for injuries are

      1. Arsene’s reluctance to sub people at the 60th minute mark and

      2. Rotate his midfield/forwards from game to game.

      How often do we see Podolski, Campbell and Cazorla start the mid-week games against lesser CL/lower league sides? We have a game against hull and 4 days later, we play Anderlecht. I’d like to see something like Wilshere-Diaby-Flamini with Ox and Podolski on the wings. NO MATTER WHAT, give Poldi and the Ox a break at 60-65 minutes and bring on Santi and Sanchez/Rosicky. If Diaby is tired, bring Coquelin on for the end.

      Against Anderlecht, start with Sanchez up front, rest Welbeck. Play Theo if match fit. If not, the Ox should be able to put in another 60 minute shift. Start Poldi on the left and get Campbell on at 60-65 minutes.
      Midfield = Flamini-Rosicky- Santi. Play Bellerin at right back and Chambers in the middle(CL game, so he can play. Rest Kos)

      If you cannot trust your bench to see out games at the 60th minute mark when you’re 1-0 up, I don’t think they deserve to be at the club.I don’t fault the quality of our players though, I believe its Arsene’s fault.
      Similarily, if you cannot trust players like Poldi and Campbell(showed tons of potential and surely! deserves a run of games) against teams like Hull and Anderlecht, please sell them and buy someone like a fabregas to rotate with ozil. I understand us not buying Cesc, but that’s when you FUCKING TRUST EVERYONE YOU HAVE IN YOUR SQUAD and not overplay some while benching the others.

      There were many games early in the season where Ramsey looked exhausted but no substitution came forth. Santi looked lively against chelsea and got subbed. I do not understand Wenger’s substitutions and reluctance to rotate. Also I dont understand how we fucking fail to land another center-back while Southampton gets a loan deal like Toby Alderweireld. A fucking loan deal! How can you miss out on a bargain Arsene? Arsene Wenger has done a great job so far to get the club where it is, but I think we need someone a little more ruthless and tactical instead of a football romantic that loves to oversee the beautiful game. Don’t get me wrong, he can get Arsenal that CL spot and maybe 3rd/2nd even, but its hard to see us getting to the title/CL final with him.

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      • ah, if only it were that simple. Whatever you think about Arsene, I dont see any top level team acroos the world doing what you are suggesting. Doesn’t this mean, the managers know what they are doing?

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        • 1. No top level team across the world has had injury problems like ours, and I don’t see why you want to equate our situation with theirs. Our situation demands rotation or you’ll have the perennial cycle of 2-3 players being out for a good part of the season. We also have enough midfielders to do what I’m suggesting.

          2. I see a lot of managers sub 1-2 players at the hour mark. Arsene usually waits till the 70-75 minute mark ( I can remember times where he didn’t sub at all). Yet, I’m not saying he doesnt know what he’s doing. He’s a great manager, and we all respect him and love him. However, what I mentioned about are definitely his weaknesses as a manager. Combined with his dithering in the market, I think I’m right in what I say in my original post.

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          • You’re forgetting that we’ve usually lost a couple through injury by half-time – makes the whole 60-minute thing a little academic…..

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          • Rotation is a favourite topic for us Gooners, but I’ve never seen a study on this topic, so I reserve judgement. I don’t think Wenger is as bad as people claim. And if this was the problem, there are people behind the scenes who probably would have picked it up by now.

            Anyway, I don’t think changing from making substitutions at 70/75 min. to making them at 60 min. is going to make that much of a difference. As for your second point in your first post, two of our defenders are injured, so how exactly is rotating midifelders and forwards the problem?

            Currently injured are: Kos, Debuchy, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Ozil, Gnabry, Walcott, Giroud and Sanogo (don’t laugh). That’s ten players.
            Debuchy, Monreal, Arteta, Gnabry, Walcott, Giroud and Sanogo have injuries that probably are not the result of being over-played, either because they weren’t playing or had been rested (Monreal, Arteta, Gnabry, Sanogo), or because they had contact injuries.
            That leaves Kos, Ramsey and Ozil whose injuries *may* have come from being over-played. I’m not sure if ligament damage, as in Ozil’s case, is the result of over-playing or contact.
            But you could argue that some of the ones I listed as contact injuries were partly from being over-played, e.g. Giroud.

            Anyway, it’s unlikely the solution to our injury problems are as simple as you suggest, or they would have been addressed ages ago.

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          • Just noticed Monreal was on the bench against Chelsea, but on the website he’s still listed as having a back injury. Apparently Ospina is the one who’s injured.

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  1. Sigh… Let’s hope the interlull is enough time for him to rest. I know he gets a lot of shtick from people cause of the penalties he gives away but he is one of the best defenders in the league and it would be a huge, huge blow if this problem became serious

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  2. We may need to play chambers at CB and have Bellerin cover RB for a couple games to give Kosch some recovery time. Our injury situation has become farcical, at this point i’m not angry anymore, just intrigued to see what we can actually achieve this season.

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    • Isn’t Chambers suspended for the next game? I thought I read somewhere that he’s had five yellow cards. If he hasn’t reached five yet, with his inexperience and keenness it’s unfortunately only a matter of time.

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        • Even with Chambers suspended, I’d really prefer Koscielny be rested against Hull City, Anderlecht and Sunderland. Diego Costa might be a ‘killer’ but can’t help thinking a fully-fit Koscielny might’ve smothered that Fabregas pass. So…

          – Hull City at home (18th Oct)

          – Anderlecht away (22nd Oct)

          – Sunderland away (25th Oct)
          (Gibbs is in the England squad now so his playing time needs to be managed)

          Between now and 1st Nov when Burnley visit the Emirates, that should give Koscielny plenty of time to let his achillesses recover.

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  3. After considerable thought, I am ready for a change of manager. It just seems deja vu too much. Love Wenger but generally feel it may be time to evolve.

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    • What? I’m sorry, what do the injury problems have to do with Wenger? I know he has a lot of responsibility at the club, but I doubt he’s in charge of fitness, medical, treatment and physio. Clubs generally have specialists to do those jobs.

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        • He does have the responsability of signing players to avoid problems with injures too, specially in the defense positions

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      • AW has huge amounts of control within the club. Much more than any other manager of a top club. With so much control he must also assume responsibility for when things go so wrong. The high number of injuries has been a common factor over the last few years. I cannot believe it is just coincidence or bad luck. There is obviously something going wrong somewhere.

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  4. Players are being sent home without even playing a game …..whats it going to be like next week after the internationals are over we,ll be left wit no team to face hull

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    • Being French and all, i think this might have been a move by AW to try and avoid exactly that. Kos doesn’t always start for Les Bleus anyway.

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        • I feel Kos’ last chance will be euro 2016. Sakho got subbed in the WC against Germany. He is so fucking slow on the ball compared to Kos whose passing is underrated in my opinion. Its not Sakho, its Varane and Mangala that will be given chances as they’re the future.

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  5. Well, it’s finally going to happen. We’re going to have a player whose technically not even injured suffer a setback.

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    • Well no, not technically injured in the sense of being on crutches, but it’s a longstanding problem which only months ago was thought might need surgery to put right.

      And therein lies the reason we’ve been top of the injury table for over ten years. A niggle possibly needing surgery at the very least must need a long period of rest. Continue to ignore it in our usual fashion, continue to play Kos twice a week because the only other options are kids or suspended or injured as well, and sooner or later the inevitable will happen and we’ll lose him for months. Having four good-enough central defenders is normal – and affordable – for a CL club. The fact that we survived last season with just two isn’t luck that likely to continue for ever, especially not when a longstanding niggle is simply ignored.

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  6. If you remember, Chambers will be suspended for the Hull game. So if Kos doesn’t make it, it leaves us short at RB & CB.

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    • Either Flamini or Bellerin at RB (since Arteta’s supposed to be back for Hull), Hayden or Nacho at CB. Oh, and Arsene might also choose to whip out his Coq at some point.

      Fucking hell, that just reeks of desperation.

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    • Then, of course, this upcoming run of ‘easier’ ‘winnable’ games where we can ‘rack up a good haul of points’ will disappear like a castle made of sand.

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  7. Stop running him into the ground!

    What we should be doing is nursing him through so he can play in the big games and playing one of the youngsters against shitty teams.

    In games where we’ll have 70% possession and the opposition will be lucky to get 2 shots on goal will it really make much difference?

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  8. Oh ffs come on already. Not a single ball has been kicked this interlull and already Ozil and Koz knackered. Wonder how many will survive to face Hull.

    Shad must be starting to think “I have made a huge mistake”.

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  9. @goonee1886 pretty much every game we have 70% possession and the opposition get only two shots away but more often than not they score from those.

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  10. A backfire of Mert, Gibbs, Bellerin and Monreal against Hull city. And then No substitute defender! Please Get Well soon Kos!

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    • Since Hull are hardly the most dangerous threat in the Prem, I’d rather blood in Hayden a bit, keep Nacho on the bench. The way this is going we’ll probably be playing him and a fresh-out-of-retirement Sol Campbell by Christmas.

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      • They’ve got some skilled players offensively though. Remember the stat from Arsecast about how they’ve spent more this summer than Inter, Milan and Juventus together.

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        • I’m not the most regular listener of the Arsecast, I hadn’t heard about that. In all fairness, Serie A isn’t exactly rolling in money but I’d rather the guys like Menez, Osvaldo (especially if he finds his Roma form) and Morata than Hernandez and Jelavic. For the most part they’ve done some smart transfers.

          Just had a look at Hull’s squad, and yeah, they’ve got some nice attackers, but I thought the way Hayden and Chambers dealt with Pelle was very encouraging. At home especially, I think Hayden should be able to deal with Herandez/Jelavic especially with BFG giving him a hand.

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  11. On the bright side: I believe we shall have zero injuries after Christmas, and with Costa, Cesc, Rooney’s niggles surfacing then, we’ll pip everyone to the title. #Shadyoulegend

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  12. god of injury don’t you see other clubs in england or the rest of europe? Why always Arsenal season after season….. When will you loose your grip on the team… Itleaves me so uneterstellically….well don’t try to look for the meaning cos I don’t think it has any but Its a way to show how sad I am. Wenger pls do something fast

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      • I’m not so sure it’s shitty luck with Dortmund any more than it is with us. They’re a poor club compared to Bayern who poach all their best players, and they don’t have a huge expensive squad with two top-class choices for every position, but they do have to try to compete. Add to that Klopp’s high-energy pressing style, and injuries are pretty much inevitable.

        When were Chelsea or City ever top of the injury table, or for that matter clubs like Stoke or Hull where the expectations and number of games are much lower? It’s the poor but ambitious and overachieving clubs who suffer the most. Not that we’ve been very poor for a couple of years now, so our excuse for not assembling a more balanced squad with enough depth to compete in four comps has worn a bit thin.

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  13. We don’t have chambers for hull, he is suspended so that means monreal will fill in the cb if koscielny is not fit by then.

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  14. Won’t it be ironic if the 2014/15 season that Gazidis and Wenger pinned so much faith in us becoming competitive once again sees us dropping out of the top 4 due to inexplicably not strengthening the back line and DM position?

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    • Umm… Man United still don’t have a defence (Seriously, Per and Gibbs together at the back would probably concede fewer shots than United’s lot), Liverpool are relying on Balotelli (haha) and a ridiculously injury-prone Sturridge, Everton are being quite shit, and Spurs are, well, Spurs. I honestly think we’re favourites for 3rd.

      Here’s hoping Wenger finds the PIN to the bank account and buys us a CB or 10 (just in case) come january.

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    • DM is explicable, we already have two of them and are looking to replace one of them in the next 6 months so it’s better to get the right guy than just waste money.

      CB though, if we end up dropping points due to a dodgy defence, God help the Internet as it will be flooded with tears.

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  15. I’ve had 3 injuries keeping me out for most of this year, where’s my contract Arsene?

    Seriously though, what next? I would say something comical but at this rate, it’d probably happen…

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  16. I liked Isaac Hayden in the league cup game against Southampton. Might be time for him to step up. I have faith if he needs to.

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  17. I don’t see how the manager can avoid being held accountable if Kos is forced to sit out some games.
    Embarrassing ineptitude in the transfer window for such an experienced coach.

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  18. Wenger’s been playing Kos despite this injury since the beginning of the season, & then people wonder why we have so many injuries.

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  19. I’m going to just say it, and as always anything negative will get a lot of thumbs down’s, doesn’t mean this is any less through, Arsene Wenger is hopeless at building a squad. with the money available the last 3 windows we should have a much better squad, He has IGNORED the fact we needed a centre half, we went into this season with two senior centre backs, There isn’t a Sunday league team in Europe who would do that, that is nothing other than horrible horrible squad building, he chooses to ignore any player who is say, tall & well built, maybe not as technical but a commanding physical presence, like for arguments sake Matic, players who City, Chelsea and Utd tend to go for, Teams who Arsene Wenger has collapsed against spectacularly over the last 8 or 9 years, As hard as it is we are only making up the numbers in the prem & champions league’s, we are at best hoping for another cup run, I’ve never posted before but Kos getting injured (and by the sounds of it a long standing problem Wenger probably new about) has pushed me over the limit, things have gone stale at the emirates, New season.. same manager.. same problems

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  20. The worrying thing here is that’s 2 players our medical team have deemed fit for international duty that were crocked. Utter incompetence.

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    • Tbf, we told the Germans to look at Ozil as we thought there might be a problem.

      How me missed tendonitis in both heels though, I don’t know.

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    • Exactly, and the real worry is that he’s really properly injured. National teams aren’t renowned for being cautious. Although France are probably better stocked at the back than most countries and can afford to do without some players.

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    • Jacks, that truly is what shocks me. IF Arsenal indeed did pre-emptively ask Germany to assess Ozil that’s one thing.

      But this one with Koscielny. They knew the issue, they knew this would be one of the rare moments to rest him. It’s quite ridiculous.

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  21. Have to say I noticed him looking in some discomfort in the Chelsea game. Needs to be rested sooner rather than later, as if you bollocks up your Achilles, it’s a very long term injury (remember Vermaelen).

    Glad France have done the sensible thing and given him the week off rather than giving him injections.

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  22. Amazed there’s no outcry. This is the worst season of injuries of all time even by our ridiculous standards.


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  23. We were dangerously thin last year at back, and we let two International defenders slip away. If we had not let Sagna and Vermaelen go, we would not be arguing about which not-quite-ready-for-prime-time-kid gets a start in a league game. Granted there’s only so much that can be done to keep a player who’s contract is ending and wants to go, but when you factor in the $20mil or so it takes to buy a top defender, (and few are out there as good as those two,) they should have both been offered over-the-moon salaries. WAY cheaper to pay them a fortune then to buy an equally capable replacement. It’s penny wise and pound foolish.

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    • In Sagna’s case, do you really think we could match the salary Man $ity was offering? Even if we did, Sagna would still get a signing on bonus from $ity, so it made sense for him to go there. So actually, it wasn’t “penny wise and pound foolish” as you describe it. As for Vermaelen, you don’t pay an ‘over-the-moon’ salary to your third choice CB. Unless you are Chel$ki, Man $ity, P$G, etc.

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  24. So, we can panic now, right?

    AAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Or lose a few games, or whatever.

    Lucky Bellerin, I guess.

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  25. Holy crap this is getting ridiculous!!

    Another day, another injury! Even when we’re not playing!

    Wrap these guys in cotton wool or something maybe?

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  26. Koscielny’s problems with his achilles first came to light in the Community Shield in early August when he got substituted at half time, find it hard to believe that Arsenal not know it was tendonitis before the transfer window closed, everyone knows the only cure to tendonitis is rest and lots of it. Why oh why did Wenger not buy another CB before the window closed? Talk about a risky strategy, especially when this has come to light. He’s always been a gambler but it’s really going bite Arsenal this season, no other manager would take such a risk. A real pity too when we only finished 7 points behind city last year. I’m worried for Arsene now, I feel he’s really going to tarnish his legacy over the next 3 seasons. He should have called it a day after the FA cup, his decisions get stranger by the year.

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  27. This is getting ridiculous but all too predictable. Chambers is suspended the next game so are we to expect Monreal at CB and Coquelain at RB? This is even before we get to the Christmas period where are squad gets decimated with injuries and we fail to act in the January window. I am a Wenger supporter but hard to defend him when he leave us so short in key areas. Achilles tendinitis is not something that just goes away in a day, it needs proper rest.

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  28. Trouble is that Wenger knows he can do what he wants at Arsenal because the board are either too stupid or gutless to sack him no other manager would be allowed such ineptitude in the transfer market

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  29. Ok. Is there ever going to be any good news any time soon? Seriously. This is a fucking joke. This club is looking like a fucking joke. I’m sorry to get angry, I’m usually very calm and level headed in my arguments but anything besides negative reports and news has not come out of the club this season.

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  30. Proof that the phrase “Arsene Knows” is utter shit. A fan off the terrace would have bought Cesc, a CB and a DM in the summer. Club and team mismanagement. £8m pa.

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  31. Unrelated… If this injury jinx continues and fucks up our season and we finish 5th or worse. Would wenger:

    A) get the sack
    B) retire graciously
    C) blame our bad luck with injuries and continue regardless

    I suspect I know the answer

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    • haha good question, I think we all know he loves the blame game, I mean do you think he has any control over any of these things?

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  32. What has happened to Arsenal? We have been slowly transformed into a corporate business masquerading as a football club… The only reason Kroenke bought this club in the first place is for profit.
    Wenger should have been put to pasture but make no mistake about it… It wasn’t the football on the pitch that got him the 3more years, it was buying RVP for 3.5mil & selling for 24mil… Buying Cesc for 500k & selling for 35mil… Buying Song for 1mil & selling for 15mil.
    That’s why he gets paid 8mil/yr – who else could be so incompetent (Ffs… 2 senior cb’s to start the season) yet still stay in his job?

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  33. Arsenal players injured: ospina, debuchy, kos, ramsey, arteta, ozil, walcott, gnabry, giroud. Nearly a full 11 of top players. Fucking joke.

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    • Arsene wenger is a dinosaur sadly, one of the old school no longer modern kind of managers (Moyes type), these injuries are not co-incidence. Too hard training during long periods of time.

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  34. I’d say unbelievable but he has had this problem all season. If his tendon snaps then it would probably be season over and coming back losing his top speed. Down to the bare bones now!

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  35. Its simply Stupid to be worrying about a DM when we do not have enough cover at Cback.

    There is no issue with cover from open play with Flamini against Chelsea. Chambers inexperience was suspect on a number of occasions. But the diatribe invariably focuses on this mythical DM we need and Flamini becomes a lightning rod for criticism when playing well. Its frankly BOLLOCKS.

    We had priorities this season which included a CF and a CB and RB, GK back up. DM and a Cesc creative midfield was frankly very low down in priority list.

    The Arteta replacement could await next summer particularly with Diaby and Coquelin still on the periphery but available. Our ills at the moment competing against clubs do not centre strictly on any deficiency at DM. Much of the goals have been leaked in by set pieces. A physical DM will not help in a counter attacking situation if the rest of the team are off cue.

    Whilst we had ability to pay 30-40m price on occassion, as a self funded club, we also have to be wary of spreading the money across the team and balance out ready made firepower with future potential.

    However there seems no reason why we did not add at Cback except for footballing reasons as the funds were sufficient to cover this area. I presume Wenger is holding out for a really exceptional player either Jan or next June but maybe perfect in this case is the enemy of “Good enough”.

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  36. It’s not as though the club isn’t trying to address these injury problems. There have been numerous investigations into it. We just appointed Shad Forsythe, who spent ten years with the highly successful German national team. Gary O’Driscoll was doctor for the Ireland rugby team for six years. We recently appointed Andy Rolls as head of our medical department. So to claim that it’s ‘gross negligence’ from Wenger, and other stuff like that, is just stupid. Of course everyone at the club is aware of and worried about our injury problems. It’s clear from the new people in those departments that they’re trying to do something about it.

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    • it’s clear that you are quite dull. The first thing you need to do is prevent the injuries. You can sensibly do this by making sure you’ve got depth, rotating the players. You can’t say you have cover for positions and then not play those covers, waiting for the first team to run down.

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  37. so in comes theo and arteta…. out goes ozil, ramsay and kos… upcoming matches until the nxt international break
    Hull(H), Anderlecht(A), Sunderland(A), Burnley(H), Anderlecht(H), Swansea(A)… Arsenal certainly has some catching up to do in both the PL and CL… We have all been talking up arsenal’s pace and the damage it can cause to oppositions but, have seen very little evidence of that so far this season due to wenger’s policy to play 4 cmf, 1 winger and 1 striker pushing 1 cmf out wide that is clearly causing imbalance in the flow of our game. This is the perfect time to unleash our pace especially considering the opposition we face in the nxt 6 games.. we have to play either 2 up front and 1 winger, or 2 wingers and 1 up front, or 3 up front in a 4-4-3… Our defence lacks depth and looks very fragile to injuries… Bearing that in mind lets be brave, bold and fearless in our approach lets be Arsenal “ATTACK IS THE BEST FORM OF DEFENSE” Lets go for it and bounce right back COYG….

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  38. This is becoming a fucking farce.
    It may not be the clubs fault that Kos is injured however it sure as fucking hell is their fault they did not strengthen our already short on numbers defence in the summer!

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  39. I love my club and it saddens me to see the way things are. Every year for how long now when it all goes tits up at the end of the season the excuses roll out and we give AW the benefit of the doubt and the next season to put things right.

    Not any more!

    No other club would have put up with this for so long. Last two years now money to spend and squad to improve yet we find ourself with a defence even thinner than last year. No excuse not to strengthen the defence this summer. Other teams manage it!
    Instead we have just replaced outgoing players , signed one world class player and brought back a loanee.

    Enough is enough. Time for a change of management before our club becomes even more of a laughing stock!

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  40. I recently read an article from the Daily Mail (I know, I know) which stated that our injury record is the worst out of all the other teams over the past 12 years (since 2002).

    Might I postulate a reason for our ridiculous injury woes.

    I used to think to myself that we were pretty blessed on the injury front during the early Wenger years. How often were the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira injured?

    But this doesn’t seem to be the case in recent years, and our players seem to be a little too…brittle, an “affliction” epitomised by the long-suffering Diaby.

    Perhaps it boils down to how “gentlemanly” our players have become over the years. Where we refuse to get so-called “stuck in”, in our belief that football should be played the right and beautiful way.

    Gone are the days when opposing teams would fear “kicking us out of the park”. If any opposition player(s) did it in the past, you can be sure Vieira, Adams, Bould, Keown, Parlour, and even Bergkamp would give the perpetrator(s) their come-uppance.

    But, and maybe I’m just nitpicking here, I sense a lack of that fighting fire in our players nowadays. That need to protect not only themselves, but their team-mates as well. To not just try and calm things down when the situation gets heated up, but to get right into the fire and face it head on. To let other teams know that we’re the Arsenal, you don’t mess with us.

    Unfortunately, teams have now made it a point to disrupt our flow by fouling us, kicking us and dirty-disgustingly-2-footedly tackling us (I’m looking at you Melo and Cahill), without any severe repercussions from the referee, nor are they on the receiving end of our own “vigilante” justice. Opposing teams and players of course, will continue playing the same way against us.

    And every bad tackle, every niggling foul, contributes to the breakdown of a player’s muscle and tendons, which results in constant injuries.

    Makes sense?

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    • Sorry but you are wrong.

      Referees in the EPL typically allows teams to take the initiative when it comes fouling and hold back the whistle and cards.

      But if you commit a retaliatory foul, the whistle blows and out comes the card.

      I guess this means we need to all start behaving like we are from the planet of the Stokes.

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  41. We do not need a DM this season. This is a false argument.

    Our priority this season was

    1) Do not disrupt the back considering we have 3 new players at RB in Debuchy, Bellerin AND Chambers

    2) We still need a Cback.

    With Chambers, Diaby, Coquelin all able to cover Flamini and Arteta, the replacement of Arteta was more than likely an issue for next summer.

    Nor have we been leaking in goals from the break more than we have from set pieces (See United and liverpool who also incidentally use zonal).

    None of MVilla, Melo, Gustavo, Wanyama, Capoue or indeed Carvalho have been more than promise thus far in their career. None are world class. Likely Wenger will renew effort on Khedira next summer.

    Meanwhile we are short at Cback and in a very risky situation.

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