Think of the Arsenal medical centre and for most Arsenal fans it conjures up images similar to those of the men who went over the top in World War 1. Bodies lying everywhere; pieces of limbs strewn around the place; battered helmets and Abou Diaby shuffling mournfully from one side of the room to the other, his right ankle replaced by a pram wheel. But nothing could be further from the truth, and there’s evidence to prove it.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, physio Colin Lewin said, “There is a perception that we suffer a lot of injuries and it takes our players a long time to come back. The evidence is different. We don’t suffer from more injuries, on average, than any other team.
“There is a lot of official UEFA evidence that has been going for many years, to which we participate. This is scientific, published data and when you see this data our injury rate is approximately in the middle of the table”.
Which, unfortunately, tallies with the team’s on-pitch performance at the moment. Sorry, I’ve never been able to resist the easy gag.
As Arseblog News exclusively reported back in June, the club have made significant investments at the training ground to aid player recuperation, including the contruction of a new building to accomodate equipment for long-term injury rehabilitation. Lewin says the support of the club shows they’re serious about improving what is perceived to be a poor record when it comes to injuries.
“It’s a multi-million pound investment”, he said, “so just goes to show that the club is right behind us when it comes to the best healthcare for the players. We do everything we can not only to treat the injuries, but to try and prevent them in the first place”.
The club’s attempt to have Ryan Shawcross banned from life itself fell by the wayside so they’ll have to come up with better ideas. In the meantime, as evening falls, the pitiful squeak of Diaby’s wheel is the only sound you can hear.