Arsenal injuries are becoming quite legendary. At the moment the injured players are: Olivier Giroud, Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott. Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Debuchy, and Laurent Koscielny. These are all first team players, and they are all out injured. The question is, why are there so many injuries at Arsenal?
Arsenal are leading the chart, as the club with the most injuries. Since 2002, Arsenal had 888 injuries and are leading against Manchester United with 791 injuries. Chelsea had 619 injures and Manchester City had 594 injuries. Of the top 4, Liverpool had the lowest number of injuries at 550 which is almost half of injuries Arsenal had. Why is it so?
I think there are multiple factors at work. I believe that one is, type of players that are playing at the club. The physic of Arsenal players has changed over the years. From tall and strong players, like Viera and Gilberto, there are smaller and faster players, like Walcott and Wilshere. These kind of changes happened because the game has changed.
The speed of the game has changed dramatically. Fast players are becoming more and more important, because they give an edge against opposition. Players that are predominantly strong are losing their value, because they are slow and just can’t keep up with the fast ones. That is why Arsenal have so many small and fast players now, and that is also the reason why there are so many injuries.
I remember Tony Pulis and Stoke; The team based on strong players. They did alright, although they were criticized for medieval football, all the time. The best achievement for them was in mid table. They managed to get to FA cup finale, where they lost to Manchester City. All in all they were solid, but not anything special. You could sense that Pulis was getting maximum out of them. How many injuries did Stoke had? Well they weren’t in a league from 2002, but they certainly didn’t had 888 injuries.
When Arsenal had the likes of Viera and Gilberto, there weren’t that many injuries. Invincibles didn’t have injuries, they had red cards. They were strong, aggressive, had good passing style, but they just weren’t that fast (except Henry obviously). I think that this was the main reason why they did poorly in Europe.
Arsenal players are now quite different, they are small and fast, and have better technique overall. The negative side is that they aren’t that strong nor aggressive, and most of all, they are more injury prone.
Muscles tend to be either very strong or very fast. You can’t have both. The problem with Arsenal is, too many fast players, and not enough strong ones. What I am saying is that you need fast players and strong players if you want to win stuff. Alex Song was a strong player, not a fast one, but he just didn’t had injuries. Wilshere on the other hand, is much faster and better technically, but he is also much lighter, and because of that, injury prone.
To sum up, I believe that Arsenal injury record will change, when more “strong” players are added to the mix. A good start would be Sami Khedira or some similar strong player, because these are the kind of players that can play the whole season and win you the league.