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Fit Players Are The Key

Fit Players Are The Key

The frustration of Arsenal fans is evident from all corners of the world, the exit from 3 cup competitions in 10 days too much to bear for some Gooners and the latest defeat at Goodison park with seconds left was the final straw.

The goal shy Gunners capitulating in their first season at Ashburton Grove, just what the Spuddies wanted.

Time to get worried?

Not just yet.

The current form of the Arsenal is extremely frustrating, indeed I'm not sure my vocal chords will hold out for much longer, but many a Gooner, now desperate for a run of consecutive victories, have now heard the criticism of the Spurs fans so often that they are starting to believe it.

I offer you 'injuries'.

A lame excuse some may say..........nah ah, FACT.

Stability is an important factor in football, the need to feel a bond on the pitch is just as great as technical ability. It's vital, at the highest level in football that each player knows what his brother is going to do without asking, or indeed looking. The double winners of 2002 and the invincibles of 2004 had, for most of the time, a constant starting line up, with only a few injuries.

We seem to be leaking goals for fun from set pieces of late, and Mr Stillman provided the statistic that if you have more than four set pieces around the Arsenal goal, history predicts you are likely to score.

Hardly surprising when your two best central defenders (Toure & Gallas) have played less than 10 times together in the centre of defence. Is it surprising when your right back has only started 14 Premiership games and your first choice left back 17?

Since the turn of the year the mighty Gunners have increasingly found it difficult finding the back of the net. Coincidence that our two top goal scorers Theirry Henry have been injured for almost the entire time? Perhaps. But when you consider that out of 29 league games we have played this season Henry has started 16 (and he has been injured for the majority of those) whilst the deadly Robin van Persie has only started 17 then it might be easy to see why we lack in goals.

The young players we have are undoubtedly going to go on and do great things, but the lack of Premiership experience & stability have cost us dear this season.

While it would be blinkered of me to suggest that once these players return that we will, without a doubt, go on to win the league with a full squad of fit players, the same could also be said about people who are genuinely worried about whether or not we can compete at the highest level when the best players (and lets face it, that's not opinion, that's fact) have spent the majority of the season on the sidelines.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday March 19 2007
Time: 11:12AM


So what you're really saying is that the squad players aren't good enough?..............Who's faults that then. Also why do we consistently get so many injuries, some of it can be put down to bad luck but certainly not all of it.
Ashburton Gooner
19/03/2007 11:31:00
I didn't understand the rationale yesterday of playing 3 players out of position at the back in order to cover the LB position. Clearly though the big problem is not putting chances away and that is all down to injuries.
19/03/2007 11:37:00
Show me a team who's back up players are just as good as their first team players!!!!!!! Putting one or two in at a time is fine, but replacing an entire team will just not work. So what do you think is causing the injuries?
19/03/2007 11:40:00
Having the most players at the World Cup didn't help. Totally wrecked our pre season.
19/03/2007 11:53:00
The key thing Wenger has to think about is balance. Having an entire squad full of stars just doesnt work, just ask Real Madrid. He needs good young players coming through who will be about to reach their peaks as older players such as Gilberto, Henry, Gallas and such retire. These players are excellent prospects and the talent is unquestionable, but they are far from the finished products. They are more than capable of filling in (one or two players excluded) but when these players have to have a susstained run in the team due to inury, it is obvious that it will have an adverse effect on the team. How can it not?????
19/03/2007 11:54:00
Imagine where Man Utd season would be without Ronaldo, Rooney, Vidic, Neville & Giggs, or Chelsea without Drogba, Lampard, Terry, and Essien, or Spurs without, Berbatov :)
19/03/2007 11:57:00
Chelsea have lost one player for a long period and it is apparently the reason they're not going to win the title. The reason nobody realises the injury list is because Wenger never offers it as an excuse. If United had been without Saha, Rooney and Solskjaer this weekend, who would have been upfront? Alan Smith on his own. If Chelsea would have lost Drogba, Shevchenko and Kalou, who would their strike force have been? Robben on his own.
Little Dutch
19/03/2007 12:05:00
Some of Wenger's team selections are strange. Why play Gilberto in defence when we could have had a back four consisting of Hoyte Toure, Gallas and Flamini. Gilberto and Diaby in midfield would give additional cover in front of this defence (sounds familiar - Paddy and the fellah with pony tail!!) with Cesc and Rosicky/Hleb creating for the 2 front runners who are really our weakest link. If Flamini won't play at left back then he should be on his bike! I agree that other teams would be in the **** without there 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice strikers. Wev'e just got to tough it out and hope Arsene reads some of the blogs!
19/03/2007 12:25:00
Man utd did have injury problems this weekend & still won against bolton easily.......................Everyone always uses real madrid as an example of how buying big names doesn't work, however they always neglect to mention the likes of Juventus who were regularly winning their league or now Inter Milan, Barcelona or chelski. Also people are overlooking the fact that real madrid were successful with big names & I seem to remember a classic goal by zidane winning them the champions league...............Chelski have been without a fair few players this season, Terry, both coles, bridge, ballack etc etc & they are still second in the league & still going for 4 trophies with a realistic chance of winning 3, so you wouldn't call that a bad season. Arsenal are not improving, but some fans seem to blindly follow whatever Wenger says. "The team is better than last season", oh it must be true cos Arsene said it. Who are we really missing through injury that would make a difference?? Henry, probably but then we didn't do any better last season. Rvp?? He has never scored 20+ goals a season so people are just guessing that he would, with nothing to back it up. Other than those two who are we really missing???....................Rocky, I blame Wenger & the coaching staff for the constant injuries over the past two years, it would seem a very strange coincidence that half our team at one point or another has gone down with groin or hamstring injuries!!
Ashburton Gooner
19/03/2007 12:33:00
Wenger is saying we lost yesterday through lack of maturity?? Well sorry but I don't buy it. Seven of the starting 11 were 25 or over & all but Hoyte in defence were over 25 with tons of experience. Wenger is getting the team selection wrong time after time & then blaming the one or two kids for each defeat!! A few years ago, Wenger said he couldn't risk youngsters because they cost you points then just a couple of years later he bases his whole team on youth?? Gallas & Henry have both said that playing nice football means nothing if you keep losing & they are right!! Andy Gray, for once in his miserable exsistance got something right yesterday when he questioned what these constant defeats would actually do long term to the youngsters?? Some may grow from it, but others like Manninger in the past won't be able to cope with it!!
Ashburton Gooner
19/03/2007 12:41:00
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