Imagine what the league table would have looked like had Arsenal not suffered a lot of injuries during the course of last season. Arsenal of all teams in the top half of the table suffered more injury woes.
Arsenal were top of the EPL table for 128 days compared to Chelsea 64, Liverpool 59, and City 11 before the league came to an end last Sunday. The league as we all know is a marathon and the title is not won by the number of times spent on top of the table, but the number of points garnered on the final day of the season.
Where did it all go wrong for the Gunners?
Arsenal started the 2013/2014 EPL with a number of players out injured, which gave the fans a lot of scare. Things got worse when Oxlade Chamberlain was replaced in our league opener against Aston Villa due to an injury that ruled him out for six months.
Luckily we were able to recover from our home loss to Aston Villa and garnered a lot of points and actually went on top of the league until the injury curse reared its ugly head again. First it was Ramsey, who undoubtedly was our star player before sustaining an injury in an EPL match played on Boxing Day. Thereafter, players like Walcott, Ozil, Wilshere, Koscielny, Gnabry, Gibbs, Nacho, and Chamberlain took their turn on the treatment table.
In my opinion, we lost the 2013/2014 league title due to injuries sustained by players like Ramsey, Walcott and Ozil and not necessarily to our inactivity in the January transfer window. Who was to say if those players were fit we would not have won the league; we probably would have been talking about a photo finish to the EPL title with Arsenal as winners.
There is no doubt that we need some quality signings this summer, but we should never shy away from dealing with our injury problems, the biggest signing Arsenal can make in the summer is someone who will put an end to Arsenal’s injury woes. Perhaps, there is need to manage our players’ fitness differently from what we have been used to. Players like Nasri and Fabregas were plagued with all kinds of injuries while playing for us, but things appeared to have changed since they departed.