As the new season draws near after what is believed to be the best world cup in Brazil, soccer loving fans awaits eagerly the kick-off of the new season. Players have been reporting back to their respective clubs in preparation for the new season. Clubs have arranged their pre-season tours and friendly games to keep their players fit and ready. The Barclays premier league kicks off less than a month from now (Aug 16), it promises to be competitive and entertaining as usual.
Arsenal football club will double their efforts to make sure they keep the winning spirit after ending their nine years trophyless drought with the FA cup win at Wembley last season. The atmosphere around the Emirates stadium has changed with the fans believing a new era has come and the club can compete for trophies with the big clubs in the world. The signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and Mathiue Debuchy from Newcastle United and with more signing promised by Arsene Wenger there is a greater chance of adding more trophies to their cabinet.
One thing the club must however do is to ensure they keep their players free from injuries next season. The London based club must add steel to their game. Arsenal football club played a total of 56 games last season in all competition which is an indication that a season is a marathon and not a sprint and if you must actually win something, you must ensure you have both quantity and quality. You simply cannot do without one or the other. The Gooners must ensure they keep their players fit ahead of the new season. The club had a record of 123 different injuries to different players last season. Players such as Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Oxlade Chamberlain, Yaya Sanago, Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby were injured at different periods last season. Ramsey which was undoubtedly Arsenal’s best player of the season played 34 games out of the 56 which is 61% missing the busiest period of January, February and came back late March, Walcott had 32% due to the anterior cruciate ligament injury he had in January, Ox Chamberlain had 36% involvement, Wilshere had 63% been off and on with ankle/foot injuries, club captain Vermaelen had 38%, Rosicky had 72% with calf/shin injuries problems while Diaby had just one appearance for the whole season. Arsene Wenger needs to pay more attention to the physical state of his team as much as he does to the mental and tactical aspect.
The club has made the first major step by ensuring a new fitness coach is brought in. It is insanity to do the same thing over and over and again and expect different outcomes and by signing a new fitness coach, I sincerely hope and believe it will go a long way. Although we are not in the know here but training methods may well be the reason why our players keep getting injured.
Another thing that I believe the club should do in order to sort the injury crisis is ensuring players are not overplayed. This can be sorted by ensuring the club has enough depth. You cannot realistically play the same players over and over again and expect them not to get tired or get injured (which in itself come with fatigue).
The last time arsenal won the league was in 2004 during the invisibles era, no UEFA champions league trophy in their cabinet, won the FA cup last season and no league cup for a while. If they will defend their FA cup trophy successfully as well as winning the prestigious UEFA champions league and the glamorous premier league, they must ensure that they keep their players fit and injuries free next season. Competing with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich in Europe as well as well as Chelsea, Man city, Man United, Liverpool, eternal rivals Spurs both domestically and continentally, their players must be fit for the challenge ahead of the new season.