What Should Be Done For An Injury-Free Season For Arsenal.

A team can have the best starting eleven and coach but still go on to be unsuccessful.

That can be said to be the story of Arsenal. Where little things like injuries has always sabotaged their performance season in, season out. Last season had a long list of Arsenal stars sidelined for one problem or the other as key players spent major spells being injured. Players like Jack  Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yayo Sanogo, Lawrence Koscielny and Nicholas Bendtner were all out for long periods.

For Arsenal to avoid this kind of epidemic from breaking out the new season, they have to look into the club’s training methods and medical procedures.

According to the Irish Times, Arsene Wenger suggested that Arsenal’s injury problem might be related to his players taking legal supplements to enhance all or some aspects of their lifestyle and performance without the knowledge of the club.

The manager revealed in March that he had ordered an investigation into the club’s training methods and medical procedures in an effort to establish whether they could have avoided their latest injury crisis. He added that certain medications could make the players tired and since injuries are sometimes the result of lower levels of stamina, it might be a factor.

For Arsenal to prevent this injury crisis from sabotaging their efforts towards having a successful season, the following steps must be taken:

Players need not be rushed back from injury. In an interview, fitness coach Raymond Verheigen granted to the Daily Mirror, he gave an example of Walcott. They brought him back from injury and played him five times in sixteen days. All of them were for duration of ninety minutes. When fatigue is accumulated, the nervous system becomes slower and fatigue is one of the reasons for the anterior cruciate ligament injury which is the one Walcott suffered to his knee.

Wenger raised an alarm of some of the players taking medication for reasons other than football. He opined that players who took hair-loss remedies and diet pills were putting their health at risk. He frowned at the subtle self-medication that some players were indulging in. In 2011, former player, Kolo Toure, then at Manchester City was given a six-month ban for taking bendroflumethiazide, a weight loss drug which was recommended to him by his wife.

Former Arsenal midfielder-turned -scout, Gills Grimandi  said that arsenal had more ball possession than other teams which made their players susceptible to injuries since the other teams would do anything to win the ball back. He identified the problem into four: possession, tackles, ball possession and exhaustion. A pundit, David Walls confirmed at the London club had suffered 4938 tackles over the last five seasons.

Arsenal should do all they can to release the ball more often so as to avoid being badly tackled. Wenger’s advice should be taken seriously as harmless drugs taken by some players ends up not being in their best interest.

Now a major step has been taking to further curb the injury crisis for the Arsenal players in preparation for the new season as Arsenal’s first summer signing being a fitness coach Shad Forsythe who will work alongside Tony Colbert who has been the club’s first team fitness coach for about 16 years now.

Shad Forsythe who is currently Germany’s head fitness coach is expected to join the gunners in the 2014/2015 season.

In one of his articles with performbetter.com, he laid down some tips of what the arsenal fans are to expect from him. He said:

“Immediate recovery should take place within the first thirty minutes after competition or training.
Athletes’ Performance has had great results utilizing immediate recovery which encompasses nutrition and cryotherapy.

Post workout nutrition should consist of: a mixture of carbohydrates, fats, proteins (based on the athletes body composition and exertion level), electrolytes (based on the athletes perspiring levels), and water for hydration.Cryotherapy should consist of cold water immersion (55 degrees F) for at least 5 minutes.

 Athletes exerting the whole body (Rugby/American Football) should be fully immersed with only the head showing while athlete primarily exerting the lower body (Cyclist/Soccer) immersion to above the waist is acceptable. For the 2006 World Cup we traveled with 6 big garbage cans that we could fill with ice and water for immersion directly after each
contest”.

The 40 year old who is highly experienced and has worked with top athletes and clubs like LA Galaxy is said to apply scientific methods and theories like Newton’s Laws of Motion “a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force” to the training and recovery methods would bring the much needed improvement on the injury front.

With the acquisition of Shad Forsythe, expect the improvements in players’ speed, shorter injury spells, increase in fitness and stamina levels, and the subsequent improvements on the field of play as well as the much needed result at the end of each game .

If all these can be achieved, the sky would be the starting point for us this new season. COYG!!

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