Arsenal’s midfield problems are not ending any time soon

Arsenal have only played 7 games of the 2022/23 season, and we were quickly reminded about how short we were in the midfield area, especially after Mo Elneny suffered a long term injury and then Thomas Partey (shock!) quickly succumbed to his usual injury problems after just a few games of the new season.

It was obvious we needed more help in the centre of the park well before our failed bid for Douglas Luiz at the end of the transfer window, but since then we have found out that our new backup Oleks Zinchenko has now got his second injury of the season already, and it looks like Emile Smith-Rowe’s injury is going to be yet another long term problem for Arteta.

The injury expert Ben Dinnery has given a very worrying update on a time-scale for Smith-Rowe coming back. He told FootballTransferTavern: “This is difficult. Calvin Ramsay has had similar issues, but he is a bit younger. Smith Rowe is 22, so this is a bit more rare as you aren’t going to see a significant growth spurt with him.

“They are pointing to issues he had during his time with RB Leipzig back in 2018-19. This is a very complex area of the body. It’s sometimes called spaghetti junction because of how much is going on in there.

“They have been aware of this for the last three or four years. In the last nine to 10 months, things have gotten worse. Conservative treatment and rest are typically the best courses of action.

“In terms of peak muscle mass, you can still be developing into your mid to late-20s. If there has been a weakening because of those issues, that’s where the problems may stem from.

“It’s difficult to give a specific diagnosis or timeframe because, with overuse issues, there are problems. You have to ease back until the problems subside and gradually increase your load and see how the body responds to those triggers.

“If it is favourable, you will continue to develop. But when you have that pain response, you have to go back to previous activity levels. It could be something that Smith Rowe has to deal with for quite a bit longer yet.”

So it looks like ESR will have to treated with kid gloves for some time, just like Thomas Partey’s return will need to be carefully managed due to his recurring problems.

And then just to add the icing on the cake, we find out that our captain Martin Odegaard has picked up a knock and couldn’t even travel to the Brentford game.

Oh the joys of being an Arsenal fan!


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  1. This has ben an issue going back to the Wenger days. Idk how many times injuries have curtailed our progress in the season. I remember the season Ramsey was on beast mode and we were around the top of the table. Injury in December, 4 months out, and down we came tumbling. Same for Santi Cazorla, or just last season with Partey and Tierney out. There is something seriously wrong in Arsenal in regards to training/ fitness issues.

    1. I remember,at the time fans were asking for an investigation into our medical department,some even blamed AW so called archaic training methods.

      1. I’d forgotten about that! I figure it was more frustration than anything else coz if something keeps happening it isn’t a coincidence. It is a trend

    2. I agree, training regime needs to be looked at here, no way we should be having this volume of injuries so early in the season

    1. I read that he’ll probably be back around Dec.’ “Ben Dinnery, claims he may have played his last match for this year.

      He tells Football Insider:

      “I will be very, very surprised if we see Elneny before that winter break.

      “Typically, with a high-end hamstring injury, it’s at least two months, probably closer to three, and you can’t rule out it extending beyond that. We have had instances where that has happened.

      “The winter break comes around November, so it makes sense to hold him back until those December fixtures just to give him the best chance. You have to be careful given the really high recurrence rates with this type of injury.” ‘

  2. Certinly A WOEFUL TYPE ARTICLE! A lot in life, as in football, depends on your personal attitude towards the problems we ALL have at times.

    You could, were you a positive person conclude that we now have a far more fluid formation and much stronger squad thanj last season too,where several players can play in more than one, even more than two, positions and that THAT progess means things look good for our immediate future, despite injuries

    OR you could, if you wish to be a pessimist, conclude that we are doomed for ever more to have injury after injury- as if NO other club ever has those same problems either – and write off our club as permanently doomed to failure.

    I am older than many on here and my own long life has shown me, without doubt, that we ALL have problems, but how you face up to them and your attitude to how you deal with them, is of PRIME IMPORTANCE. I regard that last sentence as having maturity and reality.

  3. Being an arsenal fan is something I can’t explain but its so real, when I saw partey playing and the victory and xhaka who was once an issue but now a golden boy its all so exciting.

  4. English Premier League Injury Table
    AFC Bournemouth
    Aston Villa
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    Crystal Palace
    Leeds United
    Leicester City
    Manchester City
    Manchester United
    Newcastle United
    Nottingham Forest
    Tottenham Hotspur
    West Ham United
    Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Last update: 19 Sep 22 15:54 GMT
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