Do Arsenal have a big problem with DM injury crisis?

Arsenal have had our fair share of tricky fixture schedules, even as recently as the last time we played in the Champions League. Then the Gunners were faced with a long round trip to Zagreb before the early Saturday kick off at Chelsea.

Thankfully this week has been kinder on Arsenal as we prepare to put the Dinamo defeat behind us and claim all three points at home to Olympiacos. And it is just as well that there is a decent break between the European game tomorrow and the big Premier League clash with Man United, because the club is currently suffering a mini injury crisis in a key position.

We did not know it at the time, but The Mirror is reporting that the Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta picked up a knock during our win over Leicester. He had already had to filling after Flamini tweaked his hamstring and he was only playing because Coquelin had hurt his knee in the Chelsea game.

Luckily for Arsenal, Coquelin did return to training today, albeit with some strapping on his knee. He should be able to play tomorrow though and as long as he doesn´t aggravate the injury he will also be able to face United. But does this once again raise the question of why Wenger chose not to sign another DM this summer? Or is this just an unlucky period that we have just managed to get around?

Tags Arteta Coquelin Flamini


  1. Arteta and Flamini are out,
    Coquelin is a big doubt
    Should we give Nacho a shout
    For little bit midfield kick-a-about?

    1. I’d rather have Ospina play DM than Chambers to be honest. The kid is not ready for the role just yet, and might never be.

  2. Let Ramsey play from there if coquelin is not fit……then an outright winger say Ox or Joel will take ramsey’s place on the Wing.

    1. Might work on weak teams, but the prob with Ramsey is that he lacks Discipline, will forget his role and move too far forward without back-up…

    2. Ramsey is NOT a DM and it always shocks me when fans who are desperate to fit Ramsey into the lineup somewhere assign him a new imaginary ability.

      Ramsey is a central attacker. He is not a winger. He is not a DM. He is not a GK. He is not a striker. He is an attacker who excels in the MIDDLE. He plays his best in the middle as an attacker starting from a deeper position. (Cazorla is currently playing this role). Is this not clear enough after many years??

      How many years more must we endure this effort by Wenger and some fans to shift him around the pitch in a desperate attempt to find some new position where he might fit in?


      1. Actually you are not correct. The best display from Ramsey (e.g. FA Cup final) came with Ramsey being in front of the defenders alongside a decent DM (in this case was Arteta). Ramsey is much better in the middle, I agree but it is not only in forward position. Remember the game at Galatasaray? Same setup but with Flamini next to him.

  3. Glenn Kamara or Bielik would have got call up if they were injured. I reckon it’s not as bad as reported.

  4. Why we all forget to mention who is at fault to begin with!! Who is to blame of not signing proper DMF during summer!! Did he really had a plan or stupiditly believing that low passed aging Arteta or Flamini are good enough!
    Wenger put us in this situation every year even before October and the play innocent and blame everything except himself for it.
    Time is to deal with real issue and it is Wenger. He is to be out.

    1. So are you saying Arsene is to blame for the injuries to Flamini and Arteta during the weekend game? What makes you think whoever would have been brought in as DM wouldn’t get injured on or around the same time Francis will be injured? You seem not to get tired of your negative and classless diatribe against Wenger do you? You were moaning that if Francis get injured we are doomed. Francis got injured and we got two straight wins in two important matches viz: Cup knockout match against bitter rivals and League game away to a very tough opponent. The game tomorrow hasn’t been played yet and you are already well engrossed in your drivel as usual.

      1. @The Analyzer

        Ezat has got a point, Wenger in a way has to take the blame for the injuries and the situation we are now in. There has been talk for years that his training methods are linked with the injuries, and I’m no expert, but I tend to believe this because so many of our injuries are non contact. This problem has cost us year in, year out, and still hasn’t been rectified. Another reason to blame Wenger, is that he runs his players into the ground with his lack of rotation, and he likes to hang onto injury prone players for years (Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky, etc) in the delusional belief that they’ll suddenly have an injury free season. Hanging onto these players brings another problem in that Wenger doesn’t bring in new players because he believes his players will be fit. Thus leaving the squad thin on the ground. It’s unbelievably naive for Wenger not to prepare properly in the summer months, given that we have an injury crisis every single season!

        Arteta isn’t good enough to cover for Coquelin full stop, and has just spent a long time out the game with injury. So relying on him even just from an injury stand point was always a massive risk. Flamini is also not good enough, and picks up a fair amount of injuries, yet another reason why Wenger should have signed a DM.

        Although like you say, a new DM could have been injured right now as well (or not), but you’re surely not suggesting that NOT signing another DM was the correct thing to do? Minimal requirements this summer was a DM as cover and competition for Coquelin, and a first choice striker.

        1. I had to first red mark your comment, something that I rarely do, because it lack it so much lacked in logic and relevance. First you have no knowledge about Arsenal’s training methods and their link to injuries yet you decide to base your argument on that. You claims that most of our injuries are non contact injuries implying that they are muscle injuries. Lets that take the latest injuries we have: Welbeck (Knee), Wilshere (Ankle after clash with Gab), Risicky (Knee), Coquelin (Knee), Flamini (hamstring), Arteta (not sure but reports say he got knocks during the Leicester game). All those injuries barring Flamini’s are contact injuries or linked to how the play landed on the ground. Second if injuries are due to Arsene’s training methods, any new player would suffer the same fate hence solution does not lie in buying players but removing one causing injuries.

          You went on to talk about lack of rotation is reason for injuries forgetting that the season is just 7 games old!!!!!!!!! How could rotation have led to injuries to our players. How often did Chelsea rotate last season and what was their injury record. How often are Man United and City rotating this season. You cannot just thrown in arguments hoping they stick.

          The not good enough Arteta and Flamini played huge roles in Arsenal’s two crucial wins so what is you point. The so called minimal requirement existed in your mind or sphere of influence. Unfortunately for you that sphere of influence does not cover Arsenal.

          1. To be fair, its you who is being too insular in your analysis. The question whether the injuries are caused by Arsenal’s training methods or whether there is only a vague correlation between the two can only be answered accurately by a sports fitness expert. I believe, a good exercise would be to take a sufficiently large sample size of players who played for Arsenal and some other club for a long period, say at least 3-4 years and compare their injury records in the two phases(number, frequency and nature of injuries incurred). I believe its completely logical to consider the manager responsible for fitness related issues pertaining to his training regimen.

            Wenger clearly isn’t particularly consistent when it comes to considering what is good enough for his team. Didn’t he set a precedent by buying Cech to replace Ospina as first choice? Why isn’t that precedent applied to the DM position? Clearly there seems to be bias in play here because Coquelin is his academy player. He is a staunch believer in his academy system. I suppose its understandable why he tends to have more patience with players who have been under his tutelage for longer periods.

            Football is a results business. Wenger garnered such good will through the incredible successes he brought to the club. He has been given commensurate respect by having better job security than any other manager in the league, much to the envy of some(Mou wink wink). Like most Arsenal fans will say, he will always be an Arsenal legend. However, he is now in a situation where he has to show he is capable of competing with the best. He showed glimpses of it by winning two FA cups. He has a squad good enough to compete for the league. Anything short of this means we have to look for fresher alternatives to take us forward. I am a big Wenger fan myself, but objectivity should not be lost despite you wanting someone to do really well.

            1. Something which should never be excluded when wondering what or who is to blame. For a long time the motto when playing the Arsenal was and probably still is “you must kick them”, they don’t like it when you “kick them” and get over physical.

              Arsene has finally went all out in tackling this injury problem. Some of the games most highly respected physios analytics and medical experts have all been brought in along with the perfect choice for head of youth development. I don’t know about you’s but I am very impressed with the choices and decisions made.

          2. @The Analyzer

            Unfortunately you’ve not read my comment correctly, and you seem to have lost your memory, as you’ve only discussed the issues of injuries and rotation in regards to this season, with a little reference to last season. If your memory was good, you’ll know these are problems that have dogged us for years, are not a recent problem. These problems DO roll into the other seasons as well, each season isn’t a separate entity when you have the majority of the same players and the same manager who keeps making the same mistakes.

            First of all, the injuries issue is massively relevant despite what you say. When you’re missing key players for huge chunks of a season, it does cause problems. If Alexis missed 5 months last season, where would have we been? Like I said, I’m no expert, but clearly something has been going wrong for years. It can’t be bad luck when the problem has been so consistent for years. So obviously questions need to be asked.

            If you do know your Arsenal history past last season, then you’d know lots of injuries have been non contact. You disagree and say our players have taken knocks. Well considering a lot of these knocks come from at least minimal contact challenges, surely we still have a problem. Our players seem to get injured for months on end with minimal contact going by your point. Very relevent if you ask me.

            Your final point about minimal requirements did make me chuckle though. My point about new players wasn’t an unfounded belief I had, it was just my opinion based on what I see when watching Arsenal over the years. I prefer my opinions to be based on facts and not fiction. By your response you’re clearly an AKB or you don’t watch/hardly ever watch Arsenal play. Because if you did watch them, or had any knowledge of football, you’d know how important a top striker is in ANY team, and how important it is to have quality squad depth if you have genuine ambitions of success domestically and in Europe. Squad depth is even more important for a club like Arsenal considering the consistent injury problems we have.

      2. What kind of rational human doesn’t expect old players with long term injury history to get injured again after few matches?

        it’s so obvious that we need a fresher and younger DM as a proper Coq backup for whole season.

  5. For tomorrows game and we the resources at hand I wouldn’t risk Coq with Man U coming up plus we have seen the negative side of rushing players back.

    Play Ramsey as DM and have a firm word in his ear to stick to his task this time around. Unfortunately Theo may have to start aswell.

    I know it sounds like an old record but Wenger should have bought a back up DM and ST, injuries are always part of our teams plus there are suspensions, loss of form, etc which are hard to anticipate but should be planned for.

    1. So to follow your logic Arsenal should have added two more players to their current squad of 22 thus bringing their full squad of those above 21 years to 24 players. This would have meant four DM players but since you have always said Arteta and Flamini are past it this would have meant sell Arteta and Flamini, and buy Kondongobia for argument’s sake. Francis gets injured in the Chelsea game then Kondongobia plays in the Capital Cup tie and in the Leicester City game.

      Now since both Flamini and Arteta got injured in that game, what would have happened had it been the new acquisition getting injured after 21 minutes while Francis was also out injured? Would you still be making the same argument, unless you claim that any new DM would not be injured at the same time as the existing player, which will be a very laughable argument. Put differently, the way this are turning out in the DM position points to the prudence of keeping both Arteta and Flamini rather than follow your argument during the transfer window.

      Players always get injured and it will be up to other players to be versatile enough to cover for areas that are affected most by injuries. So Ramsey, Carzola, and to some extent Chambers will have to cover in those areas as and when needed.

      1. What if this, what if that, I am talking about reality, what is on the ground now. Do you base all your decisions on what if?

        The fact is Wenger needed to buy a DM and ST as we are short in these areas, Arteta and Flamini are both getting older hence injuries and loss of form will most likely be a reoccurring thing (not all players are like Pirlo, Makelele, Zidani or Alonso). If we had a promising DM in the reserves we could easily fill the gap of these two then keeping them both without recruiting would have made sense but this is not the case.

        What’s wrong with some funs not wanting us to have a perfect squad or atleast near perfect. “Going by your what if’s”, what is Ramsey and Coq get knocks tomorrow then what happens?

        1. First all ex ante decisions are based on what if analysis. The reason why you argued that Arsenal should by a DM was based on what if Coquelin gets injured and nothing else. Now that three DMs have gotten injured at the same time you now try to mask your argument as if the new DM you wanted was meant to be the fourth DM Arsenal would have. If truth be told you wanted Arteta and Flamini out with a new recruit coming in. My point therefore was and is, the scenario you wanted during the transfer window would have left Arsenal worse off during the Leicester game.

      2. 4 DM players? Seriously? Who might they be?

        How about 2 quality DMs instead of 1 DM (Coq) plus 1 who is no longer up to the job (Flamini) and 1 who has never been a DM but just fills in because Wenger needs him there. (Arteta).

        Just need 2 quality/capable DMs. That is all. We have 1 quality DM. Still need 1 more.

        (BTW: Flamini had a great game the other day but he was NOT playing DM – he was an attacker in that game)

        1. The issue under discussion is injuries and whether we should have bought a DM in the transfer window not quality of players. Considering that we had all the DM players injured almost at the same time, my argument is we would have been left worse off if we had bought one DM and sold Arteta and Flamini, because it would have meant to DM after 21 minutes against Leicester. As such it is logical to start saying we should have bought another DM in light of the recent injuries in the DM position.

          Now coming to your point about how Arsenal only have one quality DM, all I can say that with the “rubbish” DMs Arsenal managed to win two crucial games in a row. So Those “rubbish” players have been good value for their “lack of quality” so far.

          1. I guess you are gonno be very comfortable giving excuses for monsieur wenger for the next decade just as you have been doing for the past decade, the fact that we needed a DM and a centre forward in d past summer is not rocket science or based on your rickety analysis

  6. Oh wow, I didn’t foresee a possible DM problem during the summer….not. This is a product of penny pinching

    If Coquelin ever has a long term injury, we are screwed

    Arteta and Flamini can play the odd match here and there and play well but long term I doubt.

    1. In the end only then will you know if these three players are capable. But until the two older lads are gone and we bring in another and or promote a youngster we will not know until their showing in the end. Hypothesis.

  7. While I do think Arsene should have found a better DM in the summer, I still think the main issue is his tactics and lack of adjustment for the players on the field. If your first choice player at a position is injured, you don’t ask the backup to come in and play the exact same role and expect the exact same result. Arsene has been looking for a certain type of player for the DM position, and Coquelin fits it well and surprisingly absolutely shines there.

    Flamini and Arteta are different types of players and will not shine without Arsene adjusting how the rest of the team plays around them and the role they play. Arteta is not a good tackler, and honestly doesn’t go to ground that often. So to play him as a DM, you need a CM next to him that will get stuck in a bit and win the ball back with tackles when needed. Ramsey is the only one that will do that, even if he is caught too far up field sometimes. Flamini needs someone to take the passing burden away from him, so Cazorla works well. But Flamini also needs to have cover constantly or he will let the tackles fly to try to stop the attacks, and we know where that road goes. Arteta I think would be a good player in that CM role next to him, or Cazorla if given instructions to sit a bit deeper.

    I think it is interesting that Arsenal are known for playing young players, but how often do we actually play young players in meaningful games? As opposed to the other big teams who will surround a young player with talent and support that makes it easier for them to grow into the team and into the game, Arsene asks a young player to be as good as anyone, and immediately be comfortable in the same role and responsibilities as the first choice player is.

    Last year, he actually did a fantastic job with this as you could see how limited Coq’s role was at first. He grew into the role and as he did, Arsene gave him more responsibility and blended him into the team more. But that is the only time in the past several years I have seen him bring someone in slowly like that. I think some of the youngsters and backups could flourish more easily if Arsene would give them minimal roles that they could grow from instead of playing them in cup games with a team full of backups who are all struggling to find a role in Arsene’s system and sometimes are outright played out of position.

    I know that Arsene CAN do it. I just want him to do it more often. The best experience for a young player or a backup that can challenge for first team is for them to play in league games and be successful, but Arsene has to give them a fair shot and not ask them to hit the ground running like he does to many of his backups. Arteta and Flamini should be adequate backups honestly. And we have some young talent that could be given the chance. But really, it only hurts them, their confidence, and the team’s ability to win if you fail to set them up for success.

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