Has injury crisis killed yet another Arsenal title challenge?

While some Arsenal fans as well as the generally not as sympathetic folk who make up the football media will call any attempt to come up with a reason for Arsenal falling to nine points off the Premier League leaders Chelsea just looking for an excuse, I think we have to look at the latest season full of injury problems and accept that this will have a negative effect on the Gunners or any side for that matter.

Yet again Arsenal have been hit by all manner of injury problems. No club currently has more than the eight players missing that we do and it has been this way pretty much all season. In fact the problems were there before a ball was even kicked and Arsene Wenger had to cope without any of his first choice centre backs on the opening day and it will be almost two years since Danny Welbeck’s long term problems began.

While you can argue that other clubs also have their own problems to deal with, is it really a coincidence that the pace setters Chelsea have been almost injury free so far, or that last season’s surprise winners Leicester City were able to field the same starting line up for almost the whole campaign?

Do you really believe that any club would not miss the likes of Cazorla, Bellerin, Ramsey and two of the best centre backs in Mustafi and Mertesacker? It is not just the players missing either, as a long injury list forces the manager to play the fit players until the fatigue factor starts to kick in and that has appeared to be an issue over the last week, so will Arsenal see yet another title challenge falter because of the maddeningly ever present injury crisis?


Tags Wenger


  1. Dennis says:

    Jack Wilshere goes to bournmouth and all of a sudden he’s being managed properly and is playing out of his mind? Why hasn’t the injury crisis been addressed yet? why haven’t we bought a proper CF? sanchez could play RB if we needed him to, that’s not the point. The point is this manager although a legend is way past his prime and we need someone who really knows the modern game.

    1. bran99 says:

      injuries has been terrorizing Arsenal since so long, but still we lament on the same issue season after season.. are injuries really the reason? why hasn’t that been addressed, coz this is not the first season that we put our blames on the Injury thing..

  2. Juhi McLovin says:

    The amount of articles sidetracking the fact that we are out of the title race is unbelievable.

    “We can win the FA Cup”
    “We can brush off Bayern”
    “Injuries ruined Arsenal’s title challenge”

    Stop it. Injuries didn’t ruin anything, excuses. If we are truly a one man team (Santi), it just makes our situation even sadder. Our defense conceded goals even with Mustafi.

    Fact is that our only, total football match which lasted for the whole 90 minutes was against Chelsea.

    In every other match we have been either a) horrendous throughout, or b) great at times, crap for the rest of the match.

    We all know who’s responsible for the players and how they play. It’s one man’s job to motivate them, put some fire in them. But we already know this man doesn’t give pep talks, he kind of just is there for appearances.

    1. bran99 says:

      “he kind of just is there for appearances” and the fat paycheck

  3. rahul says:

    Two factors which are contributing heavily to our drop in form:
    a. Uncertainity over managers futur
    b. Contract negotiations. We have too many players whose contract extensions are due. Arsenal would like to keep hold of them. Manager trying hard to kerp all if them happy and coz of which sometimes players who are not performing and should not be starting are playing and letting the team down.
    Just my thought!!!

    1. Juhi McLovin says:

      So this has been the problem for 12 seasons now..?

      1. rahul says:

        @Juhi: very valid question. Its just that I think we were better equipped this year compared to our previous seasons..

  4. rahul says:

    Two factors which are contributing heavily to our drop in form:
    a. Uncertainity over managers future
    b. Contract negotiations. We have too many players whose contract extensions are due. Arsenal would like to keep hold of them. Manager trying hard to kerp all if them happy and coz of which sometimes players who are not performing and should not be starting are playing and letting the team down.
    Just my thought!!!

  5. JAmerican says:

    Only Arsenal can kill Arsenal’s title challenge.

    I wouldn’t blame injuries for our bad fortunes but more to bad preparations, Mertesacker was injured before the season started and it was no surprise that Koscielny would be participating in the Euros and shouldn’t be rushed back.

    As far as other injuries I wouldn’t blame our dropped points on those as well, because we were always good quantity wise but we lack quality in depth and are depending on 1 Alexis to drag us across the finish line.

    Regarding Chelsea their main focus is the league only as it was Leciester’s last season so they will more than likely suffer less injuries from playing less games and are able to field their strongest team more often.

    In short we only have ourselves to look at for our preparations and performances.

  6. arsenal_canada says:

    As someone previously mentioned, these articles are clutching at straws. The fa cup shouldn’t be our number 1 priority, nor should the champions league be atm. That’s not until February! There is NO injury crisis! Apart from Cazorla and mustafi were playing with a more than capable team! There is no excuse this time! These players and manager have no fight, passion or pride, as we saw yesterday! It’s all down Wenger and the players this time. NO EXCUSES!!!!

  7. AndersS says:

    Is this site actually interested in a serious debate about how Arsenal can become champions again?
    One week ago exactly, it was promoted everything was working according to Wengers grand plan, and those of us, who have been critical of Wenger in the past, were supposedly gone hiding and too afraid to admit, everything was perfect.
    And now the great plan has been derailed simply because of bad luck with injuries?
    Come on! See if you can raise the quality a little bit, please.

    1. Dennis10Bergkamp says:

      People like you only come out of hiding when Arsenal is performing bad.
      But still Arsenal is fourth and we are doing OK.
      We were never a world class team.
      Stop being deluded and accept the fact that this club is mediocre.
      Go in with zero expectation, disappointments will hurt a lot less when you know Arsenal are not a world class team and won’t win the league EVER.

      1. Justsoccerfan says:

        Bravo! Well said!

  8. Raoh says:

    Would Mustafi have played in the last 2 games had he been healthy: YES. Would Santi have played more had he been healthy and been a starter in the last 2 games: YES. But due those injuries explain the losses we’ve incurred in the last 2 games: NO!!
    Those injuries doesn’t hide the fact that we had on both occasions a strong XI give or take 1-2 players & that we were up 1-0 before the debacle. Matter of fact aside from the Chelsea game we haven’t gotten a win against what we can consider top tier teams.
    Losses against Liverpool, Everton & City and draws against Paris, United, Tottenham & Leicester. Something is simply not right with the team mental make up and focus. The quality in every line is there even without Santi & Mustafi.
    To come back from half time and play as if we got the game and let it slip is unacceptable. To not go for a 2nd goal and put the game to bed is unacceptable. Is it Wenger’s fault? Is it the players’s fault? Whatever the case may be this must be figured out quickly that’s it!
    We need to stop the selfies when we win and just go about our business and keep going until the season ends. Ozil & Monreal must also be dropped if they’re not performing (We have Gibbs & Ramsey). Why hasn’t Lucas seen minutes when the Giroud sub hasn’t paid off recently?
    As it looks right now we will need to go on a big streak of games won to get back in the mix of things.

  9. ThirdManJW says:

    Players missing is a laughable excuse! City were missing more than we were, and still battered us! Are we such a weak squad, that only a couple of first team players missing can completely derail us? Of course not! Wenger is tactically inept, that’s the problem.

    The City game was a perfect example of Wenger’s tactical naivety. Wenger’s tiki-taki didn’t work in the second half, it got us into so much trouble, and we could barely string two passes together. Wenger brings on Giroud. A perfect time to now change to a more direct style, and change the formation. Stick Alexis or Ozil up there with him. But no, more tiki-taka, which again, gets us nowhere. Then with only 5 minutes left, I think, surely now we’ll start playing long balls, and stick either Koscielny or Gabriel up top with Giroud…no. More tiki-taka, again, gets us nowhere. Then I remember, with only 2 seconds on clock, Cech made a short pass, instead of just launching it, and we missed our last chance to pressurise the City defence. What a joke! You can’t even blame the players, because it steams from the manager. He drills it into his team how they must play at ALL times. Even if it hasn’t worked for the entire game, we must continue playing the same way.

    This has become a familiar theme from Arsenal, going back so many years under Wenger. He refuses to compromise on his failure of a philosophy, even just for a few minutes at the end of an important game, when we’re desperate for a goal. He is a complete joke from a tactical perspective. Amazing to think that Wenger’s one of highest paid managers in the world. Shame on him.

  10. sanmi.marvellous says:

    Wenger has favourite prayers that he like\trust. Why on earth he could not encourage Perez after hat trick performance in a champions league game if truly Perez is ‘not ready’ as he (Wenger) always say?
    Why was Campbell, despite his wonderful contributions last season, sacrificed for the inconsistent son-of-soil in person of AOC ?
    Wenger is our hero at Arsenal. Fact. But he is far behind in the modern football management. He thinks money plays minor part in football. How wrong he is. Are we saying Arsenal could not afford to foot bill the medical expenses needed by Lionel Messi when both him and Fabregas were offered to us ? He chose one when he could have had both because he didn’t want to spend extra pence.

    He said Yaya You’re was not patient enough. Many did not even know that Yaya You’re played a match for us in a preseason game.

    Same thing for Zlatan Ibrahamovic, Mata, etc

    But we usually overpraise him for a single correct buy he has. He’s been buying craps for ages. In fact, he bought a player in 2008(?) Amauri Bischoff from hospital with crutches. He played only as substitute in a game.

    If we want to continue with this man called Arsene, we should take the cheque book from him. Let him identify players needed, while another body does the payment.

    But I prefer another Manager entirely.

  11. Wilshegz says:


  12. Ks-Gunner says:

    What else needs to happen to make people see and understand?

  13. proffetic says:

    What continues to amaze me is, as well as the author there are fans who think that Mertesacker is actually mlssed on the field of play. I for one never want to see him wear the Arsenal kit ever again. How can we ever be serious about competing against teams who don’t have such a drain on their resources. Wenger has long since lost his desire and motivation to succeed.Surely thirteen barren years is enough to convince, and the partnership between him and Mertesacker is enough to make me freeze. I hope Wenger leaves before he offers M a new contract. How long must this go on?

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