If we can avoid our usual injury list, Arsenal can really challenge this year

Konstantin wrote earlier about how optimistic our start to the season has been, winning our first two games and bringing in some really exciting new signings, but we still have a carry over of injuries from last season with Bellerin, Holding, the never-ending problems of Mavropanos, and the uncertainty of when Keiran Tierney will be ready to play for us.

That is a full Back Four if they were all fit. It was defensive injuries that destroyed a whole chunk of last season, and any new ones in our back line will only put us back in dire straights. Even Emery said after yesterday’s win that we cannot really relax until we have our whole squad fit and ready to play. He told Arsenal.com: “One thing we wanted to improve is to be competitive in each position in the squad and also to take different possibilities. For example, today Xhaka is out, also Mesut is out, Rob Holding is out and Hector Bellerin too. We had different options for a bigger performance.

“When every player is good to play, that’s perfect. But the way is long, the season is long, they are coming with different issues and different circumstances for each player, with injuries. Last year for example, I think we lost some points in some moments when we didn’t have different possibilities for some matches. We lost in those moments. This year I prefer to have on the bench some important players but really, really with the possibility to be with a good impact after. I think the team is going to be more competitive. That’s my idea.”

So we have two very difficult games coming up and we cannot expect another six points, but it would be nice! The fact is that once we get our injured players back and can hopefully keep them to a minimum, we really will be able to challenge even the biggest teams this year….



  1. Let’s focus on challenging Liverpool away. That will be tough enough

    We have injuries every season. I don’t expect that to change. That’s why I hope guys on the bench like Kolsanic, Chambers, Nelson, Martinelli, can step up and show their quality when a starter gets injured like Niles did for Bellerin.

    1. I hope Emery would use Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli as a substitute in Liverpool

      Those youngsters are eager to make impact

      1. Is that a joke?
        U23’s against possibly the equal best team in the PL?
        I need your dealer’s name!

  2. I have been watching Arsenal for almost two decades and they always have plenty of injuries. They have never been able to keep the injuries to the “minimum” and I’m sure other big teams face it too

    Having a huge squad is good for tackling that issue. But if Arsenal manage to sell some players before all transfer windows are closed, I think the remaining Gunners would have to play in multiple positions

    That’s why we need more versatile players like Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Martinelli, Chambers, Monreal and Ceballos

    1. Not all players are replaceable, injuries to major players destroys coach plans.
      Though injury is part of the game, but arsenal’s injury is abnormal-its turn to crisis.
      Most big teams dont encountered it much, how many time do you see Utd, chelsea, spur, lpool, city major players going out of the season due to injury?, its rare compare to arsenal. Almost every season we lose at least 2 starter to a major injury.
      During the time of Mourinho at chelsea, he uses Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Cech for all 4 competition and still no injuries, Wenger rest our players for minor competition like Carling cup, yet they manage to get injured. Its frustrating

      1. Injuries really undid Arsenal in the past seaons at times.Take a look at the 07/08 team for a clear example of how injuries can ruin a title challenge.It also imo denied us some EPL trophies or a higher finish up the table in the past twelve years

    2. If we can get this “first x1” on the pitch asap and keep them fresh by resting midweek to allow the “second x1” decent match time we could go far.

      That would be my strategy until January

      Bellerin Luiz Sokratis Tierney
      Guendozi Torreira Ceballos
      Pepe Lacazette aubameyang

      AMN Chambers Holding Monreal
      Willock Xhaka Kolasinac
      Nelson Martinelli Smith-Rowe

      Yes I have left out Mustafi Elneny, Mkhitaryan and Ozil just to show we could field two x1s and off load these free loaders.

      1. Just De Bryne, who also played around 20games? Do you remember how much time Holdin, Belerin, kos, Papa, Laca, Ozil, Xhaka,Welbeck spent in the physio room

  3. After watching liverpool games against southampton yesterday, i think liverpool is winable.
    Southampton would have won the game if they have the quality of finishers liverpool had.

    If we can congest our midfeild and prevent ball from reaching mane and sallah, we can beat them at home.

    1. Liverpool system of playing from back will be affected by Adrian, its not easy to integrate new goalie into the system ,if we press and didnt give their defence breather, they will succum to presure and comit error

  4. Has anyone noticed that groin injuries are the new hamstring? Suarez admitted that he couldn’t play his best last season because he picked up a groin injury early on. Now we have Tierney, Mav, and ESR all infected. Is this a training issue?

    1. I’m on the same page Jackoboms, I see us at the building process. These next two seasons if Emery is still here, we have to start challenging for top honors. We have more competition in our side, but we don’t know if the younger players are going to be good enough for a solid starting spot, look how long it took before Gnabry hit the ground running, we couldn’t wait that long so we lost him. Third season in Germany after a fair number of years with us, say 7 seasons after we bought him before he got to grips with the final third. Nelson will improve with this gametime, but how long will it be before he begins picking things up from Auba Laca and stepping up a fair share.

      Pepe might need some time before he adapts.

      Same might be said for Tierney and Saliba.

      We don’t own Ceballos but it looks like he is a player we need.

      Guendouzi huge potential but he doesn’t play the same with just anybody beside him, I think he likes a little freedom because he doesn’t look as comfortable when he’s asked to hold.

      Fans should not do what they done last season, expectations went right up and then when we finished were most people thought we would before season started, huge backlash and talked as if expectations were always higher.

      If we can break back into the top four this season, put us on solid footing, try and improve again on some critical areas in the team, I think this is where we’re at. If Tott hadn’t of bought this season, I would say we have a good shot at third spot, but now, I believe they are favorites to finish above us, but we have closed the gap a bit.

  5. Relax guys, I like the positive energy but I can only see us getting slapped by one of the big boys (city/Liverpool) we’re too exposed on the wings. Monreal and AMN are likely to get skinned by Liverpool’s wingers and fullbacks. Now if we had teirney and bellerin fit, with their pace and stamina I would be super excited for that match cause I believe minus VVD and Allison we’re very even on paper but unless unai can pull off a tactical Masterclass I don’t see how we’re not gonna get punished for pleothara of errors we’ve been commiting against teams, who with all due respect, lack any real quality. Those preseason matches vs Madrid and Barca show how one error can undo i90 minutes of hard work and I just can’t see our fullbacks not getting overrun and even if they do I can’t see us not making a mistake in defence. However I believe the scum are in for a belting the following week, they’re rubbish

    1. According to most here pur best defense is made up of Bellerin,David Luiz,Chambers and Tierney.Apart from Tierney who is defensively solid the rest are all shaky defensively so it means our team can’t cope with constant pressure.
      Also I’m unconvinced on Torreira and I believe if he doesn’t improve this season he should be relegated to the bench and if possible sold next season for good money.We must be ruthless from now on.

      1. No, Kev, I think everyone here puts Holding ahead of Chambers. Chambers has as a CB never played as well as Holding last season despite being older and more experienced.

  6. This Arsenal team is still not good enough to win the title even if all were injury free.The only team for the past ten years that was good enough to win it barring injuries was the 10/11 team.That team could have won the UCL if all were fit.
    Our defense isnt so good and the defending from the central midfield too isn’t good which means the top teams and teams with dangerous attackers are going to give us so much trouble.That is what shall be our problem this season.Im sure Arsenal are only aiming for a top four finish.Emery’s defensive system is also not effective and I’m still waiting to see him implement his defensive style on the team.So yet close yet too far once again

    1. Either we are good enough or not is a discussion for another day,however if our major players manage to stay of physio room, we will definitely be in the mix

      1. That’s the point of the debate though.Even if our players were to stay injury free for most part this team is still not good enough to challenge for the title because the quality in some areas isn’t adequate.Good for a top four finish but not enough for the title at all

        1. Last season was a record-breaking season and will not be repeated this season, because other teams have well strengtened while the 2top teams are still with same quality. So with KT, Holding, Bellerin, fit, we have squad close to lpool

          1. The likes of Holding and Bellerin played earlier in the season when our defense was being torn apart.Tierney I believe is very good in defending but our defending and poor defensive tactics will let us down once more.
            See how City were tearing apart Spurs yesterday.Our team would probably have lost the match in that situation.Liverpool have started slowly but they will likely pick up.

          2. That unbeaten run was mostly due to the fact that teams couldnt finish their chances and not because we’re great defensively.
            I will refer you a match against Wolves at home where I’d say we were raped but somehow drew the match.Those two played mind you.

  7. In fact, one of Arsenal major issues has been injury, a while ago we had an article talking about a team core, but then i said to myself, how can arsenal has core players when injuries keep players out of the team. In the last 5 seasons, we hardly had an outfield player who played all 38games or close to that.
    We all blame mustafi and defence but if we remember, he was out of our starting xi until we had major injuries, our rivals managed injuries better than us thats why they excell, am sure 2 of Van Dyk, sala & mane played almost 38games, same for some key man city players

  8. One thing I’ve noticed is Auba never gets injured (touch wood )and he’s one of the oldest out of players ,he could be with us for a good 3-4 years yet as his quality shows most games .
    If we can get Ozil fit and into the team then I think we could get top 3 ,hopefully Tierney hits the ground running and bellarin comes back on form and we could have a back 5 sorted for a good few years

    1. An in form Ozil means we get top 3 but he’s hardly in form so much time shouldn’t be wasted on him.Only had one great season and other decent to average ones.Luckily Arsenalarent ruthless with played.
      However, I must say a midfield without Xhaka alone is a positive for me so if Ceballos and Ozil are to be played in the same starting eleven to oust Xhaka then great.

    2. Dan, i really dont understand the injury of a thing. Lacca hardly play FT but still get injured while an older Auba who plays FT almost all game, even traveling for Europa, FA, doesnt get injured, same as Mustafi and to a little extent, Xhaka

      1. That’s the thing a player who never gets injured and scores when needed is so valuable to the team . Some fans were saying sell him aswell.
        His scoring record alone should tell these same fans all they need to know .

    3. The club will play a little role in getting Ozil fit, he should be the one to get himself fit. He should do extra rounds in the gym, lots of endurance training and prolly improve his diet. We were in the top 4 till the last quarter of last season without him and immediately Unai fell to the outside pressure of using him, boom, our season fell into pieces.
      I have a feeling Madrid wont sell Ceballos to us cheaply. His price quote will be unaffordable for us come end of the season, Unai should continue his search on getting a more effective AM, Ozil is not looking the part anymore.

  9. This current team is fit if we can have a “proper shield” I mean tenacity wise in front of our back four
    Our greatest handicap is when the ball ebbs back into our defensive half
    We need a proper chemistry in the middle of the park,it is all about the balance

  10. How can we avoid long term injuries the whole season when we still want to play possessive football and trying to show individual skills by dodging even in dangerous 18 yard box and making silly mistakes time and again?

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