What is the real reason Arsenal have so many long term injuries?

There has been much discussion over why the Gunners seem to suffer from more long term injuries than any other club in the Premier League, and there have been questions asked of our fitness regimes and and even Arsene Wenger’s (or even England’s) coaching methods, which teach players the Arsenal way from a very young age.

Now Arsenal legend Martin Keown has offered a completely different idea, saying that he believes it is the type of pitches that the youngsters play on that are causing the problems and he specifically cites the case of Jack Wilshere.

Keown said in an interview in the Mail: “Medically, I think Arsenal are as good as anyone. They’ve spent millions on a new medical centre at the training ground, and they always have excellent sports scientists on hand.

“One thing Wenger likes to do is to simulate the matchday pitch on the training ground – when I was there they had Desso pitches in the training ground, as well as the stadium. These are grass and artificial grass hybrids and are quite hard surfaces, and by the end of my career I could feel every impact in my joints. Imagine training on that pitch every day. Wilshere has been playing on it since he joined the club as a young child.”

It’s an interesting idea, and one that perhaps could be investigated. Everyone wants to see perfect pitches at all times when they go to watch professionals, but when I was young I remember watching many games played in thick mud (and played in them myself) which made for soft landings most of the winter. I guess if you played from say the age of ten on hard pitches all year round I could see that that could have a lasting effect.

What do you think of Martin’s theory?

Tags Keown Wenger Wilshere


  1. ArsenalGenes says:

    If that were the case, why foreigners like ozil cazorla giroud sanchez are less injured than others? Must be some other reason dnt think keown is ryt on this 1

    1. G-Rude says:

      Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud and Sanchez were not growing up on Arsenal’s pitches. That is the point!

  2. BabyPlease says:

    Listen Baby Please

    We changed the fitness team with Forsyth (which is great. I can see recovery times decreased) but we didn’t change the medical team which we have had since 1990’s. I don’t know if it would make a difference to get a new medical team

    Thing is all clubs go through injury, but we seem to get hit the hardest. Every damn year.

    This year, not getting any outfielders in the Summer hurt us even more. Not just in terms of depth but strengthening the squad’s quality

    1. Gunner says:

      Exactly – We dont have decent back-up players to rotate and sometimes have no choice but to overplay our good players (like Ozil, Sanchez, Kos)..More Quality players allow for competition and rotation, which is key to preventing burn-outs and injuries.

  3. Koss says:

    cause of injury? guess it’s wenger’s sturboness

  4. Trevor says:

    I’ve heard Wenger mention his dislike for artificial pitches before so why are we training on hybrid pitches or why hasn’t this been looked into before now. This could hold some weight but maybe not the entire route cause. Like I said Wenger highlighted the downside with these type of pitches so I’m amazed we aren’t simply playing on grass.

    1. Trevor says:

      Root cause.

  5. muda says:

    Make Diaby play on water and he will still got injured.

  6. mark says:

    Yes the training pitches could be an answer, but squad rotation might help too, not just the current forced rotation due to injuries…

    Subbing players earlier and rotating more efficiently plus playing on more forgiving training pitches could be the answer to our long term injury problems.

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