Why Arsenal had no chance of winning the League!


In the last week I have been explaining the importance of Arsenal getting a world class striker and a world class Defensive midfielder. But after watching the Champions League Final yesterday I have come to the conclusion that injuries is one of the most important aspects of either winning or losing.

Lionel Messi said the season has been wonderful for him and for Barcelona, and he credits fitness as one of the most important reasons. You look at that Barcelona team, and the key players and the players on the bench have always been fit, all season.

The Premier league Injury table below shows Arsenal as second behind Man United with the most number of injuries over the season.

Here is a look at the table in full.

Rank​ Club​ Injuries​
​1. ​Manchester Utd ​68
​2. ​Arsenal ​ 66
​3. ​Stoke City 66​
​4. ​Newcastle Utd 64​
​5. Everton​ 62​
​6. West Ham United​ 61​
​7. Liverpool​ 52​
​8. Aston Villa​ ​51
​9. Manchester City​ 51​
​10. Queens P Rangers​ 49​
​11. West Bromwich ​ 49​
​12. Hull City​ 48​
​13. Crystal Palace​ 45​
​14. Chelsea​ 43​
​15. Sunderland​ 42​
​16. Southampton​ 38​
​17. Tottenham 38​
​18. Swansea City​ 31​
​19. Leicester City​ 29​
​20. Burnley​ 24​

I know we can’t compare Spain and England as there are no winter breaks, and the intensity and tempo are different. But it doesn’t change the fact that our players have also spent a remarkable 1466 days out with injuries, which is second behind Newcastle United. Not even the great Barcelona would win all those trophies with these injuries. Per our BFG has defended the manager saying that he is very flexible and very open to changes, and he cites Shad Forsythe as and example of changes in training methods. But have things really changed at Arsenal? The injury table and the amount of days of injury we have proved otherwise.

Thierry Henry was critical of Ozil and the amount of assists he has had as compared to Cesc Fabregas. Ozil has had 14 assists in 2 seasons while Cesc has had 18 assists in one season. But what is not mentioned is the fact that Ozil has spent about 7 months out of the teams with 2 long term injuries in the last 2 seasons. That is almost like missing a whole season of football. My point is that if our best players are constantly injured even if we got Jackson Martinez and Vidal we shall not win the league.

Ozil played 22 games. Rambo 29 games. Jack 14 games. Giroud 27 games. Debuchy 10 games. OX 23 games . Bossielny 27 games Arteta 7 games. Welbeck 25 games. Theo 14 games and Diaby 0 games etc. I want to note that the lack of gametime was not as a result of bench time but more as a result of injuries.

Compare that to the Chelsea Key players in the Premier league. Terry 38 games. Hazard 38 games. Ivanovic 38 games. Cesc 34 games. Cahill 36 games. Willian 36 games. Matic 36 games Azpilicueta 30 games. Cortois 32 games.

I know its been a long article but when your key players are playing 22 league games a season you have no chance of winning the league. Cazorla with 37 games Sanchez 35 games and BFG 35 games are the only 3 players to have played more than 30 league games. lets put it this way its simply not good enough.

Can the medical team or the Physio do better for Arsenal?
Galen Sona.

Tags Chelsea Man United


  1. No we had no chance because we don’t have a quality striker who can win games single handedly

    1. So you say that because Messi scored in a tight final vs juve right?
      Haha ah come on people….Reality check pls.

      1. Well accoding to the thumbs down people live in denial.
        Bet Falcao and Costa would have won us the league then….

        1. Wait no…I know….it was Henry that scored in our final in 06…right?
          Football is a team sport people. ….one hell uva striker guarantees nothing (go ND check how many 1-0 we won with Henry….)

        2. Falcao????for real??I think welbeck is much better than flopcao…I strongly believe that a striker would not have helped us win the title only injuries would have helped. Now we need to sign a DM and a striker and we will have a big chance of winning the bpl….someone like cavani or benzema would be a huge statement, along side someone like Vidal, wow…now that would be amazing, imagine us getting cavani and Vidal..,woohooo…but I will be more realistic and say Martinez and kondogbia would be fine.

    2. @Dan
      I agree that we need a quality striker or DM. But looking our injury record is poor. U need a certain consistency in the team to be a winner. Like i expalined in the Article. Only cazorla per and sanchez were consistent. ther rest of the team wasn’t. That was because of injuries. A key player like ozil should not be playing 22 league games. is not just good enough. Your best players should be having a minimum of 34 legue games. To exert more influence on the team.

    3. We did have quality all around in the team, injuries destroyed our season, just look how strong we were when we had our key players back, we still managed to finish the season on a high with finishing 3rd and winning the cup. Now we need to add a couple of world class players and challenge for EPL..coyg

    4. We had Ian Wright for 7 seasons and we won the PL once in his last season, helped by his 10 goals (yes, ten). We won a poor quality league by edging our only competitor at the time Man U. We scored less goals in 1997-98 than we did in the season just gone.

      We had RvP for 8 seasons and we won nothing.

      We had perhaps the best striker in PL history for 8 seasons and won it twice. The Invincibles scored just 2 more goals than we did last season. But only 26 goals conceded, 15 clean sheets, 12 draws and zero losses probably more to do with team’s overall mentality and defensive grit than single handed game winning performances by Henry. His 24 goals from open play obviously played a part – I am not denying that but it wasn’t the critical factor imo.

      The correlation between having a top class striker and winning the PL is just not that strong. Nearly every team that has won the Premier League has had good strikers but there is no evidence that the presence of striker X was the prime reason for winning the title. There are normally several other teams below the winning team in the league with equally good if not better strikers. Half of all PL title winners have not had the top or best striker in the league. What separates and differentiates the title winners and the also-rans is the quality of the defence, mental attitude, tactical flexibility, cohesiveness and some luck eg: lack of injuries). These appear to be a better indicators of PL title success. It would have been just as easy for us to win the league last year by conceding 10 less goals as it would to spend £30-40M to buy 10 more goals.

      I don’t want to be misconstrued here; I will wholeheartedly welcome a new striker who will give us another 6-12 PL goals, and our overall chances of winning the league will undoubtedly increase (assuming of course, all things being equal, there are no adverse effects to the team overall with a new face scoring more goals – weakening us defensively, not linking as well with others, dressing room morale etc). I just think a lot of you are overestimating the likely impact of this big name striker.

      1. Btw Galen – Good article and on point. For what it is worth, in my opinion, we would have a better chance of winning the PL if we had a season with no serious injuries than we would if we experience a similar level of injuries but bring in a £30-50M new striker.

    1. Not sure the joke, Liverpool have acquired 2 players that will for sure improve them….

      Sounds like their summer has started pretty damn well.

      1. Have to say, from where I am sitting, you sound happier than they are. As some are saying, from Gerrard and Suarez to Milner and Ings in a year, and it is not going down great. And this together with the “best young player in Europe” near the exit door and their best defender now holding out on contract terms.

        I like Milner and some of their more optimistic supporters are spinning it well (“James Milner: More chances created than Juan Mata, more assists then Mesut Ozil and more goals than Cesc Fabregas”). He is however reported to be on £150K/week though so the pressure will be on. Some are also trying hard to feel good about Ings with “remember when people laughed when we signed that 14 goal striker from Chester – Ian Rush”).

        But lets wait and see what the rest of their business looks like; 2 free domestic transfers are the easier ones.

  2. Manchester United have beaten Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to reclaim their position as the biggest brand in world football, becoming the first club to pass the $1billion mark.The brand Finance, which measures a team’s ‘brand power’ and its ability to monetise its global recognition, shows United as top of the pile despite two trophyless seasons at Old Trafford.I mean how is that even possible? How are they doing it?

    Where as we are dropped to Seventh, even teams like Chelsea and City has performed better than us.This is frustrating to be honest.The owners and directors should work so hard in making Arsenal the biggest club in the world not only in trophies in the business part as well.

  3. I think our injuries have improved this season. Players have came back quicker than usual in general and also have looked alot better when coming back… e.g. Wilshere, Ozil, Walcott!

    But it also shows that we need at least two players for every position, so a World class striker and Defensive midfielder are needed if we want to mount a serious title challenge! Also a World Class keeper But we can only hope for this!

  4. Whilst I agree, that winning the Premier League and the Champions League will always be very difficult with the amount of injuries every season, one has to acknowledge that the injuries are just one of many reasons regarding our consistent failures.

    One of our main problems has been Wenger in the transfer window. I’ve said this many times now, but I’ll say it again…the title was over once the transfer window shut. It was exactly the same last season as well. I am actually a fan of Giroud, but we definitely need someone better, a striker with pace, who would better suit our style of play. So what did Wenger do…he signed Sanago and Welbeck over the last two seasons. Both awful signings before they joined us, and I’ve seen nothing in their performances to change my mind. But the most critical area, was the DM position. Flamini was Wenger’s answer last season (what a joke!), and even funnier than that, Wenger just completely ignored the DM position last summer. He honestly felt we could challenge for the Premier League and Champions League with Flamini and Arteta as our DM’s.

    And for any fans that disagree with my assessment of the hugely important DM position, then just look at how we’ve improved with Coquelin (a proper DM) in the team. He not only backs up my point, but he also proves how badly wrong Wenger was.

    Even with all the injuries, we were only 7pts off winning the league last season. I’m 99% certain we would have won the league last season if Wenger had just got a top striker and a DM (and a CB and LW if I’m being greedy), like we all thought he was going too. This season was tougher because of Mourinho strengthened all of Chelsea’s weak areas, whilst Wenger didn’t. But again, we would have been a lot closer if a top striker was signed, and a DM from the start of the season.

    1. Spot on.
      I’m sure you will see plenty of thumbs (as will I) heading south but it is a truth and this is justarsenal.com not justarsene.com.

      Mourinho is apparently stating that he will get several re-enforcements to build upon last seasons success and to sure up areas he thinks failed.

      I just prey AW feels the need to do so too but based on past windows I can’t say that I am more than a bit concerned.

      Time will tell all.

      1. Ill agree with you both on this, however there seem no real action at this present time and Id not be surprised if little really happends until the last days for Arsenal and by then all the players we want will have gone .

    2. Very true. There’s a reason Wenger is the boss of Arsenal he’s clearly top notch at several aspects of the job….that said some elements of football even your average fan can see as clear as day and it’s what you’ve named about us.

      Arsenal need a top class ST that can win points on his own, and a DM who can get us a foothold no matter the opposition. We currently have good options in both spots, but neither are top class. Most fans see that, some bury their heads and claim we have better than we do, but does Arsene see it this time? Can only hope so.

      1. Barca president stating that Pogba is one of the players they are interested in. Treble winners already declaring their intent to stay on top.


        I’m just waiting for a ‘Flamini/Diaby/Poldi/ has been sold to …” Story.

        1. Well, that is if Pogba wants to play only in January. Barcelona already signed Aleix Vidal from Sevilla and he is not allowed to play until the transfer ban is lifted : January.

          1. Of course.
            Maybe it’s a sacrifice he is willing to make?

            Barca still doing their shopping for new presents. Just means they have to wait until January to open them.

    3. Francis was not the only factor for the improvement. Players who were injured also returned at the same time. viz: olivier whom you dispise so much, Kos which brought back the Kos-Per partnership that had 16 clean sheets a season before, Ozil coming back from injury, Carzola regaining form in a deeper role, understanding between Alexis and other players. In short the improvement came from stability and team balance that was brought about by a number of factors not a DM as you want us to believe.

      Coming to your nonsense about the coming season being tougher because other teams are strengthening, have you not be saying the same thing for over ten years now? You have been telling us that Arsenal wont finish top four because other teams were strengthening. Would you mind telling us how your predictions came out 10 years in a row? Any team plays with 11 players so if the Chelsea team was complete last season as you always claim, then any new player will have an insignificant improvement on the squad. These are simple rules of life. So never go overboard about this nonsense of other top teams strengthening. You would rather worry about a team that was poor last season strengthening because one quality player can significantly improve such a team. Evidence so far points to Liverpool buying to stay in Europe not to challenge for top four let alone the title. Man United is reportedly planning to spend 200 million which means it will not have a settled squad hence cannot challenge. The contenders for next season will be team that manage to keep their core, and these are likely to be Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man City. The ultimate winner will be determined by consistency something that cannot be bought from the transfer market.

    4. Blaming Wenger isn’t fair, he only started building a title winning team when he bought Ozil, ever since he’s been slowly improving the squad. He bought 4 players in one transfer window, asking for any more wouldn’t have guaranteed a title because as proven by United, Tottenham and Liverpool, it takes at least half a season for players to gel, so buying 7 of them wouldn’t have made a difference.

  5. This is a thought provoking article. Some injuries are strains or muscle tears and we must do better at avoiding these with better training and preparedness. This is where Shad will hopefully make a difference once his regime is established. Some injuries are from impact and that is largely down to luck or bad luck. Nothing much you can do to avoid reckless challenge such as what happened to Wilshere and Debuchy. Messi seems to imply that he and the whole Barca team was fitter this year so if we can replicate that let’s do it.

      1. A great post from Galen – and we have another good one from him coming up this evening….

  6. Thanks so much for this article admin.
    If blogs start to state the importance of the fitness issue maybe the club will realize that it’s no secrete anymore

    1. And I don’t mean we don’t sign players at all of course we need to sign players…it’s as usual as any fc
      But we have to accept that our injury record even if not as bad as before is still bad.
      Look at juve…chiellini injured in the final…bad luck . S. But bad injury luck still
      Sign another player to back up. Of course is a solution. But the ideal is not to have the starter injured and r key moments.

    2. @Gigi2. Thanks mate. And i would like to thank Admin for given fans like myself and opportunity to express my opinions.

      1. ANY JustArsenal reader is allowed to send me an article. As long as it has a point to make and is well written I will publish it.
        Get writing!

  7. We have top quality fitness staff now. Look at the end of the season, we had everyone but welbeck fit! That s unheard of in the last 10 yrs at arsenal. I saw players coming back and less injuries in the second half if the season. Ffs , give the new staff some time. They have already showed dimprovement.

  8. Injuries is one of the big reasons we need a top striker and DM. What if Coquelin, Giroud and Theo are all injured at the same time which is completely possible. We can’t rely on Akpom, Welbeck, Arteta, Flamini. Diaby most likely will also be injured.

    Yes if we sign a top striker he could get injured too but likelyhood he, Giroud and Walcott are all injured is less.

    My choices for DM and striker

    1. Vidal and Lacazette
    Vidal is not a DM but still quality in both attack and defense
    Lacazette is only 24 but scores goals

    2. Kondogbia and Jackson Martinez
    Martinez is 28 but a out and out goal scorer. 30 goals per season
    Kondogbia is a perfect DM

    3. Schneiderlin and Higuain
    Both experienced and quality with their respected positions

    4. Krychowiak and Benzema
    Both quality and experienced but not as good as 3

    5. Carvalho and Benteke
    More of a gamble

      1. He s gonna have a rough period after almost going to war with half the team hahaha or was it theater??
        Damn ….he underperformed and now He is signed by them??? Oh God so fishy….

  9. I must say am so impress by the writter,one of the best article have read here. U are Onpoint.. bravo! Its easier said,all fans are obsess with good investment,but the plain truth remain: an unfit player cannot play. I mean, buy messi and cr7,u wouldn’t win anytin if they are injured. Dis is an area wenger and board needs to focus

  10. Barca has won 4CL in the last 10 years when we “finally” managed 2 “small” FA Cup…!!
    People, here, are arguing that we are lacking a top striker in order to “at least” win the league (Forget about the CL, we are just 5 to 1 years behind, quality and ambition wise… Just an unreachable objective)… I truly believe that “even” with the squad we have right now we could do more and challenge respectfully… The problem we have his the MANAGER!!!

    You have now players who are unhappy, despite what is considered at Arsenal as a successful season (a FA Cup and third place… Waoooo!! Top club? Really!!) because they are “underused” or played “out of positions” and so on…

    We lost this league at the beginning of the season (15 games with Jack Wilshere as a number 10 and won only 5… Wenger delusion and tactical geniality…!! When Ozil was paraded on the wing. Well some will argue that he won the world cup playing on the wing, but can we really compare the German midfield with ours… Yeah, I don’t think so…)

    Apparently Wenger seemed to have cool his interests (if any) regarding Schneiderlin and Kondogbia because Coquelin is now ready to step up and Arteta can be a valid suppliant (It is almost funny just to imagine Wenger thinking and concocting that…).

    Anyway, like many Arsenal fans, I can already easily predict the next season outcome with or without transfers.

    Some people got upset when Henry made comments about Giroud and what was needed to win the league and challenge for the CL… Well, they were moaning because they know he was right (What do you think he left Arsenal for Barcelona?).

    For us to be taken “seriously” £100 millions need to be spent in the summer. Wenger and any Arsenal are dreaming if they think that what we have right now is enough to achieve but another “small” cup.

    Messi+Neymar+Suarez, that’s £200 millions or more of class, quality, lethal precision, ambition and more…!

  11. Good article! It does seem that the changes made by introducing Shad & his new ways in terms preparation, conditioning and recovery have yielded some results with players coming back ahead of schedule and in better shape. Shad’s approach is based on 4 pillars:
    Mindset – the mental side of the game
    Nutrition – using nutrition as the foundation of all the athlete does
    Movement – moving the player’s body better
    Recovery – allowing mind and body to re-energize to prepare for next day’s activities
    His methods are being used by the club (AW: we have made many changes recommended by Shad) and by all accounts we can expect a better outcome in 2015/2016. Be interesting to compare the year-on-year.

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