Why is it always Arsenal defenders that get seriously injured?

Ever since the beginning of the season, Arsenal have been plagued with injuries to our defenders, and we rarely get a settled back three (or four) for a run of games. But since we brought in Rob Holding to team up with Sokratis and Mustafi we have looked so much stronger at the back.

Sokratis and Mustafi have both spent some time on the sidelines and of course Laurent Koscielny has missed all the season so far and has only just started playing for the reserves again, and young Mavropanos was doing well before he got some sort of groin stain and is still yet to return to training or start a game yet. So it was little surprise that it was Rob Holding who went down against Man United yesterday. There were some reports this morning that he could be out for the season, but Unai Emery prefers to wait for the doctors report. He said on Arsenal.com: “The worst for us today was the news with Rob Holding. We are going to wait for what the doctor tells us but it is maybe a big injury. We are going to wait, it is his knee. The other is Aaron Ramsey, but it is a small injury with him.”

It is a big shame, because along with Sokratis he has been one of our most consistent players, and it is now debatable whether we will even be able to have three at the back. We can hope that Koscielny will be able to play soon but he will need match fitness first. Monreal can play as a centre-back too, but his hamstring seems to be taking forever to fix itself. I don’t think we can count on Mavropanos for at least the next month either.

How do you think we could line up with our new 5 at the back formation without Holding in there?



  1. wolfgang says:

    i ll tell you.Some less skilful teams
    play physical to injure our players
    Look at the injuries suffered by our gunners. Reyes was kicked all over by the nbs and no action was taken.
    Thankfully those thugs are immediately booked. in the cl.If the English FA are serious aboutwinning the wc,they shd have cl refereeing std and punish such
    You cannot use kid glove approach to the thugs im the epl especially with the sky highamonts for winning.
    Btw in some muslim countries rapiers/rapists are caned and jailed.

    1. tdg1944 says:

      Look at Rashford’s face when he “tackled” Holding. No doubt wound up by Mourinho but I am still very disappointed in him.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Maybe because Arsenal defenders have to work extra harder, due to the immaturity of the system. Had Arsenal had a highly established system like Barcelona’s, I bet the injuries can be minimized

    We still have Pleguezuelo, Lichtsteiner and Elneny that can play as CBs. I think Kolasinac can also play there

    1. kev says:

      Please I want to know if Emery changed to a four back system when Lacazette came on?I thought we would’ve beaten Utd had we started with that formation.This three back system limits our attacking efficiency.

      1. AndersS says:

        How do figure that. We create plenty of chances also when playing 3 at the back.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          I agree AndersS, Kolasinac was killing Man U down the left before half time

    2. AndersS says:

      I think you are right.
      In general it seems all our players this season have to work harder both in training and in matches.
      Their fitness level may have been too low for this, so it takes time to catch up.

      If Monreal returns, he can also be on the left of a 3 man backline.

      1. Spartan says:

        Lichsteiner Sokratis Monreal

        Thats a good back 3

    3. brian smith says:

      Wolfgang, I’ve read a few of your posts today. Your grammar is shocking, and I can hardly understand what your talking about.

  3. Palash says:

    Feeling so bad for holding he was our one of the best defender this season hope season is not over for him

    1. Break-on-through says:

      He has really come on a long way. I love that he cares, no player wants to lose but they all don’t act like it. Holding is dogged, tough, and he’s good at reading the game. It’s a huge loss if he’s out for the season, rotten luck.

  4. wolfgang says:

    To rub salt into the wound,no action will be
    taken against Fellaini.To me it seems theFA are fa voxuring the rd.
    Can someone calculate how many penalties mu have got since rf left.
    It would make an interseting study as to why mu ate unable to lift the epl since 2013

    1. Sue says:

      Oh what a surprise… the ref’s are sh*t & wear red tinted glasses & we pay the price! Makes me sick

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Sue, I said I won’t be holding my breath about the action taken against Fellaini for pulling Guendouzi’s hair. Just learnt the FA are taking no action. Incredible, blatant cheating by Fellaini and the FA. The crazy thing about it is they really don’t care even when their shown to be cheats, they don’t even try to hide it anymore. Totally crooked by the FA.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          It’s Manchester United fan and former referee Mike Riley, now head of the PGMOL who made this decision. The biggest cheat in English football.

          1. Sue says:

            Well that sums it right up Kenny!! It just makes me wonder if it’d been the other way round – we’d have had the book thrown at us!!!
            All a bunch of dirty cheats!!
            I can’t help but think that was a chance missed last night Kenny… I’m so gutted

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Hypocrical that a player who pulled Fellaini’s hair was sanctioned by the FA.
            The funny side of this was when Emery was interviewed on the matter, he said Guendouzi should cut his hair short. When questioned further on whether he had taken getting his hair cut with Guendouzi, Emery said players had the right to wear their hair any length or colour they liked!

          3. tdg1944 says:

            How about Dowd (the tv “consultant” ref) stating that because Herrera was “only a little bit offside” he would have given the goal!

          4. Sue says:

            Sums them all up…. cheats!!

    2. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Wolfgang, I’ve always said during 1996 and 2006 if the game was fair Arsenal would have had at least three more Premier League titles.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Kenny, you and I sing from the same hymn sheet with regards to Riley and his mob.
        It seems that everyone from the media, pundits, managers and owners are too scared to say anything about them.
        1.Why has no one mentioned the fact that not one of our “officials” were considered good enough for the world cup?
        2.Why has no one mentioned the fact that TV repllays highlight the glaring mistakes made despite Riley boasting that his “refereees” get 96% of decisions correct?
        3.Why has no one mentioned the fact that Riley has insisted that no referee can be interviewed after a match to explain their decisions and yet managers have a contractual obligation to appraise the match, but if they criticise the referee in any way, the FA fine them?
        Riley has made the PGMOL a dictatorship that no-one dare challenge and puts two fingers up at everyone else.
        How many signatures were obtained by Gooners asking that Dean should not referee any more Arsenal matches?
        Yet what does this little dictator do? Appoint him for the North London Derby!!
        They earn in excess of £80,000 a year I believe and yet have no recourse regarding their mistakes and standards of refereeing.
        Why are clubs not challenging this kind of behaviour, not only the referees but also the FA who, it seems, have now made it legal for a player to grab an opponents hair and see no reason to punish this action?
        ANYONE who tries to defend these two groups must be completely off their heads!!

        1. Durand says:

          Ken my friend! The answer is social media. The millions of Gooners should upload video of that atrocious and obvious hair pull on Guendouzi, post on social media, and ask why Riley does nothing.

          He looks the fool and can’t turn a blind eye or deaf ear. After few million likes and several million retweets he will have to either act or answer the question.

          He can’t silence free speech or ban twitter (yet anyway) and has to respond in some form. We have the power of numbers and social media, so why not exercise our free speech.

          Just one person needs to start, and a drop turns into a river, and soon into a tidal wave.

          Or boycott sponsors, money doesnt talk, it screams.

          1. ozziegunner says:


      2. John Ibrahim says:

        exactly…we would win at least 3 more titles and utd would have lost at least 3 too…

        lukaku stamp on a player last season was caught on cam but no action taken too

        1. ken1945 says:

          Durand, you make a very interesting case, but I take you back to the petition that was started against Dean.
          I think over 200,000 signatures were obtained asking or demanding (can’t remember the wording) that Riley should not appoint Dean to officiate in any more Arsenal games.
          We know the two fingered gesture that Riley gave to that particular petition.

          I have no idea, actually, how one would start a campaign like you suggest on youtube, but I would suspect there would be a tidal wave of positive response over here.
          Admin any thoughts on this idea?

          1. Durand says:

            Hopefully more than just Gooners as well Ken. I’m sure Chelsea, Liverpool, and other clubs have experienced the bias nature of Riley.

            It can very quickly become more than a post or comment, and maybe even other fans while post their own examples of Riley.

            Not sure how English fans or other countries handle it, but everyone from Actors to politicians, CEO’s and companies are terrified of bad publicity on social media here in the States.

            This could be a good use of social media calling out bias and injustice, rather than its darker side of falsehood and extortion.

            Just a thought on my part

        2. Sue says:

          The other week.. Fellaini on Milijovevic (from Palace) could have broken his.leg…but got away with that too

  5. Dan says:

    How did Mavropanos get his groin stain again 😉

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Arsenal still have 5 able and fit defenders in: Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis & Kolasinac for the Huddesfield game at the Ems on Saturday in the PL for a back-four defense-line selection I will presume. And of course Ains Maitland-Niles is there in there waiting in first team squad to step in to the left full-back position to play if his action is needed. And before Arsenal play at away to Southampton next upper Sunday in the PL, Koscielny and Monreal could return to the squad fully fit for action to boost the defence options for selection. While I wish Rob Holding a quick and timely recovering in his knee injury sustained at Old Trafford last night when playing for Arsenal against Man Utd in PL, from the Huddesfield game onwards, Arsenal are looking to have 7 senior defenders from whom the selection to play a back three defense-line in matches can be done when they want to play it before Holding returns.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Samuel, Koscielny has played the last 2 games for the U23’s, including one spell of 80 minutes, so he may be on the bench against Huddersfield.

  7. wolfgangha says:

    You and I on the same wave length
    A former ref has said Rolf’s shd have been
    rulefd os.
    What this shows is the
    fa are trying ways anf means to help mu win.

    1. Ok man, let’s not get carried away. Bad decisions happen all the time and they eventually cancel each other out over the season. If I remember correctly, Aubameyang scored an offside goal versus Everton and it stood.

      1. And I even forgot Mane’s goal against us that was wrongly disallowed. Honestly we can’t complain, we have been benefiting from shady calls this season.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Quantic Dream, shady calls are one thing and you are correct that every team does get a decision or two over a season, as you have proved with us already.
          But what the main thrust of this debate is concerned about, I believe, is the way TV replays that show a certain breaking of the laws of football is overlooked and not discussed openly by the FA and referees.
          Sue highlighted that a Pool player was banned for three games for pulling Fellanis hair and yet, with no opportunity for further discussion as to why, the same incident is completely ignored and no further action taken.
          I would be just as annoyed about this if it was an Arsenal player who had done the hair pulling by the way.
          Consistency to the rules is paramount and when you have a referee like Dean, who “sees” incidents that no one else does, he should be made to explain why he made those decisions shouldn’t he?

          1. ozziegunner says:


  8. Tom says:

    The players were in the red zone.
    Its why we didn’t be at United. I think the spurs game shows the levels we need to play against the top 5. But now we need Numbers. Yesterday we had made 2 chances. One because of suspension and one because it was a better solution for the game.

    But if we had a squad I would of expected fresher players and also a high intensity of play again.

    This is the next challenge for unai. Building and evolution whilst keeping the squad on his side. Players, players within clicks in this squad may well be replaced.

    Once the chemistry is set, watch us explode on the league. Until then, small steps. First one is win on weekend.

  9. Innit says:

    It’s not always defenders who get seriously injured
    Ramsey, Walcott, Wilshere, Diaby, Van Purse strings, Welbeck, etc

    But I see your point about our defense
    They have improved over the course of the season.
    Actually Emery has improved quite a few players like Iwobi, Xhaka, Sokratis, Bellerin. Improved but they are still average to decent quality

    I think the key is that Emery has been able to get everyone to play as a team. When players work hard as one solid unit it overcomes lack of quality in some players

    Leicester didn’t have world class defenders when they won the Premier League

    But I still think we should get a good quality experienced centre back next month.

    1. ACE says:

      I couldn’t agree more with the majority of
      your post, especially the obvious necessity
      for Raul, Sven and Emery to bring in a
      seasoned CB in January. Imho neither Socratis
      or Mustafi are 100% healthy and it’s a stretch to seriously entertain the idea of either Boss or
      Mavro playing a ton of minutes over the next
      few months. Emery could recall CC from
      Fulham but I personally dont see this as a

      If there was EVER a time for the Kroenkes to
      forever endear themselves to Gunners across
      the planet than $$$ backing Emery and Raul
      in January would be it. A $100M donation
      from team Kroenke would provide Arsenal the opportunity to upgrade at CAM, Left Wing
      and CB and nearly guarantee Champions
      League football next year. Personally I would
      love to see the following business

      El Neny—£10M

      Jonathen Tah…£35M
      Leon Bailey—£50M
      Pablo Fornals—£40M

      £85M spent.


      Mouthwatering lineup for now and the future!!

  10. Sue says:

    So Robert Huth was banned for 3 games in 2016 for pulling Fellaini’s hair…. so have the rules changed??? ?

    1. ken1945 says:

      No Sue they haven’t.
      If your a utd player you get away with anything, if it’s against a utd player, then out comes the rule book and it is followed to the letter.
      I thought Marriner was one of the lesser evils, but it seems Riley has corrupted the whole damn lot of them.

      1. Sue says:

        Ken I am spitting feathers right now!! I know the game is over & there’s nothing we can do about it… but the way they pamper United makes me sick…. what is good for one (Huth) is good for everyone (Fellaini)
        They should have gone down to 9 men!!! But no the ref’s turn a blind eye as it’s their beloved United!! Bloody bent every single one of them! Disgraceful

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Sue, I believe in sport what goes around, comes around and Fellaini is riding for a fall – Karma can bite you on the arse!
          He didn’t even earn a yellow card.

          1. Sue says:

            Well Ozzie I’m really looking forward to that fall

      2. Break-on-through says:

        I understand your grudge, but I think it is because the ref seen it and gave him a yellow. They don’t like overturning ref decisions but it can happen, sometimes to lessen a judgement and sometimes to lengthen it. I don’t know if this is correct, but my guess is that Huth went unpunished during the game, so they decided to act. In a way you would still be right about the double standards. The commission deemed it a red card offence back then, so all refs should be aware of that.

        1. lcebox says:

          He didnt get a yellow though.

  11. Grandad says:

    Serious injuries to defenders is not limited to Arsenal . A number of other Premier League sides have been afflicted with long term casualties which is a fact of life in professional football.What is particularly unfortunate for Arsenal is the fact that our best defender this season is likely to be out for some time. Due to the lengthy injuries to Koscielney and Monreal Emery has been obliged to adopt a three centre back system which does not , in theory, expose the defensive weaknesses of Bellerin and more particularly Kolasinac..That theory was found wanting with Kolasinac last night although to be fair to him, he did very well offensively against Man Utd..I suspect Emery will revert to a flat back four against Huddersfield but if he decides not to change a system which has worked fairly well recently he may well bring in Monreal as a direct replacement for the unfortunate Holding.

  12. Declan says:

    Possibly out for rest of season, ouch for him and ouch for the team.

  13. Ruelando says:

    I think he will go back to the back four, he will use the back three against the more attacking teams, which i think is a good idea. Hoping that it is not as bad an injury for Holding and Mav near return is good news.grabbing all the 3 points on offer in the December games is of vital importance to stay with the pack.

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