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September 2018
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Can Arsenal Regain Their Momentum Under Emery?

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Can Arsenal Regain Their Momentum Under Emery?

Arsenal have just had one of their worst seasons for many years ending up in sixth place. Although they made it to the final of the League Cup they missed out on all the domestic trophies apart from the Community Shield which doesn’t get them into the Champions League. Once again, they’ll have to settle for the Europa League next season. Fortunately, the new manager, Unai Emery, has experience in bringing that trophy home having achieved it three times with Seville.

However, before thinking of European victory, Emery needs to get the team back on track and into winning ways, particularly away from the Emirates Stadium. Last season Arsenal just seemed to run out of steam after Christmas and lost to teams they would expect to beat like Bournemouth, Swansea and Brighton. During this period, they also had a number of players undergoing treatment for injuries.

The fixture list is pretty crowded and Arsenal played sixty-five matches including pre-season games. Those players called up for international duty played even more. Most of the Premier League clubs have the same sort of schedule and the key for those like Arsenal which have a big squad should be rotating and resting players to reduce the risk of fatigue injuries later in the season. It is also hoped that Emery will motivate the players both on the pitch and on the training ground.

Injury Risks

It is inevitable that injuries are going to happen on the pitch. Football is a hard contact sport and it is not only the risk of colliding with other players but hitting the ground and sometimes the woodwork also causes damage. Impact injuries can result in simple bruises with a quick recovery time or, in the worst cases, dislocated joints, broken bones or head injuries which can sideline a player for months.

Professional footballers play the game mostly at a fast pace with a great deal of weaving, turning and jumping putting tremendous pressure on the hips, knees and ankles. The strain would probably put us mere mortals in casualty but the pros use intense training methods to condition the vulnerable areas. But there is still a need to allow recovery time after a match or training session, especially during those periods when they might be playing two matches a week. When fatigue sets in players are more likely to suffer from repetitive injuries which, while relatively minor, will worsen if not fully rested.

The squad will have alternative players for every position on the field, but there are times when the manager only wants to put out the strongest team and could bring back a player from injury too soon. Also, players don’t want to be sitting on the bench because on the one hand everyone is competing fiercely for their place in the team. On the other hand, they wouldn’t want to be seen as letting their team mates down. Finally, while they are out of the game they could miss out on international duty or a potential lucrative move to a new club.

For these reasons players can sometimes choose to ignore what are considered to be minor soft tissue injuries and play through the pain. Alternatively, after getting some treatment, they declare themselves fit before they are fully rehabilitated. Continuing to play while carrying an injury can imperceptibly change the way a player moves which puts extra strain on other areas and complicates the issue.

Another cause of overuse injuries is the failure to properly prepare for a match or training session. Warming up beforehand is crucial to fully extend and contract muscles and ligaments otherwise there is the likelihood of tearing or straining the tissues.

Avoiding Injury

A professional footballer is an asset to a top club and it is in the interest of the management to look after their investment. The Gunners have a squad of around thirty-four players and throughout the season they should be routinely rotated and rested to keep them in top form. Hopefully there will be new blood coming in to strengthen the squad in the summer, but everyone should be kept fit.

Premier League footballers are athletes at the top of their game but to remain that way preparation is key. Warming up before training is not just a bit of jogging and a few stretches. It should be a twenty-minute systemised program which, as well as the legs, works the core muscle groups which control posture, balance and core strength. Plyometric exercises prepare and strengthen the leg and back muscles for sudden bursts of speed and jumping. A slightly shorter version of the warm-up program should be used before a game.

A FIFA study in consultation with medical experts found that clubs that use their warm up and injury prevention program twice weekly experienced a 29% fall in injuries during a match, particularly to the leg joints and muscles, pelvis and back.

Youth Training

Players in the Arsenal Academy start at young age and their training needs to be carefully structured. Their bones and ligaments are not as robust as an adult’s and if they are over stressed there can be permanent damage.

They must have shown some flair to get into the Academy so they are trained to work on the basic skills of the game. As they mature they can begin to concentrate on building muscle and strength.

Something that coaches and physios have to look out for is a player not running properly. It is something we do without thinking but if the player is slightly out of balance it can lead to repetitive injuries in later life if it is not detected. The physio can work with the player to remedy the problem.

Sports Injury Claims

Not everyone can be a pro footballer and those amateurs who play at the weekends are more prone to injury. However, if you are seriously injured by a reckless tackle you could possibly claim for personal injury compensation. Take legal advice from a sports injury specialist.

 

5 comments to Can Arsenal Regain Their Momentum Under Emery?

  • jjgsol

    Has untold been hacked?

  • Mad Eye

    My understanding was that the appointment of Shad Forsythe and Darren Burgess in the last couple of years had coincided with a very low level of injuries this year. Don’t have the stats to hand, and it would be nice if the article contained some. It is notable that there are a number of ads out at the moment for physios etc at Arsenal as they appear to be shaking up that team.

  • Mad Eye

    Oops, at first I read this as a poor attempt at a serious article, rather than ambulance chasing spam.

  • Jammy

    How much are you getting paid to post articles like these (along with the betting ones)? It really is quite shameless.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I for one would like the players to reduce their overzealous levels of goal celebrations . As a doctor , I have observed the potential and unnecessary strains primarily inflicted on knees and backs .

    – Sliding on knees after scoring appears to me be stressful on the knees.

    – Diving and sliding along the ground .

    – Jumping over advertising hoardings, corner flags and other obstacles around the pitch margins.

    – Celebrating by jumping on the backs of the scorer, often in numbers and rather awkwardly , probably strains the back. Not to mention the unnatural weight applied on the spine and knees.

    – Added to this is the other players pushing and shove each other; chest bumping ; rolling/falling over ; diving atop one another ; pulling on limbs and necks ; seems to thus stresses some part of the body or another .

    Am not sure if this has already been studied , and/or recommendations made.