At the end of 2006/7 – our first season in the Emirates – there was a long spell where we couldn’t find a forward. Everyone was injured and we played games with a loan midfielder up front.
We really thought – surely 2007/8 won’t be this bad – Van Persie won’t be so injured, Henry will either be back fully fit or will go to Barca and be replaced…
And what happened? Van Persie got injured while playing for Holland instead of us, Eduardo was crippled by a criminal tackle at Birmingham, we’ve had trouble at centre half and full back, and the rather nifty mid-fielder we signed as a backup in the middle, got fed up and left.
As for poor Rosicky – there just seems to be no end in sight for him and his injuries.
Thus two seasons have been destroyed by the curse. Think back to the really great seasons and you will find it wasn’t like that. If we did get an injury we had a player available to slot in, rather than having the move things around and hope for the best.
Partly the current problem is due to the youth of the squad – being between 15 and 30 years younger than the first team squads of the other members of the Big Three means that our reserves are even younger still.
But each year gets a bit better on that front and there is a strong chance that next season not only will the level of injuries decline, the players below the injured first teamers will be more ready to step up.
Vela and Merida will be back at Arsenal, at least three new players will come up to join the likes of Denilson and Diaby (who himself was out for almost a year following another awful awful tackle – that one at Sunderland).
If both propositions hold true – that we have fewer injuries and more players ready to take their place in the first time – this could be one hell of a season to come.
Coming up in part 7 – the ground, part 8 – why it’s so good that Wenger won’t spend billions.
Read the Reasons to be Cheerful from the very start. click here Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful (part 1)
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