Is Arsenal’s expansive injury list holding them back?

There is no doubting that Arsenal, based on present performances should not be anywhere near the top of the Premier League title and subsequently are ruled out as contenders this season, as is normally the case for them in recent years. Although last season they were the leaders for the majority of the season, up until both Manchester City and Liverpool came along and started to challenge strongly.

Arsene Wenger has ensured on the back of his team winning the FA cup last season that he recruited as strongly as possible in the transfer market to give the Gunners the best possible chance of adding to their recent piece of silverware. Although not famed for being a big spender in the transfer market traditionally, Wenger has finally silenced his critics in that department and added some great new talent to the already class squad at his disposal.

So why are they not sitting nearer to the league leaders Chelsea on points? Why do they find themselves struggling to win the important games, having drawn five games out of the ten they have played?

Are they now permanently doomed to be a mediocre side that will come out with every intention of challenging for honours but fall miserably short each time of asking?

Well, not quite. This is Arenal’s current injury list: Serge Gnabry, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, David Ospina, Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Debuchy. That is not mentioning Theo Walcott who only recently came back from his injury after a long spell on the sidelines.

Arsenal’s injury crisis is a big one this season, and it seems that it is a bad omen that follows them around, lingering like a bad smell. They are officially the worst injury hit team in the last decade of Premier League football.

You would expect that a team such as theirs, who want to challenge for major trophies would be prepared to take a hit here and there and have plenty of cover should a star player be injured. Well, they do! If you take a close look at the injury list, a lot of the players on that list are key players who would be playing a big part in Wenger’s starting XI.

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that should the French manager have all these players at his disposal throughout the entire campaign to date, his side would be higher up the table, and possibly sitting pretty at the top, failing that, at the very least be a lot closer to current leaders Chelsea.

Consider his current line up but stick Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, and Mathieu Debuchy into the starting XI, and when you look at things with a different perspective, you start to realise that they probably have one of the better squads and more talented set of players in the league (bar perhaps Chelsea).

There is no use in the fans berating their manager as is quite often the case in social media. This season, Wenger has continued to receive a lot of stick despite how well he has done in the transfer market and despite the fact that these players being injured cannot be blamed on the manager.

If a fully fit Arsenal had been playing all along, they would not have struggled as much that is a fact. Whether or not they can now start challenging more competitively once the squad returns to full fitness is a different matter altogether, but they will certainly have a much better win ratio and will do a damn good job of trying to close the gap between themselves and the top of the table.

Get off the manager’s back, start looking at the facts and support the team, because in the next couple of seasons, if Mr Wenger’s plan comes to fruition, Arsenal will be great with many cups and trophies to their name once more (assuming they can keep the team fit and injury free that is).

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