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Arsene Wenger Temps Injury Gods

theo-walcottArsene Wenger says his team will improve in 2015 after claiming that it is ‘nearly impossible’ that they will have as many injury problems in the next 12 months.

The Gunners have been struck with crisis after crisis this season, as key players in all positions have suffered injuries, something that Wenger puts down to so many of his stars taking part in the World Cup.

But the Arsenal boss is adamant that, with a full squad, his side will be better in the coming year.

‘I feel it is nearly impossible that we will have the same bad luck on the injury front that we had in 2014,’ said Wenger

‘What is explainable in 2014 is that it was after the World Cup and we had many players injured because they played in the World Cup.’

Three members of the Arsenal squad won the World Cup with Germany, but of that trio only Per Mertesacker has been able to hold down a first-team place.

Mesut Ozil suffered a dip in form before picking up a serious injury in October, while Lukas Podolski has failed to break into the first team this season.

‘I feel we were very, very unlucky with the injuries we got,’ continued Wenger. ‘With the number of injuries we’ve had, we survived quite well.

‘But I believe, hopefully in the second part of the season, we’ll have more stability, especially defensively, to be more consistent.’

Thirteen members of the Arsenal first team squad have had significant injuries this season:
Wojciech Szczesny (hip), David Ospina (thigh), Mathieu Debuchy (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (thigh), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles). Mikel Arteta (calf), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mesut Ozil (knee), Theo Walcott (knee/groin), Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Abou Diaby (various), Olivier Giroud (foot), Yaya Sanogo (calf)

The World Cup theory has some validity as we saw the same thing after the World Cup in 2010 and the number of muscle injuries suffered by Arsenal supports Wenger’s claim.

But part of the problem has to be that Wenger plays players until they fall apart. Aaron Ramsey last season was the poster child for that. Instead of giving him a break, Wenger kept playing him and eventually he broke down as was out for months.

Arsenal fans have to be worried about Alexis Sánchez, who has already played 1499 minutes this season, the most by any Arsenal player. Will Wenger give him a much needed break, or will be continue to play him until he gets injured?