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Arsenal: ‘Injury reducing pitch’ installed; Cazorla wants to keep compatriot; Mustafi warning

Arsenal are synonymous with injury crises, and we are approaching the time of year when one usually occurs. Much has been written on this subject, and if truth be told the Gunners probably get more attention than they are due. Other clubs in the division have more injuries by volume, but Arsenal have had a crop of injury prone players on the books; Mikel Arteta in recent years, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and the infamous Abou Diaby.

Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain could also be added to this list. However, with Arteta, Rosicky and Wilshere no longer part of the squad, it will be interesting to see the difference this makes to Arsenal’s depth. Aside from changes in personnel, it also seems that the club are looking at more novel ways to reduce injuries.

The Sun report that they have installed an ‘injury reducing pitch’ at London Colney using turf specialist from Paris. Their report says:

“According to Natural Grass, Arsenal had been testing the AirFibr technology on the goalkeeper area for nearly two years before opting to roll out the ‘injury reducing’ pitch in April at their 58-hectare HQ.

Natural Grass’ experts claim that their AirFibr grass reduces the risks of players’ injuries by as much as 20 to 40 per cent.

The all-weather resistant turf is made of 100 per cent natural grass anchored in an artificial rootzone formed with sand, synthetic microfibers and granulated natural cork.”

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Not the most exciting read if you are not a synthetic turf enthusiast, but it is a clear signal that Arsene Wenger is trying to address a perceived problem. Another signal that injuries are weighing on his mind is the continued absence of Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey. They suffered toe and hamstring injuries, and being given plenty of time to recover ahead of full returns in November.

That has been a troublesome month for Wenger throughout his Arsenal reign, and it seems he wants fresh legs to attack a month that brings fixtures against Tottenham, Manchester United and PSG. It is also worth noting that Ramsey and Giroud played extensive roles in the Euros.

Elsewhere, Santi Cazorla has told his employers that it would be a big mistake to let his compatriot Hector Bellerin leave. The 21-year-old right back has never looked back since injury to Mathieu Debuchy gave him a chance midway through the 2014-15 season and has established himself as one of the best full backs in the top flight. Cazorla also talked about Bellerin becoming a key part of the Spanish national team for years to come.

Bellerin has two years remaining on his current deal and has been linked with a move back to his boyhood club Barcelona as well as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. That said, he seems happy at Arsenal and is currently on £40,000 a week which doesn’t quite reflect his status.

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Finally, summer signing Shkodran Mustafi has warned his new teammates to keep their feet on the ground after they secured their sixth straight Premier League win against Swansea on Saturday. The Gunners were five points behind United, City and Chelsea after two games of this season but are now second only to City on goal difference.

They have had a decent run of fixtures on the back of their keystone 3-0 victory over Chelsea, but have made hay in this period to get ahead of their rivals. More difficult tasks are around the corner, but Wenger’s side are doing their job currently. Mustafi said:

“I think there’s no point in thinking too far ahead.

“We just need to think day after day and game after game.

“We’re going to have a tough game on Wednesday as well, so we have to be prepared for that game.

“Sometimes when you think too far in the future, you forget about the present and then you lose points.

“That’s what we don’t want to do.”

Featured image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal

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