Return Of The Jack But Will It Be Scuppered In The Summer?
Morning all, no post from Big Al today. Some ropey old excuse about work or some such. I know it’s ropey, I pull it from time to time. The excuse that is.
Much of this season has seen Arsène fighting fires with injuries. A corner appears to have been turned somewhat with most players aiming to come back to fitness before the end of the season. Andre Santos is back and raring to go, sixty minutes in the reserves seems to have done him well.
A similar outcome for Abou Diaby against Liverpool would be positive although I wonder if he would be better served by a few weeks of playing an hour in a less intense atmosphere rather than recovering fitness in the Premier League melting pot. Francis Coquelin is another whose return has the luxury of being properly managed; there are sufficient numbers of fit midfielders for him not to be needed urgently whilst – touch wood – the first choice full backs are fit and raring to go.
Per Mertesacker will not, it seems, be one of them with the manager believing that the six remaining weeks of the season is insufficient time for full fitness to be regained. In his case a strong desire to appear at the European Championships is hardly surprising; in all likelihood this will be his last appearance in the finals. Likewise the next World Cup. I doubt that the club would disapprove of him participating provided he is fully fit. I suspect that even 75% fit would be enough from the club’s point of view although whether that is sufficient for the DFB remains to be seen.
An altogether different scenario exists for Jack Wilshere. Arsène is not saying much about young Jack’s fitness, save for he is not fit,
Jack’s scan was positive. There is no problem, it is normal evolution and he is continuing his progression. It’s too early to fix a date though, we go day by day with him.
His injury came about as a result of overplaying. Arsène admitted that he had played Wilshere when his stats showed that he was ‘in the red‘. His subsequent return was unsurprisingly unsuccessful; it is rare indeed for any player to come back after so long without ill-effect. Which is where the quandry comes in.
England have precious few talented individuals in the squad for Euro2012. They have a caretaker manager who has history in not caring whether a player is fully fit or if his inclusion will result in further injury. We should not fool ourselves that Stuart Pearce will care whether there is detrimental impact for Arsenal next season. Anyone who disbelieves that need only look at the case of Theo Walcott two Summers ago.
Of course Pearce might not be in charge but I find that hard to believe. Having acted with unseemly haste in their hunt previously, they are laggardly in their pursuit of anyone to replace Capello on a full-time basis. Pearce cannot discounted although he would most likely be the appointment if no-one else wants the job.
Fifa’s rules on injuries are clear; the national association has the final say over a player’s fitness. Clubs are powerless to stop international call-ups unless there is credible medical documentation that satisfies the association’s medical staff. But in Wilshere’s case, there is no provision for the club to refuse the call up to protect their asset. On top of this, pressure is being applied from outside of the game for players to be allowed to participate for Team GB at London2012.
Arsenal do see some benefit from his participation though. Wilshere’s match fitness will be ahead of pre-season training and friendlies but he will need to rest in-between the internationals and club season starting. A delicate balance needs to be found in a game not renowned for its commonsense approach to anything.
If the Ifab can take the momentous decision to force players to use tape the same colour as their socks, Fifa can surely redress the balance on injured players? If not, the fight that they have staved off by caving in on a reduction in international fixtures may spread to other areas relating to their area of the game.