Arsenal’s injury problems a thing of the past?
By Jonny Payne
The sight of Arsenal players leaving the field on stretchers was a common occurrence this season, while even more were injured in training, but Arsenal may soon have the answer to their injury woes from the most unlikely of sources; GPS!
The satellite navigation technology could help to prevent injuries in the future according to Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis
The South African told Arsenal’s official website:
“If there are things we can do [to prevent injuries] we will do them.”
He added: “For example, we’ve introduced a GPS system this year for the first time. This is tracking literally from satellites in space, the training movements on the training field of every player.
“It gives you a lot of information. It tells you not just how far the players are running and how fast they are running and what levels of intense activity they have in training. It also measures something called ‘the load’ – and this is literally the amount of time a player’s foot is on the ground while he is running.
“You can see if you have a player coming up to a risk of injury in a subsequent game because you can see two things in general: one is that their work-rate comes down in training and secondly their ‘load’ increases. In other words, their foot stays on the ground for longer when they run. When you are feeling good and feeling active you are more on your toes. When you’re not, you’re more on your heels. That can help you to predict when players are in a dangerous situation.”
But Gazidis warns against the technology being effective as soon as next season, with data gained from GPS only effective when compiled over a number of years.
“Unfortunately to get the full benefits of that and fully understand it you need to have a long record of any individual player so it takes a while to build up because every player is different,” said the Chief Executive.
“It takes a while to build that record to get the full benefit of that system. We’re unlikely to see the benefits really coming through until the second half of next year. But that’s the type of investment – and there are others – that we are making to try and push forward and get ourselves to the cutting edge with respect to our injury management.”
Arsenal’s injury record in recent years has been woeful with many fans pointing to the club’s misfortune on the injury front, not the lack of quality, as the main reason the Gunners’ quest for trophies has now continued into a sixth season.
The likes of William Gallas and Cesc Fabregas were crocked at crucial stages of the title race after being rushed back from previous injuries, but with the use of GPS available that may soon be a thing of the past.
Do you think GPS could help to ease Arsenal’s injury problems? Have your say below:
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