Arsene Wenger's decision to hire a new fitness coach at Arsenal could turn out to be a stroke of genius.
Arsene Wenger’s first addition to the Arsenal family this summer wasn’t a player, but a new fitness coach; Shad Forsythe.
Forsythe comes from working with the German national team and Wenger seems to have pounced all over a problematic area for the Gunners as he looks to prevent a repeat of last season’s horrific injury list.
Various reasons have been suggested as to why the club pick up so many injuries such as the focus on ball training at the club over physical work to bulk up and grow stronger in the gym.
Arsenal spent more days at the top of the Premier League last season than any other club and many have suggested that had Wenger enjoyed a fitter squad for a longer period, then heavy defeats at Liverpool and Chelsea wouldn’t have happened and the Premier League title challenge would have been sustained.
There is still plenty of pressure on Wenger to make playing additions to his squad this summer, but the arrival of a new fitness coach shows he’s thinking outside the box over how to get his new side an advantage.
It’s also a positive move because of that German connection.
Forsythe already has inside knowledge on several members of the Arsenal squad; Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker, as well as any German national players the Gunners may sign after the World Cup in Brazil.
He’ll already have experience over how those players train, what their strengths are and the weaknesses they need to improve.
It will also give him an insight into the likely methods, which have been used at Arsenal allowing him to deduce his own potential reasons for the number of injuries at the North London club.
It’s important that those improvements are made gently after the tournament in Brazil because there is a real risk of burn out early next season with Arsenal, along with plenty of other European clubs. And their Premier League rivals.
Wenger needs to back this up with some good, high profile and positive player signings but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.