Tuesday 23 January 2018

A Five Point Plan to Prevent the Annual Injury Crisis at West Ham

Here's a thing - every year around December and January we get to use the bubonic plague sketch to describe West Ham's injury situation. Every year. Right now we are second in the league in terms of injuries with a whopping first team squad players out through injury.

Having china dolls like Andy Sicknote and Diafra Sakho on the payroll is certainly part of the problem – with a total of 12 Premiership goals between them in the last two seasons (Carroll =9; Sakho =3) it’s simply not good enough! In all honesty, at this stage we really need to take the hit and free up space for players who will be available for selection at least 50% of the season.  

However, our most recent issues relate to Manny Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic. The optimist in me hopes that the Arnautovic injury scare is to end the tiresome media focus on the non-transfer of Marko to Chelsea. First it was Antonio, then Carroll and now Arnautovic - all fake news and it makes you wonder if there aren't some serious West Ham haters out there desperately trying to destabilise our club with these unhelpful rumours. 

However, in Lanzini's case you have to link his hamstring injury to the Shrewsbury saga. It's great to give the kids game time opportunities, and the replay certainly did that, but did our midfield talisman really need to be out there for 120 minutes in midweek with another (more important) game on Saturday? 

We have tried moving training facilities to reduce our injury count but with no benefit. Maybe it's time to make a coherent plan to reduce our injury count for the future. How about this: 

1. Offload long term chronic sicknoters - Carroll and Sakho. They are taking up space and wages that could be used better.

2. Include a detailed analysis of injury history in all new signings.

3. Restrict new signings to players who have not yet passed their prime - Jose Fonte is 34 years old - it's much harder to manage the speed of the game once you are over 30, and recovery time from injuries is greatly prolonged in the 'more mature' player.

4. Treat the FA cup and league cup the way the top clubs do - kids only. No Lanzini's out there against have a go types like Shrewsbury!

5. Invest in a big enough squad to allow for more player rotation - it's cost effective to have more players because it leads to less Lanzini-type overuse injuries.




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