Arsene Wenger suggests supplements may be a factor in Arsenal’s injury crisis

Manager believes players self-medicating with legal supplements can result in problems

Aaron Ramsey: back in Arsenal’s squad for the trip to face top-four rivals Everton at Goodison Park. Photo: David Davies/PA

Aaron Ramsey: back in Arsenal’s squad for the trip to face top-four rivals Everton at Goodison Park. Photo: David Davies/PA


Arsene Wenger has suggested that Arsenal’s injury problems might be related to his players taking legal supplements to enhance aspects of their lifestyle and performance without the knowledge of the club.

The manager revealed last month that he had ordered an investigation into the club’s training methods and medical procedures in an effort to establish whether they could have avoided their latest injury crisis.

The absence of the attacking midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere has hit them hard while the defender Laurent Koscielny has also been out with a muscle strain.

Arsenal’s title challenge appears to have been overtaken by the more familiar battle to finish in the top-four and tomorrow’s trip to fifth-placed Everton has assumed tremendous importance.

The good news for Arsenal is that Ramsey will return to the squad after more than three months out with thigh trouble, although he will feature as a substitute at best while the full-back Nacho Monreal is also back in contention after a foot injury.

Wenger said that the internal review had yet to yield hard and fast conclusions but he advanced a personal theory. “Some of them [muscle injuries] are down to the medication that the players take that you don’t even know about. Then you realise afterwards that they took this medication but that’s not prudent.”

He added that certain medication could affect the liver and then it “doesn’t work as well ... the toxins don’t go as quickly out of the body as they should and the players get tired”. Injuries are sometimes the result of lower levels of stamina; if a player is, to borrow a phrase from Wenger “in the red”.

He was asked to give examples of the kind of medication he was referring to.

“If you lose your hair and you’ve taken something to make your hair grow, it might not be good, especially for the rest of your body,” he said. “Medication always pushes a part of your body and is sometimes detrimental to other parts of your body.”

Arsenal’s doctors do not believe that there is a link between supplements, tablets or medication and injuries while no one in the squad is on long-term medication. The doctors oversee the use of any supplements required.

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