Ramsey And Flamini’s Fitness Vitally Important

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Sep 12th, 2013

When Mathieu Flamini was rumoured to be coming back to Arsenal I had mixed feelings. A year ago I was asked if I would take him back and based on his injury record in Italy I said no but when Arsène Wenger came out and said that his mental state, attitude and physical shaped had convinced him to take him back I felt I had maybe judged a bit soon.

When it comes to football, few things are more important than fitness and endurance. Modern footballers need to be high-performance athletes as well as technically strong. Arsenal supporters know how painful it is to have top quality players like Diaby, and to some extent Jack Wilshere, but not be able to use them as often as we would like because of injury.

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One of the best but sadly, rarely fit

Then we have had players like Arshavin, who whilst relatively injury free, never seemed to have the stamina to last a full 90 minutes in the EPL.

It is for this reason why I love players like Aaron Ramsey, why I used to love Flamini and will quickly learn to do so again. Fitness and endurance.

Endurance for a lot of us is working 14 hour days, marathon FIFA sessions, or in my case the Ladbrokes Poker Endurance Challenge. Endurance for a top athlete like a Premier League footballer is running 9-10 miles in one match despite all the stopping and starting and doing that twice a week in some cases.

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Marathon FIFA sessions

Football is a high octane sport with little to no rest periods on the pitch which makes the fitness of modern footballers all the more impressive when you compare it to other sports like cricket, NFL and baseball where rest periods are aplenty.

And it’s not just the 1-2 games a week we see in the stadiums, it’s also the intensity of Premier League training routines, ball work, strength work, resistance training, anaerobic fitness and cardio work.

Arsenal players in general are incredibly fit and their fitness levels are one of the reasons Arsenal usually lead the way in late goals scored; other teams often cannot match up to that level of intensity.

Then there are the Mathieu Flamini’s and Aaron Ramsey’s of the squad. These are incredibly fit players, maybe slightly more so than the rest of the squad. One of Ramsey’s biggest attributes is his incredible engine. Ramsey and Flamini may not be as technically good as Wilshere and Arteta but they never seem to drop physically as the match goes on and you cannot underestimate the importance of players like that.

Incredible fitness

Flamini recently said that he and Tony Colbert joked that he is like a wine, improving with age because his fitness levels are equal to or better than they were when he last played for Arsenal.

I sincerely hope this is the case as with an incredibly streamlined squad, Arsenal are going to need their players to stay fit until at least January if they want to make a serious assault on a trophy this season.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

7 Responses to “Ramsey And Flamini’s Fitness Vitally Important”

  1. Cupsui says:

    Agree with the Importance of fitness, but do you think this may be taking a toll on the players? It seems not club suffers repeated injury crises to the extent as Arsenal does.

    One other point i would like to raise is the rumours surrounding Kensuke Honda. We have been linked for a long time and Arsene is an outspoken fan of the tall japanese midfield.

    Being from Australia i have seen a lot of Kensuke is Asian cups and WCQ, we seem to always get drawn with Japan (and never Korea) so we have a solid rivalry growing. Now let me say not only is Honda the best player in the Japanese side, he is the BEST PLAYER IN ASIA!! People will point to Shinji Kagawa, but Honda has a much more rounded game than Kagawa. Honda dominates matches and is involved from start to finish, whereas Kagawa is a player that pops into matches from time to time, runs around a lot but sometimes shirks away from defensive duties. Honda never does this.

    I would liken Honda to Ramsey, great engines, great technique, Honda’s passing vision is brilliant and he is a far bigger threat from outside the area than Ramsey. His shooting from distance is something to behold.

    Dan you discuss the importance of players with endurance, look no further than Kensuke Honda. If we could get him for free i think he would be an amazing signing and a perfect addition to the squad, bringing European experience and a bundle of enthusiasm.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’ve always liked Honda so would have no issue with us signing him but for balance in the team I wouldn’t drop Ramsey for him. I wouldn’t drop Ramsey for Arteta either!

      We do seem to suffer from injuries more than most and I think that partially that is down to overplaying of our players. Almost all of our players are internationals and always seem to get played for the full 90mins whereas players from other clubs get shorter run outs. I can’t say for sure that this is the problem but sometimes our needs outweigh the need of the player to rest and if their national coach isn’t careful with them it seems like we are the ones that suffer the consequences.

    • Cupsui says:

      agreed. Thus we need greater depth…but not only that Wenger must have confidence in that depth to play them when rotation is required…
      it seems logical then to bring in someone like Honda, i don’t neccesarily think he would bump ramsey out but he would compete for the starting job with him and provide rotation for the CM, CAM and even the wing positions.

      Honda for free is a brilliant piece of work if we can get it done

  2. Carl says:

    Cupsui – I watched Honda this summer in the Confed Cup. Looked a good enough player. Dangerous from set pieces. Plenty of other qualities, but what makes you think we can get him for free? Also, Milan was chasing him pretty hard this summer and there were even rumors he’d be moving there in January.

    • cupsui says:

      because he is out of contract in January and doesn’t plan to resign…someone is going to get him for free!! lets hope it is us!

  3. liam says:

    Lets with ozil getting all the attention,not many have mentioned the loan signing of goalkeeper viviano.my lad was telling me how juventus were strongly looking at him as a possible replacement for buffon?anyway, i don’t think he’s coming here just to make up the numbers,so if it keeps szczesny on his toes,then thats great for us.we need competition for all areas of the pitch and every club needs at least 3 keepers.my lad says he’s a good shotstopper and commands his goal area.there’s only one problem i first had with him LOL.i thought we re-signed almunia because he resembled him to me LOL.i wish him well and hope he can prove himself at afc.

  4. liam says:

    just seen ozil & wenger’s full interview on afctv.wenger said that he wanted 1 even 2 more in,but was not too dissapointed.he also said that finding and getting the genuine world class players was difficult and that afc can now become a force in the transfer market.he also stated again how through financial restrictions at the club that THE objective was to get in top 4 every season untill they became better off to compete.ok, what do we all read into that.firstly,if he wanted at least another 2 players in then that hopefully gives us hope come jan.he mentioned a striker but did not mention the other position he looked at getting. i’m hoping it’s a defender of quality,as i’m sure we all do.he said that if the money is there he will spend it so it is a bit dissapointing that he didn’t get another striker at least,but he will spend if the right players become available.looks like he has put any talk of a new contract on the back burner and i agree with it.like he said he will judge how well his team has done before deciding anything and i think thats a fair thing to say right now.results,trophies and a huge improvement must be the focus this season.wenger is still a huge draw for any player and no one can dispute that.all i want is a commitment from wenger that he will spend the money and that he is now looking at taking afc to the next level.do that and no one will have a problem with you mr wenger.

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