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  • Приключи зимната кампания за приемане на нови членове в състава на най-големия фен клуб на чуждестранен отбор в България. Завърши, при това отлично! Не, че сме имали съмнения, но все пак цифрите от декември 2023 година са нещо, което ни радва неимоверно много. Традиционно за декември всеки желаещ български артилерист имаше възможност да се влее или поднови своето членство в организацията ни. В резултат отчитаме най-силната исторически зимна кампания, като цели 159 нови попълнения влязоха в състава на нашия отбор, за което ние от УС на „Арсенал България“ сърдечно благодарим! Новост е създаването на два клона, които ще бъдат в градовете Благоевград и Враца, като по този начин ASCB вече има местни структури в 12 български града. Клон София мина кота 400 души, а уверено на второ място са в „Морската столица“ със 123 души. От град Варна е член номер 900, десетгодишният Борислав Карабахчиев, който получи символично номер 1 500. Всеки новоприсъединил се ще получи карта и подарък, а с e-mail и информация, касаеща организацията, права и задължения, както и местата за гледане на срещите на Арсенал Лондон.
    Предстои ни груповото посещение за лондонското дерби с Челси, която проява на фен клуба очакваме с нетърпение, както и мащабна организация по тържествата за двадесетия рожден ден на ASCB.
    Благодарим на всички за положените усилия, проявеното желание и усърдие, а ние от УС обещаваме един забележителен юбилей на Вашия любим фен клуб!
    20 години „Арсенал България“!
    Victoria Concordia Crescit  

    Safe football, will it ever happen?
    I wrote some time ago about long-term injury in soccer here and concluded that the clubs and the soccer authorities need to do more to make the sport safer. The blog was mostly about life after sport and how professional soccer players have a far greater incidence of serious health problems such as Alzheimers, Dementia, plus Osteoarthritis due to so many operations, than the standard population. Since then I have been following research on the subject of injuries in soccer, and also is there any way to make soccer safer while still retaining its appeal to fans?

    Does anyone know how to keep adults safe in football?
    To me it is harrowing. VAR has come in and shown just how much dangerous tackling goes on in football. Often such things passed me by before but the slo-mo replays can show how feet, ankles and legs get targeted by boots flying in and also players getting trod on. The other area is heading where there is often a clash of heads by players going up for balls, and there are also elbows, etc., banging into players and sometimes knocking players out. This can mean dangerous concussions of which the safeguards need to be increased as they can lead to long term damage.
    A big report with big results
    A large-scale study conducted by the MLS in America is most revealing in this regard.

    A full report with a lot of interesting data
    This was its methodology:
    Methods:
    A web-based health management platform was used to prospectively collect injury data from all MLS teams between 2014 and 2019. An injury was defined as an incident that required medical attention and was recorded into the health management platform anytime over the course of the 2014-2019 seasons. Injuries and exposure data were recorded in training and match settings to calculate injury incidence.
    Results:
    A total of 9713 injuries were recorded between 2014 and 2019. A mean 1.1 injuries per year per player were identified, with midfielders sustaining the largest number of injuries. The most common injuries were hamstring strains (12.3%), ankle sprains (8.5%), and adductor strains (7.6%). The mean time missed per injury was 15.8 days, with 44.2% of injuries resulting in no days missed. Overall injury incidence was 8.7 per 1000 hours of exposure, declining over the course of the investigation, with a 4.1-times greater mean incidence during matches (14.0/1000 h) than training (3.4/1000 h).
    Conclusion:
    Between 2014 and 2019, the most commonly reported injuries in MLS players were hamstring strains, ankle sprains, and adductor strains. Injury incidence during matches was 4.1 times greater when compared with training, while overall injury incidence was found to decline during the course of the study period.
     https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/23259671211055136?icid=int.sj-full-text.similar-articles.9
    Is there an alternative to consistent injuries?
    Which means that virtually every player has to cope with injuries, both short and long term. My point being here is does this have to be inevitable? Is there an alternative?

    Even Jesus cannot save himself
    First I must say that these results would be replicated pretty much anywhere professional football is played. If we take Arsenal over the Arteta years, Jesus, Timber, Smith Rowe, Tierney, Nketiah, Tomiyasu, Partey, Martinelli, Elneny and plenty of others if I sat down to really think about it. I have named almost an entire team. Newcastle at the moment have a long injury list but every team suffers from it. Why is there no talk about bringing injuries down to a very low level? That surely should be the starting point, could changing the rules ensure that teams have their first choice players always available so sporting competition is fair? There is no question, this level of injuries threatens the long term future of the game.

    Will Timber's instant injury blight his career?
    It seems to me that ground (and just above it) tackling and aerial battles are the two areas that are the most dangerous. Can football survive without both? I think that heading would have to go as how can players necessarily know that other players are going to jump for the same ball?  What about tackling consisting only of clean takeaways with both players on their feet?  And here I would have to introduce a wildcard and that is jersey pulling. It plays its part in knocking players off balance and at risk of injury and also allowing for elbows as they try to knock away the player dragging them. Yes, most times it is players going down as if dead, clutching their heads even if the elbow missed, but not always. Eyes and heads can be severely hurt.
    Ah, but what do the fans think?
    Would we watch it? I don’t know but I feel I would. The ancient art of dribbling would come back as would ball control, accurate passing, and crucially, delays for injuries would be slight, allowing for free flowing football. VAR would have as its role the position of the ball mostly, offside, handballs, etc., so it would cease to be a nuisance. Injury time would be minimal. Referees would have a far easier time as there would be less reason for cards and the constant dissent that is prevalent in modern football would disappear.
    Ok, football is big business. These changes could severely impact interest in the game and if that is the case the authorities would be dead against it.

    Fancy playing with this in your leg?
    I posit that one day they may have no choice. Outside of certain sports, injuries at work are rare, even in so called dangerous areas such as mining and construction, Qatar World Cups aside, of course, And that Qatar experience is perhaps the benchmark of what I am saying. Why did so many people die and get injured in the rush to produce the massive infrastructure for the World Cup? Because Qatar had huge money to invest in it a blind eye was shown to any inconveniences in their own governance and to the death toll involved in building it. Enormous amounts of money were spread about the soccer world to ensure that dissent was stifled. But that was a one off. And it seems like they got away with that one off.
    Soccer will remain on the injury train?
    But soccer is ongoing. Injury levels as ascertained in the above report may not be sustainable forever. Will parents continue to encourage their kids to take up a sport where injuries are common and no one wants to change the rules to make them safe? I feel I can safely say that the only way to make football safe is to implement the changes above, no heading, no shirt dragging, no going to ground, no tackling that will cause a player to fall over, no shoulder charges as they are almost never true shoulder charges but rather elbows and pushes. It would be different, for sure, but probably more skillful. Enough to compensate for the lack of physicality? I don’t know.
    But I can tell you this much. Football needs teams of referees/officials that are not likely to come through at the moment. It is the fouls and the physical challenges that cause the most difficulties for officials/VAR and the greatest frustration for fans watching. In my scenario posited above, with aerial battles gone, going to ground gone and pulling shirts gone, fouls would be very easy to recognise. No need for arguments. Most dissent could be banished. Crucially, players could go about their business without too much worry about serious injury or their long term future with so many screws holding their joints together.
    A pure football game is the answer
    I’ll leave you with a quote from Steven Gerrard, one of the greats of English football: “I’m sitting here now with screws in my hips,” said the former Liverpool captain. “I’ve had about 16 operations, I’m struggling to go to the gym at the moment. That’s all on the back of earning a living in English football.”

    Stevie G. - struggling like an old man because of wild tackles
    We ask the footballers to continue paying this price. Do we really need to? Can we not even talk about truly making the game safer? Are we certain that without the elements that cause these injuries, the game would not be attractive to the fans? Would vibrant football skill not be enough? Why not?
     
     
     

    Арсенал е домакин на Ливърпул в мач от 3-ти кръг за Купата на Футболната Асоциация. И двата отбора имат дълга и славна история в турнира, като Лондончани са вдигали трофея рекордните 14 пъти, а ''мърсисайдци'' имат 8 отличия във витрината си. Несъмнено това е една от класиките във футбола на Острова, независимо в кое състезание се изправят тези два отбора един срещу друг. А когато го направиха за последно, резултатът бе 1:1. Срещата се изигра на 23 декември и бе за първенство, когато на Анфийлд не бе излъчен победител. В интерес на истината, чисто практически Арсенал и Ливърпул ще са изиграли поне 3 мача помежду си в рамките на малко повече от 40 дни. Това е така, защото на 4 февруари ''топчиите'' са домакини отново на този съперник, но този път в ответния мач за Висша лига. Да не пропускаме и това, че при евентуално преиграване, ще станем свидетели на още едно издание на това дерби. И така, както напоследък е доста модерно да се отбелязва, време е за ''Магията на ФА Къп''! Турнир, който Микел Артета успя да спечели 2 пъти като играч и веднъж като мениджър на Арсенал. Можем само да си пожелаем успех, особено на фона на колебливото представяне на ''артилеристите'' напоследък. Победите все някъде трябва да започнат, а колко по-подходящ момент от домакинство на Ливърпул, и то за Купата?!

    Кога: Днес, от 18:30ч. българско време;

    Стадион: Емиратс Стейдиъм, Лондон;

    Телевизия на пряко излъчване: Диема Спорт 2;

    Рефер на двубоя: Джон Брукс;

    Новините в отбора на Арсенал: Срещата ще пропуснат контузените Юриън Тимбър, Томас Партей и Фабио Виейра. В групата за мача няма да попаднат също така имената на Такехиро Томиясу и Мохамед Елнени. Томиясу е с отбора на Япония за предстоящите мачове за Купата на Азия. Елнени пък е с отбора на Египет, които ще мерят сили с останалите държави в турнира за Купата на Африканските нации. Олександър Зинченко остава под въпрос за мача до последно, като това отбеляза и Микел Артета на провелата се преди дербито пресконференция. Надеждите на испанеца са свързани с това Зинченко все пак да попадне сред избраниците. Всички останали имена в отбора са на разположение за селекция. 
    Важно е да се отбележи и това, че довечера Арсенал ще играе с изцяло белите екипи, които са символ на клуба и Адидас в кампанията ''No More Red''. Тя се провежда за трета поредна година и е част от общност, за да помогне на младите хора да бъдат предпазени от престъпления с нож и като цяло от насилието сред самата младеж. 


    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    Микел Артета преди мача: ''Чувството, когато спечелихме турнира през 2020 година бе наистина неописуемо. Знаете, че съм печелил тази Купа и като играч на Арсенал. За този клуб това състезание винаги е имало специално място. Сега пред нас се открива възможността да направим още едно красиво пътуване в този турнир и ние не искаме да я пропускаме. Да, със сигурност жребият ни отреди труден съперник. Ние обаче трябва да дадем всичко от себе си, за да се поздравим с победата. Играхме срещу Ливърпул съвсем наскоро и изнесохме доста стабилно представяне. Сега обаче ще ни трябва нещо повече, за да ги победим. В онази вечер не ни достигна малко, така че ще се наложи да покажем повече от тогава.
    Определено демонстрирахме някои признаци на несигурност в играта си в последните няколко мача. Не завършихме годината така, както искахме. Сега имаме шанс да се поправим и да променим и заличим някои неща. Всеки отбор проявява спад в играта си в даден момент. Всички ние се надяваме, че оттук натам нещата ще се случват към по-добро. Просто нямаме друг избор. В средата на сезона сме и нямаме право на повече грешки, без значение в кой турнир. Това е. 
    Колкото до кампанията ''No More Red'', тя е една страхотна инициатива от клуба. На мнение съм, че по този начин оказваме подкрепа и създаваме една по-безопасна среда. Разполагаме със силата и капацитета, за да помагаме на хората и да трансформираме определени райони на Лондон. Това е кампания, която започна преди вече 3 години и успя да окаже подкрепа на наистина много хора.''


    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    Игра с прогнози във форума на ASCB: 


    Three managers to top them all

    George Graham -deserves a statue 
    George Graham
    Player
    308 apps
    Football League First Division: 1970–71
    FA Cup: 1970–71
    Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1969–70
    Manager
    9 years
    Football League First Division: 1988–89, 1990–91
    FA Cup: 1992–93
    Football League Cup: 1986–87, 1992–93
    FA Charity Shield: 1991 (shared)
    Football League Centenary Trophy: 1988
    European Cup Winners' Cup: 1993–94
     
    Mikel Arteta
    Player
    150 apps
    FA Cup: 2013–14, 2014–15
    FA Community Shield: 2014, 2015
    Manager
    5 years
    FA Cup: 2019–20
    FA Community Shield: 2020, 2023
     
    Terry Neill
    Player
    241 apps
    Manager
    7 years
     FA cup 1979
    Arsenal managers through and through
    In my lifetime we have had 3 Arsenal managers who played more than 100 games, won at least one trophy as manager, and who were fulltime managers of this great old club. Terry Neill, George Graham and Mikel Arteta.
    Now, all of you out there know who the current best one is – George Graham, who is ranked behind Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger. He took on the Liverpool machine and came out on top, who were the best ever English team at the time. He won 8 trophies at Arsenal as a manager, which puts him well ahead of the other 2. Arteta has won 3, an FA Cup and 2 Charity Shields, and Neill has just the one, the FA Cup in 1979. Of course, only Arteta has the chance to overtake Graham. I wonder how many Arsenal fans feel that he will?

    Am I really hearing Arteta out?
    The Arteta out brigade have already started with our current bad run, so if that is an indication getting George’s nine years will never happen. Even Terry’s seven won’t. I am, however, optimistic that Arteta is the right man at the moment. Of course, he now cannot afford the bad runs that he has had at the end of every season so far. We must finish strongly to collect trophies. I suspect that if he doesn’t get Champions league or a trophy it’s possible the Arteta out crew will get their wish. Certainly no European qualification could see him out for good.
    Terry Neill took us upwards
    Terry Neill never had that pressure. He took over in 1976 as the club were struggling. Relegation was somewhere on the horizon as the great double team were broken up and Bertie Mee lost his mojo. Neill took us up the table, got us 3 FA Cup finals in a row and a Cup Winners Cup Final appearance. His two best league efforts were 3rd and 5th. But competent rather than spectacular was the lot of Arsenal’s youngest ever manager. Bizarrely, Arsenal were his 3rd club despite being only 34 when he took over at Highbury. He had already managed Hull and a team from North London, I can’t remember their name.

    Terry Neill - a top class defender
    As a player, Neill didn’t win anything at Arsenal, and was gone just before the Mee/Howe axis started winning things. He did manage 241 games and was highly regarded as a top notch defender. He had 59 international appearances for Northern Ireland, way more than the other two. Arteta didn’t even manage one for Spain. He was our youngest ever, he had way more caps, and he had one of our greatest days under his belt, the 1979 FA Cup win over Manchester United, the famous Liam Brady final. Overall, one of our own, and he could be seen on matchdays escorting VIPs.
    He deserves more recognition
    And, of course, he also had a huge hand in creating the extraordinary amount of Irish at Highbury, cementing a massive fanbase across the pond. Ok, he is number 3 on this list of players/managers at Arsenal but for me, it was a colossal boost watching all the Irish superstars strut their stuff.
     
    Terry Neill - a fan till the end
    Will he get a statue? Probably not but he remained Arsenal through and through all his life and was one of our most dedicated followers, always being seen around the Arsenal on matchdays.
    The rookie could beat them all
    Mikel is number 2 and he has a long way to go to catch up with George Graham. Will he? Maybe not but I feel he will get somewhere before he has to leave. The only one on the list who was a rookie, and he did make rookie mistakes, allowing Aubameyang and Ozil a latitude that he shouldn’t, have, but he learned, and if he has learned how to finish strongly this season, then we might be celebrating. He needs to stay in touch, as at the end City may have lots of high pressure matches like last season. Arsenal capitulating made that easier for them last time, and they won the league easier than they should have. That, above all else is his benchmark, stay in touch and finish strongly.

    Mikel -Our captain, my captain
    He won the FA Cup and the Charity Shield at his first attempt, a wonderful achievement. His immediate predecessors were 2 greats, Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger, and he has done better than any Manchester United manager since Alex Ferguson in fashioning a team in his image, consistently getting better. When an immense manager goes, such as Arsene Wenger, the void becomes a giant chasm to fill. Arteta has the capacity to fill that void. Will he get a statue? Time will tell.
    Graham conquered all
    And so George Graham, the mighty tactician, disciplinarian and creator of a team that moved together like puppets, always catching teams offside, with a magical midfield of Rocastle, Merson and Thomas to feed the strikers. He gave us probably our best day ever, when we went to Anfield in 1989 needing to win  2-0 for the title, and won in injury time. It never got better after that.

    George Graham - an elegant player
    The critical thing about George is that he made Arsenal great again over many years. The last such time was the 1940’s. His nine years with our only 2 League Cups, the only European Cup Winners Cup, and the only ever winners of the Centenary Cup, plus 2 league titles and an FA Cup means he is number one on this list and number 3 overall in the pantheon of prodigious Arsenal managers. He didn’t get many caps for Scotland but won trophies as a player and was a vital member of the Double winning side of 1971.
    Tactics, discipline and teamwork
    He was responsible for bringing many top young players through at Arsenal and Leeds. He had one defining belief, that you get the best possible player for every position even if it means removing a fan favourite as he did with John Lukic, replacing him with David Seaman. Football was chess for him, you had to stay ahead of your opponent by thinking ahead of them.

    Can any of them get a statue like the legendary Herbert Chapman?
    Will he get a statue? He deserves one. The scandal that removed him certainly seemed to have a lot of extenuating circumstances, and an honest review of that could see him getting the recognition at Arsenal he deserves.
    And so there you go. We had 3 top players that became top managers, something that not many teams have achieved. Liverpool had 2, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish, but I cannot think of any other top team that had trophy winning managers who also played for them. Good old Arsenal, we always lead the way. And if Arteta knocks out George Graham, boy would we be happy.
     
     
     
     

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