Ex-Arsenal Man: Injuries Prevented 2008 Title Triumph

By The Editor
on 15th January 2024

Tomas Rosicky reminisces on his Gunners career…


Former Arsenal playmaker Tomas Rosicky rued the injuries we suffered in 2008 as we capitulated in the title race to Manchester United, he told The Athletic.

Before last season, the 2007/08 campaign was our most successful in the league since 2004 as we saw our run at the summit come crashing down in the final months.

While the headlines were focused on the horrific injury suffered by Eduardo on that fateful afternoon at the St. Andrew’s stadium against Birmingham, Rosicky was also ruled out for the second half of the campaign.

A knee injury that seemed innocuous turned into an 18-month stint on the sidelines and the former Czech international noted those injuries as the key reason behind why we couldn’t last the pace.

Alongside the aforementioned duo, Robin Van Persie was also going through the stage in his career that he couldn’t keep feet – adding to our plight.

A lengthy injury list – coupled with competing against a Man Utd side that boasted a front line of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez – made it mission impossible.

“I thought many times about what could have been,” Rosicky said when asked about the 2007/08 season.

“It was the time where I enjoyed the football side most. The group we had, the quality, how we linked together, how we played.

“There was a lot of friendship inside the group. That can give you a margin. If something happens to your friend, you will protect him. It’s personal.

“It was a great team and a good season — until certain moments happened.

“But on the other hand, it also became the worst time for me because I got injured in January. After that, Robin van Persie got hurt, Eduardo broke his leg, and we didn’t have the strength in numbers to finish it,” the former Borussia Dortmund star added.

A title charge ended due to a lengthy injury record has become a familiar theme since our last crowning moment 20 years ago. While it may seem like a superficial excuse, it can be the difference to making it over the line.

As Mikel Arteta found out harshly, you need your squad fit and in form in the final months of a title challenge.

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