Cape Town - Arsenal
have taken steps to address their ongoing injury concerns by installing
an 'injury reducing' turf at the club's London training base.
The Gunners have endured season after season of injuries to key
players, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger taking the brunt of criticism
over the way he trains his players.
They have the highest average early season injuries over the previous
five seasons, with five players already sidelined this term, including
Danny Welbeck (knee), Per Mertesacker (knee) and Olivier Giroud (toe),
Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Chuba Akpom (back).
And in a bid to hopefully reduce the number of muscle injuries, the club has replaced the grass the players train on.
Paris-based turf technology firm Natural Grass claim their grass,
AirFibr, which is made of natural grass, synthetic microfibers and
granulated natural cork, can reduce the possibility of injury by 20 to
According to company, the club have been testing the technology in
the goalkeeper area for two years before rolling it out across their
London Colney pitches.
A statement on the Natural Grass website read: "Arsenal FC has always
had a pioneering role in the installation of new turf technologies for
its 58-hectare large London Colney training centre. The Colney training
centre was built in 1998. It gathers 10 football pitches.
"After testing the technology on the goalkeeper area for nearly two
years, the AirFibr technology was installed by grass seeding on the only
pitch restored by Arsenal in 2016. Arsenal is the first club of Premier
League to equip itself with an AirFibr pitch."
West Ham followed Arsenal's lead in installing the turf while Real
Madrid and Lyon already use this technology, and it was also in use at a
number of Euro 2016 stadiums in France.