Seldom is news about a fitness coach worthy of a post but in the case of Shad Forsythe and Arsenal, we’ll make an exception.
Forsythe, who helped guide the German National Team to the World Cup, will join a fitness team that includes Marcus Svennson and Tony Colbert. The deal is newsworthy for a few reasons.
First and foremost, statistics show that few clubs struggle with fitness and soft tissue injuries more than Arsenal. For years the club has been ravaged by injuries and in recent seasons a number of key players have been lost including Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey and the now-departed Thomas Vermaelen. With Forsythe now in the mix, the hope is that injuries will decrease, performances will improve and better results will come.
Second, Forsythe’s time with Germany means he is already well familiar with the fitness of a number of Arsenal players, including Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. This rapport will be key to Forsyth’s immersion into the club and gaining the players.
Third, with Forsythe, manager Arsene Wenger has brought in another winner. This may seem like a minor point but creating and maintaining an environment of winning is crucial for any big club.
It’s believed that Forsythe will be in charge of revolutionizing the way in which the squad is conditioned for match-day action. Ozil was over the moon at the signing of Forsythe, tweeting: “Another world champion for the Gunners! Welcome to Arsenal, Shad Forsythe.”