As if our task to become a consistent and coherent football team wasn’t difficult enough already, we are continuing to deal with a multitude of injuries at a multitude of positions. And right as some key players return, other key players end up going out and missing some time.
Enzo Fernández is just the latest in this long line, with the midfielder set to miss a second match on the bounce since being forced off in the first half of our League Cup quarterfinal win over Newcastle last week. After being practically ever-present, the 22-year-old will consecutive matches for the first time in his Chelsea career. And what was initially just called some minor illness has now devolved into assessments and concern over a lingering sports hernia.
Thankfully, Moisés Caicedo’s illness is nothing more than just that, and he could be back tomorrow. But his absence over the weekend forced Lesley Ugochukwu into more minutes than he was apparently ready for, and now he’s set to miss more time with a fresh hamstring injury.
“No, Enzo no. But Mo, hopefully yes. Today he was better, yesterday (Saturday) he was a possibility — but it’s a high fever. I hope he can train a little bit and be ready for Palace.”
“With Lesley, we will assess him tomorrow, but I think he felt his hamstring again. I said in the press conference it is important how we reintroduce players, but we were forced because of the problem with Moises to play Lesley. It’s a difficult situation because now he’s a player we’re going to miss, we hope not for too much [time]. We need all of the players.”
I’m not sure what the exact answer may be, but there seems to be something seriously wrong in our decision-making process when it comes to injuries.
“Yes I think that it’s really frustrating, the disappointment is there. We are working really hard, I promise. We all work so hard; the medical staff and the performance staff are working really hard to try and anticipate and avoid these types of problems. But sometimes it’s a sacrifice, sometimes it’s bad luck.”
“[When we] have all of the players fit is the moment when we will find the right balance. At the moment we are trying to compensate as we always have eight, 10, 12 players out, so we have to adapt to find the balance and find solutions.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen, so we probably should stop waiting for it as some sort of magic salve. Injuries don’t explain some of the basic footballing mistakes we keep making, nor our general lack of execution and focus in crucial moments. We can do better.