Shad Forsythe In Contention for Arsenal Man of the Year


In Pain in the Arsenal’s recent poll that allowed you to pick Arsenal’s most valuable player, the majority of you decided, rather wisely, on Alexis Sanchez. The next most votes were equally well spent on Francis Coquelin. The error in that poll was on my end, because I forgot to make Shad Forsythe available to vote for.

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Granted, he’s no player, he could still be considered the Arsenal man of the year.

Shad Forsythe was brought on in the summer, fresh off of winning the World Cup with the German national team, as the strength, conditioning and recovery specialist that Arsenal has needed for so long. His impact has been clear, it has been prominent and it has been amazing.

While the injuries still happen, as they will continue to seeing as how injuries are tricky little buggers, the process after the injury has been absolutely revolutionized by Forsythe. Arsenal had frequently been prone to numerous setbacks, re-injuries, and delayed returns under their previous regime, but Shad Forsythe changed that instantaneously.

Let’s consider four separate instances to prove Forsythe’s worth. First: Mesut Ozil.

Mesut Ozil was a flop. Arsenal had made a mistake, he’d never adjust, he was weak. Then, against Chelsea, he got hurt. After posting several pictures of himself and his workout routine and recovery routine, Mesut Ozil returned – ahead of schedule – as a completely changed man. He bulked up, increased his work rate, physicality and overall skill. Suddenly he wasn’t sulking up and down the pitch devoid of confidence, he was making a difference in a big way and smiling the whole time to boot.

Before going down with an injury this year, Mesut Ozil was averaging a 7.10 average player rating across eight games on That’s pretty low for a guy like Ozil. However, since returning from injury, he’s averaging around 7.6. That kind of change is no coincidence. He’s played 20 matches since returning and his average is up an entire half a point. Not only that, but in the five games directly following his injury, Ozil put up three goals and two assists.

Not let’s look at Olivier Giroud. Giroud broke his foot bizarrely against Everton very early in the year. He had two goals in those four games and continued his regular scoring mark of a goal every other game or so. However, when he returned from injury, also ahead of schedule, Olivier Giroud went bananas, scoring 16 goals in 21 matches en route to a .96 strike rate that was second only to Lionel Messi. While he has slowed down considerably, it’s impossible not to notice the difference.

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Aaron Ramsey has had recurring injuries this year, but each time he comes back as if he hasn’t missed a beat. Ramsey has been the victim of some seriously shoddy form when trying to recover from injuries in the past but ever since Shad Forsythe has been on board, he’s had no blips.

The same goes for Jack Wilshere. Since returning from injury, Jack Wilshere looks absolutely renewed.

It’s impossible to deny Shad Forsythe’s contributions. It wasn’t always injuries that plagued Arsenal, it was the after affects, the set backs, the trying to find form. Forsythe has eliminated all of those lingering side affects.

Cheers to you, Mr. Shad Forsythe.

Next: Time for the Benzema Revolution?