Beth Mead’s long-term knee injury may have been the result of a “downgrading of players” in terms of the game plan, according to Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall.
The England international suffered a hamstring injury in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United last weekend, leaving the striker in a race against time to be eligible for the World Cup in eight months.
Mead is expected to be sidelined for an “extended period of time” and will visit a doctor in the coming days to determine the extent of his injury.
And after Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes criticized the situation after losing Pernille Harder to injury, Arsenal boss Eidevall used the same approach to try to get Mead back.
Speaking about Arsenal’s Champions League away game against Juventus in midweek, Eidevall said: “When you look at the number of injuries, the schedule, especially for players who are playing games, does not help with injuries.
“Player lifting and fatigue is obviously something that we always look at and are concerned about. If that would have made sense to us leading up to the game, then we wouldn’t have played him. It can still happen so it’s difficult, of course.
“The team and people in and around the club have been very supportive and I hope Beth can feel that we all love her and are doing her best at such a difficult time.”
Mead has played 35 games for club and country in the calendar year, but 18 of those were for England as they won the European Championship in the summer, including next year’s World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies.
Why are there so many ACL injuries in football?
News of Mead’s injury comes less than a week later Sky Sports it flew sideways Within the WSL which shows female soccer players are more than five times more likely to have an ACL injury than their male counterparts.
West Ham’s Jessica Ziu, Aston Villa’s Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah and Tottenham’s Kyah Simon and Ellie Brazil are some of the players who need to be looked after this season alone.
This issue also appeared during the summer of the European Championships. Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas missed the tournament after rupturing her ACL just days before Spain’s opener. Simone Magill also suffered the same injury in Northern Ireland’s opening game against Norway, just days after signing for Aston Villa.
French striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto also rested in their second game against Belgium, having torn her ACL again. He was one of the favorites to win the Euro 2022 Golden Boot.
Hayes: The cast of ‘Outrageous’ is put in such a position
Speaking ahead of the news about Mead’s injury, Chelsea manager Hayes said player welfare needed to be looked at, adding that “it’s time to start putting the players first”.
Erin Cuthbert has faced many challenges for club and country, with Chelsea confirming midfielder Harder will be out “for a long time” after undergoing surgery on an abdominal injury sustained while on international duty with Denmark.
“I’ve made it very clear that the welfare of the players should focus on the players,” Hayes said. “I mean Erin Cuthbert went off with Scotland, played on Saturday and they played her again less than 48 hours later on Monday. I think it’s outrageous that players have been put in this position.
“Yes, there should be an international calendar and yes I know there will be changes to maybe have other countries. [teams] for a long time and then it’s their club for a long time, because it’s the movement and the center that causes a lot of problems, I would say.
“For someone like Pernille he always wants to do everything, and it’s not everyone’s fault sometimes because of injuries. He comes for different reasons.
“But I think that the players who are playing in the World Cups, the European Championships, being given a two-week break in the middle of the season is unacceptable for them, forget the players of clubs and countries, we have to start putting the players first.”