Sport Innovation/GPS Tracking/Arsenal FC/Use of GPS Tracking

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For the English Premier League 2010-2011 season, Arsenal FC has been without up to a dozen players at any one time this season, including defender William Gallas and Robin van Persie. This has been mainly due to a constant rate of injuries.

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis explained in an interview: “If there are things we can do we will do them. For instance we have introduced a GPS system this year for the first time.[1] As a result, together with Arsene Wenger the head coach at Arsenal Football Club, they decided to use GPSports technology to track his players from space next season to prevent injuries from yet again wrecking the club’s title bid last season.

Arsenal FC believes GPSports will bring them back on the same level with leading clubs in the league such as Manchester United who had integrated the technology last season.

In an interview, Ivan Gazidis further explained the benefits GPSports technology is already offering the club and highlights the main temporary disadvantage of GPS tracking in football in general: “This is tracking literally from satellites in space, the training movements on the training field of every player. It gives you a lot of information. It tells you not just how far the players are running and how fast they are running and what levels of intense activity they have in training. It also measures ¬something called ‘the load’ – and this is literally the amount of time a player’s foot is on the ground while he is running. You can see if you have a player coming up to a risk of injury in a subsequent game because you can see two things in general: one is that their work-rate comes down in training and secondly their ‘load’ increases. In other words, their foot stays on the ground for longer when they run. When you are feeling good and feeling active you are more on your toes. When you’re not, you’re more on your heels. That can help you to predict when players are in a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, it takes a while to build that record to get the full benefit of that system. So we are unlikely to see the benefits really coming through until the second half of next year.[2]

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