Football clubs staying consistently at the top of their games and players reaching their personal goals without setbacks is something worth observing. It is not just all about the team-works, the manager’s tactics, or sheer stroke of luck. Every team has an extensive support network to ensure performance is maximized. This includes the player’s welfare, nutritionist, health fitness, and more particularly physiotherapists.
Their role in football is largely based around the management of ‘Neuromusculoskeletal‘ conditions of the players with accurate diagnosis and treatment from inception until the return of the player and when fully ready to play a part in the team.
Just as we know that injuries and football players are one marriage that is inseparable or intertwines, such that is the more reason why the relationship, trust and the dynamic between a player who is on the brink of recovery and his physio usually get closer and listen to all of the laid down measures of the physio for a swift recovery. So in other words, there are thousands of physiotherapists in the beautiful game of football. However, among all one name simply stands out, ‘Gary Lewin’ the Physio who has dedicated his whole life treating football stars off and on the pitch.
One unique thing about every top professional physiotherapist is the kind of impact the players experience in terms of taking care of the injuries of the players whenever they’re going through a torrid time, and as such one man who has made his impact felt at every team he worked at and also very sound in what he does is Gary Lewin.
Lewin is an English born professional physiotherapist who has worked with Arsenal, West Ham, and the Three Lions of England, he worked at Arsenal as the head of the physiotherapist for 22 years, and in 2008 he assumed the post of the Three Lions Head of Physiotherapy.
He joined the Gunners as a young goalkeeper at the age of 16 years old in 1980, after a one year spell at Barnet he became a reserve team physio at the age of 19 which looks more like the former Gunners physio is destined for treating and taking care of football players from his young age rather than been a top professional footballer.
Thereafter, he went through training at the Guy’s Hospital School of Physiotherapy from 1983 to 1986 before he made a return to Arsenal in 1986 to work as a first-team physiotherapist, Lewin didn’t just get trained at the Guy’s Hospital School of Physiotherapy and ended it there, he also went further to obtain a BSc (Hons) in Biology and a Diploma in Physiotherapist.
Adding to his qualification, he’s also a member of the College of Sports and a State Registered Physiotherapist, to kicked start is physio work fully he was called into action in 1989 where he almost had to break David Rocastle’s jaw when he swallowed his tongue so as to perform a life-saving treatment to the former Arsenal midfielder in a similar case to that of Jaba Kankava, though a player who saved his opposition after swallowing tongue in a horrific collision.
From that day on Lewin became more popular with the Gunners medical team, as he went on to become an expert on treating hamstring injuries due to his experiences with Tony Adams, he even went on to advised Birmingham City physio on the right treatment to administered often injured midfielder David Dunn.
In 2007, the footballing world also felt the magical hands of Lewin in a League Cup final where Chelsea’s captain John Terry was involved in an incident where he was hit in the face by Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby’s foot, the Three Lions center back swallowed his tongue and despite not being the physio of the opposition team ( Chelsea ) he was the first physio that rushed over to assist John Terry and saved his life.
For every Arsenal fans who remembered Eduardo Da Silva will surely recall February 23, 2008, a very horrific day in the history of the Gunners and perhaps in the history of football, a very emotional and sad day where the Croatia international broke his leg having been tackled by Birmingham City center half Martin Taylor during a feisty clash which made him suffered a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle in that horrific and unforgettable incident.
“Your training takes over,” “The first thing to think about is if it’s either a life-threatening or limb-threatening injury. With Eduardo it was obvious it was a limb-threatening injury.
“Then you go through the process of stabilizing and immobilizing the injury, working out how you are going to get them off the pitch in the best way and controlling the pain.”
According to Gary Lewin, who admitted to the fact that the horror injury sustained by the Brazilian born Eduardo is one that sticks in your memory” Gary Lewin admitted that he will never forget it.
It’s probably the worst injury I’ve ever seen and when you see something that bad it really sticks in your memory” “When I went on the pitch I noticed his ankle was dislocated and in the wrong shape, I also saw the bone sticking out of his sock so I knew it was an open fracture”.
Lewin left the stadium with the striker, traveling to the hospital in the ambulance alongside the paramedics.
He said further that Arsenal players were visibly distressed on the pitch, as the horrific tackle by Martin Taylor to Eduardo was cited as tie-breaker which affected the Gunners in losing their lead in the 2007-08 tittle race, the aftermath of the event Arsene Wenger opined that Martin Taylor should be banned from football for life but later retracted his comment.
While on the pitch Eduardo was in a lot of distress, so the first thing I did was to get hold of the ankle to make sure he couldn’t move it, he had to get Cesc Fabregas to talk to him as Spanish and Portuguese language are very similar, so with that, he was able to communicate to him what they were doing and also got information back about what he was feeling, after all of that Gary Lewin was able to immobilize the ankle and got him off the pitch to the Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham where he was operated on by a Professor in Clinical Traumatology Keith Porter.
Although the English physiotherapist wasn’t the one responsible for Eduardo’s surgery, he did play a crucial role in saving the life and football career of the Croatian International.
Nearly two years after the grim injury occurred, February 27th, 2010 was another bad day in the office for Arsenal faithful against Stoke City, when another Arsenal player was also involved in a ghastly injury which sent him to the sidelines, the player involved was a young Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey who happened to be the victim of a brutal and a horrifying tackle where he was in tears and rolling around on the grass, as his leg was dangling and bent out of shape mirroring the same case with that of Eduardo Da Silva.
The protagonist responsible for the brutal tackle Shawcross was initially unaware of the damage he dealt with the leg of the young Ramsey, however, upon noticing the contorted leg the England International began to weep profusely as he left the pitch visibly distraught as the injured Ramsey was rushed to the hospital and he was announced to have suffered a double fracture in his lower right leg.
Be that as it may, Ramsey didn’t only come out of the horrific injury on his own but all thanks must be credited to the magical hands of Gary Lewin that played a crucial role in saving the career of another Arsenal teammates, Eduardo.
Since his role in making sure Ramsey returned back to full fitness, Gary and Ramsey have formed a somewhat close friendship and became family with the Lewin family since his horrible injury and some other big names in the Arsenal’s team like Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech have even become investors for the Lewin Sports Clinic back in the United Kingdom.
READ ALSO: COVID-19 – Its Effect On Football
Having done a whole lot in his 22-year stint been part of the Gunners, medical crew, before he left the London side following his appointment by the Three Lions national team, Gary Lewin also suffered is own fare share of injury during England’s first game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup match in Brazil against the Azzurri national team, the physio was in a jubilant mood celebrating the equalizing goal by Daniel Sturridge when he jumped up and slipped on synthetic turf, and was later diagnosed with a dislocation to his left ankle and from that dislocation, he fractured the fibula in two places the back of the tibia and ruptured the ligaments.
Gary Lewin also had a stint with West Ham United in 2017 as the Head of Medical Service, but left the club following the appointment of former Manchester City gaffer Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the 2017-18 season, he was also a trustee of the Brain & Spine Foundation the only United Kingdom-wide charity providing medical information and emotional support on the full range of neurological conditions.
Although the physio is no longer with the Gunners, however, he still does his thing with the Women’s team and he would go down in football history as one of the finest physiotherapists that have worked with a football club, and on the flip side, several physiotherapists have gone on to become a manager themselves, most notably Nigel Adkins, Les Parry, and John Whitney but wouldn’t same would apply to Gary Lewin who is more dedicated to treating life-threatening injuries.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
2 Potential Manager To Replace Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick awesome reign with the Bavarian giant is gradually winding down, as it’s looking likely that he may not further manage the Die Roten next season.
Bayern Munich’s quest to win the Champions League consecutively came to end on Tuesday night, via the UEFA’s away goal rules having lost the first leg at home to Paris Saint Germain in the quarter-finals despite being the better side at home.
The Bavarian giant will now focus on league duty and they’re no doubt the team in pole position to win the Bundesliga, as the 2020-21 campaign is gradually coasting home with fewer games left to be played. In that regard, there is a great need for Die Roten to start preparing for next season administration and coaching wise.
The friction relationship between Hansi Flick and the Sports Director has broken down to such as extent that the manager has decided to terminate his current contract.
Hansi Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday after a 3-2 win over Wolfburg which keeps the Bavarian in pole position to retain the league title. Hansi Flick issued a statement about his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.
“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.
“It was important to me that the team learn this from me because there was already a lot of hallway rumours going around.
“We’ve done a great job together for almost two years. I’m absolutely impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude.”
He added: “I also want to thank the club that gave me the chance to manage this incredible team.
“This decision was not easy for me. I’m a fan of this club. Gerd Müller, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge all were childhood idols for me.
“I’m eternally grateful to the club for the chance they gave me to become head coach here.”
It’s quite evident that a new manager would be appointed to pave way for a new rebuild of the team especially with the looming departure of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez.
Two potential top managers that could succeed Hansi Flick, should he accept Die Mannschaft managerial position.
- Julien Nagelsmann – (RB Leipzig)
Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement to succeed not one but many managers in Europe’s top-flight leagues whose future with their respective clubs are not guaranteed. This time around, the 33-year-old has been rumoured to be one of the possible potential managers to succeed Hansi Flick.
It could be argued that Nagelsmann is the tailor-made manager to take over the reins at the Allianz Arena, and there is no doubt RB Leipzig manager would certainly harbour the dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Nagelsmann is presently focusing on the job at hand with RB Leipzig, plus the fact that he’s still under contract with his employers until the end of the 2022-23 season.
With RB Leipzig and Nagelsmann flying high in the Bundesliga in terms of team performances, with next season European football spot already secured, the club’s Executive Director Oliver Mintzlaff may consider letting him leave to join their rival.
However, it’s left to be seen how things would shape up at the end of the campaign.
READ ALSO: 10 Managers Currently Managing Former Clubs
- Jurgen Klopp – (Liverpool)
The relationship the German tactician has achieved thus far with Liverpool started in 2015 when he joined the Kop from Borussia Dortmund, since then he has achieved quite an incredible success with the Reds winning their first league title after thirty years and a Champions League triumph.
Liverpool were eliminated early in both domestic cup competitions and failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it’s quite impossible to say that the Kop will defend their title with their current epileptic form in the Premier League especially when it’s looking done and dusted that the cityzen would clinch the title.
Having used close to six years with Liverpool since he joined the Anfield side, this could be the perfect time for the former Borussia Dortmund manager to take up a new challenge. However, despite Liverpool’s unpalatable 2020-21 campaign, the German has often reiterated that he is in no way finished at Liverpool, despite been link to the Bayern Munich and Die Mannschaft managerial position.
Given his incredible success with BVB, it’s quite evident that he would one day go on to manage either Die Roten or Die Mannschaft. Should Bayern secure the service of Klopp, he would certainly be the right and wise choice for the Bavarian giant.
At the end of the campaign, there would be a breath of fresh air in the Bavarian giant camp, with the new CEO Oliver Kahn taking the mantle of leadership from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In that sense, it’s left to be seen if the incoming leader would sanction the appointment of a new manager or stick with Hansi Flick. Only time would tell.