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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22

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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22

By Dale Higginbottom

For the second time this week we take a look at the battered, bruised, knackered and broken. Our last league game for a week and a half and the last game in a busy period of league games so here are the numbers.

Arsenal Vs Man City

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (15)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (18), Gibbs (10)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (20), Diaby (12)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Man City (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence, attack – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – M. Johnson (22), Silva (1)
  • Attack – Balotelli (9)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Wolves Vs Chelsea

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (10)
  • Midfield – Benayoun (16), Zhirkov (8), Mikel (3)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Everton Vs Tottenham

Tottenham (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Cudicini (2)
  • Defence – King (15)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (21), Huddlestone (10)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Hutton and Gallas passed late fitness tests and played the full game. Keane also was a doubt but played the last ten minutes. Bale picked up an injury and was forced off after 58 minutes.

Man Utd Vs Stoke

Man Utd (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – O’Shea (4)
  • Midfield – Valencia (16), Hargreaves (19), Scholes (6)
  • Attack – Rooney (8)

Additional issues: Gibson, Evra and Nani were all doubts for the game but all three started, the latter two playing the whole game.

Blackburn Vs Liverpool

Liverpool (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No issues reported
  • Defence – Carragher (5)
  • Midfield – Spearing (7), Meireles (1)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

So, a draw at home to City, not the worst result ever but I’m sure the AAA sites have had something negative to say about it. When you consider the other results this gameweek, I think we can be very happy with a draw. Ok, we’ve lost a bit of ground to Utd but they have had four pretty easy games over the Christmas period (Sunderland, Birmingham, West Brom & Stoke).

We’re top of the injury table, together with Man Utd, and like previous weeks we’re not significantly hard-done-by in this area (for now). We can still feel confident that Wenger can rotate the squad, give some fringe players a run out and still come away with two cup victories ahead of the next league game at West Ham. It feels good knowing that the squad is deep enough to cope with that and as a result it means injuries due to fatigue can be reduced, what a virtuous circle to be in.

City with just three players out showed that they really need to get the Dzeko deal pushed through quickly. The lack of attacking options is so clear and their only option is to park the bus. I’d expect more attacking flair from mid to lower table team, let alone a title-challenging side.

Chelsea can’t complain too much about their injuries, with again just four players out of action. The players they have missing are not even key players for them. Mikel and Alex might be starting XI players but I wouldn’t say that any of the four they have missing are “match winners”. Losing to Wolves must be a new low for them and their efforts to meet UEFA’s financial fair play rules might yet be in vain as they might not qualify for Europe soon.

Liverpool’s concerns are clearly not related to injuries. Whilst they also have a wafer thin squad, the big players are available and simply not playing. I think that now, Liverpool fans should really be expecting that a 3-1 defeat to Blackburn is about their level and that more of the same is likely to come. A far cry from a respectable title bid two seasons ago.

The Tiny Totts also fell short and lost away at Everton, despite their injury figures actually looking pretty healthy for a change. The knock that Bale picked up, if serious, could end up being difficult to manage, particularly with Man Utd next to play.

Next up for us, a couple of cup games, so no injury update for a little while. Instead, as we’ve now passed the halfway point of 19 games, in it’s place will be a half-season injury report. It should make for some interesting reading.

Want to read some more things you already know?  Try this

We’ve found another relative of Jack Humble – the club’s founder.

Making the Arsenal – is now available post free.

8 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22

  • Phil

    Cheers Dale, great work as ever. I trust you’ll be graphing out the injury numbers over the season at some point? It’d be interesting to graph number of injuries and say points per game (moving average of 3 to 5 games?) and compare the two?

    My view from watching football is that the odd injury doesn’t count for much. It’s when you hit a critical number over a substantial period of games (as we saw last season). Obviously the “critical number” and “sustained period” are defined by the strength of your squad.

    WOuld be very interesting to see some number crunching done on this, if you ever want a hand with something like that just ask Tony for my email.

  • Phoenix Gunner

    Would also be very interested to see it graphed out! Nice work!

  • Dale

    Thanks Phil, I’ll bear that in mind if it get a bit stuck.
    I actually think I have your email from a group email Tony sent.

    I think I might be ok though. Like you I too have studied economics to degree level and therefore done a fair bit of statistical analysis.

    I might have to refresh my mind on some methods though, amazing how much you can forget in just a couple of years.

    I’ll definitely try and do the moving average but it’ll probably come later on, maybe in part two of the analysis.

  • gooner80

    is TV5 back in training?

    I think youre right dale injuries are a vicious cycle when you cant rest players because others are injured it spirals out of control and the players covering get fatigue and then get injured themselves partly why Aw was right to make so many changes against wigan.

    i feel with cup games we should be able to give all players a rest, we paid a huge price last year with loads of fixtures cup games and with few players getting a rest and the ones rested being forced back too early and then getting injured, i think Aw has changed his approach this year as he explained a long time ago he wanted to get to the root cause of all the injuries last year and i think he has identified sufficient rest as major factor esp with the vicious cycle dale mentioned

  • Phil

    Thinking back you will do Dale. Didn’t realise you were an economist, very good! You’ll probably be better at stats than I am , but if you want to share the workload just drop me an email.

    Gooner80 – it’s apparently a big week for him, we’re going to try him running and see how that goes.

  • Wrenny

    Wenger has said about Vermaelen:

    “He is in a period where he is starting to run again and we will see how it goes. I think he will be back this time very soon.”

  • Wilsheres dad

    This is the first time in recent years that at this part of the season we’ve had all (Vermaelen accepted) our best starting 11 & most of the squad available to play. In 3 of the last 4 EPL games weve been able to start with the same players which must be some kind of recent record for Arsenal & the results of this stability speak for themselves. The confidence of the team against Man City was the highest I’ve seen for ages..you could feel it in the stands. Starting with Tevez & Jo up front, Man City didn’t intend to park the bus, but the battering we gave them from the off forced them to do so. I’ve often dreamed that we could start the same 11 of top players for an extended period. Fingers crossed that it’ll continue.

  • walter

    In Belgium the reports on Vermaelen are saying that so far it is looking good. So lets keep our fingers crossed