Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 4
By Dale Higginbottom
It feels like it has been such a long time since the Old Trafford game and obviously it’s a headache that’s been hanging over the team over the whole of the international period. It also feels such a long time simply because of all that has happened since two Sundays ago, and we’ve been waiting a while to see the new squad players make their Arsenal débuts.
After an international break we always wait with baited breath to discover who has picked up a new injury whilst on national team duty. Luckily for us we only added Rosicky to our list over the break but not so lucky was that in this period we’ve been made aware of the full extent of Wilshere’s and Vermaelen’s injuries. Ramsey has also been ruled out for a while so a speedy recovery from Diaby is really needed right now although I do expect Frimpong, Song and Arteta to do a good job in the interim.
Anyway, onto this week’s injuries…
|A = Ankle||J = Foot|
|B = Back||K = Knee|
|C = Calf||L = Achilles|
|D = Dead Leg||M = Muscle|
|E = Hamstring||S = Shoulder|
|F = Fatigue/Lack of Fitness||T = Thigh|
|G = Groin||U = Unknown|
|H = Head Injury/Concussion||Z = Broken Leg|
|I = Illness|
Arsenal Vs Swansea (1-0)
|Injuries||Arsenal (6 + 3S)||Swansea (3)|
|Defence||Vermaelen (A,2), Squillaci (C,3)||Monk (J), Tate (Z)|
|Midfield||Wilshere (A,4), Diaby (A,4), Miyaichi (U,2), Rosicky (K,2)||Bodde (K)|
|Additional issues||Santos was a doubt due to lack of fitness and was on the bench.|
|Suspended||Song, Gervinho, Jenkinson||N/A|
Bolton Vs Man Utd (0-5)
|Injuries||Bolton (7)||Man Utd (6 + 0S)|
|Defence||Ricketts (L), Mears (Z), Alonso (J)||Rafael (S,4), Vidic (C,3)|
|Midfield||Davis (K), Gardner (G), Holden (K), Lee (Z)||Valencia (A,4), Gibson (A,2)|
|Attack||N/A||Owen (B,4), Welbeck (E,1)|
|Additional issues||N/A||Cleverley was injured and replaced after 24 mins.|
Stoke Vs Liverpool (1-0)
|Injuries||Stoke (4 + 0S)||Liverpool (3 + 0S)|
|Defence||Higginbotham (K)||Kelly (E,1)|
|Midfield||Diao (U)||Gerrard (G,4)|
|Attack||Fuller (L), Sidibe (L)||N/A|
|Additional issues||Wilson, Delap, Jerome and Palacios were all listed as doubts but they were all included in the squad.||Johnson was a doubt but he was on the bench, coming on in the latter stages.|
Sunderland Vs Chelsea (1-2)
|Injuries||Sunderland (5 + 0S)||Chelsea (3 + 0S)|
|Defence||O’Shea (C), Angeleri (K)||Bertrand (T,4)|
|Midfield||Meyler (K)||Essien (K,4)|
|Attack||Campbell (K)||Drogba (H,1)|
|Additional issues||N/A||Luiz returned to the squad but did not feature.|
Man City Vs Wigan (3-0)
|Man City (3 + 0S)||Wigan (2 + 0S)|
|Defence||N/A||Alcaraz (T), Gohouri (C)|
|Midfield||De Jong (J,3), Barry (A,1), Hargreaves (F,1)||N/A|
|Additional issues||K. Toure and Nasri only started on the bench. Toure lacks match fitness and Nasri has a hand injury.||McCarthy was a doubt but started on the bench, he was an unused substitute.|
Wolves Vs Tottenham (0-2)
|Wolves (3 + 0S)||Tottenham (5 + 0S)|
|Midfield||Edwards (B), Guédioura (A)||Pienaar (G,3), Sandro (K,3), Lennon (G,1)|
|Attack||Ebanks-Blake (K)||Van der Vaart (E,1)|
|Additional issues||Jarvis had a late fitness test and only started on the bench, he came on late in the second half.||King returned from injury and played the whole game.|
So again, we’re still at the top but this time United are up there with us. Spurs still pretty high as well but overall there’s not much change in the numbers from last week.
I think that given the injuries and suspensions we’re still suffering, the result was a good one. It’s three points gained, just as the United game was three points lost and that’s all that will matter come May.
It was wins all round, expect for Liverpool but the stats say that they really should’ve done so. Stoke can be strong at home but with just three players missing, you would expect more of “the team that will replace Arsenal in the top four”.
You have to feel a little for Bolton. They’ve had quite a difficult run of it in the first few games of the season. They have played City, Liverpool and United and will play Arsenal and Chelsea by October 2nd. All this with quite a hefty injury list, including two broken legs, so maybe the 5-0 was a little harsh on them. I expect them to improve a little by the time we face them.
Similarly I expect United to struggle a little bit more than they have been. Yes, there have been some very impressive performances but they have faced West Brom (who gave them a good game), Tottenham and Arsenal (who have had their injury/transfer concerns) and Bolton who had 7 players unavailable. Remember at this time last season, the media were raving about Chelsea and look how they imploded between October and December.
City too have had a good start and this week have picked up a couple of additional injuries with Barry and the newly signed Hargreaves (whom they maybe just signed him to bump their injury numbers up) but on the whole the injury gods have been quite kind to them. The same can be said of Chelsea to some degree, who again continue their run of narrow victories. However, with both teams now with Champions League fixtures to contend with, you would expect a couple more injuries appearing to get to a level closer to ours.
I think that whilst the performance on Saturday was not quite to the standard we’re used to or the standard we’re seeing by the likes of City and United, it’s the result that matters. It was a very anxious performance which is to be expected after the last few weeks but given that the Champions League and Carling Cup are back soon we’ve got plenty of game time to build confidence over the next few weeks and the return of Gervinho and Song will certainly be a great help, especially when it comes to keeping possession. The coming weeks may still be difficult and results may not go our way but we’re not even close to any crisis predicted by the general media and the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal blogs.