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Liverpool/Arsenal – who has the most injuries

Liverpool and Injuries by Jonny Neale

Benitez – “We have just too many problems, I cannot remember an injury situation like this.”

http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5641497,00.html


By my reckoning – Liverpool are ‘potentially’ missing 6 players for the next game –

Gerrard, Torres, Johnson, Aquilani, Kelly, Kyrgiakos

Of those, two players wouldn’t normally make the first team anyway (I don’t even know who Kyrgiakos is), one of them they knew was crocked for at least 2 months when they signed him, he hasn’t played since then and Benitez already knew he had a bad injury record historically.

Crucially however, neither of their two best players, who they now seem to rely on entirely (Gerrard & Torres), have actually even been ruled out of playing on Sunday!

So in truth Liverpool are missing ONE player and two are rated as ‘doubtful’!  CRISIS.

Apparently Mascherano could have played on the weekend, but as Liverpool are now so poor that their players are being paid with prayers they could or would not afford to spring for an earlier private plane flight and so flew him home a day later, ‘club class’ instead.  He’s probably just thankful he wasn’t coming back by cargo container.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Portsmouth, Everton and Burnley are missing 5 real players, Man City are missing 6 (of their bloated squad all covered in oil), Man Utd 7, Arsenal 7 and poor old Birmingham are missing 9!

Given that Liverpool have pretty much matched Man Utd on transfer expenditure and yet their squad is clearly thinner than a communion wafer during an international flour shortage, is this feeble whingeing not more to do with distracting from Benitez’s mercurial, ordinary and downright bizarre dealings in the transfer market, coupled with a total lack of quality young players either bought in or brought through the ranks in recent years?

And looking on that brings us to Arsene’s transfer dealings.  How did we get to a point where we can cope with missing so many players and yet still seem to have an unending stream of talent ready to step up to the plate and take their chance?  A squad so awash with talent that it was said in the mid-week fixture that a staggering 17 different players have already scored this season.

It would be nice to keep tabs on those who have yet to score so we can tick them off, but for scorers so far I have only counted 15 – Fabregas, Vermaelen, van Persie, Arshavin, Diaby, Eduardo, Bendtner, Gallas, Watt, Denilson, Walcott, Eboue, Vela, Ramsey, Rosicky.

I digress, and whilst privately I worry about what happens if we lose Vermalaen/Gallas and, perhaps especially Song, I am still mightily amused each time I hear the press describe Arsenal’s current situation as a ‘striker crisis’ and yet we still have Vela sat on the bench patiently waiting for a game (a pity he didn’t get more of a chance Tuesday night).

Going beyond Liverpool’s so-called injury crisis to the rather more serious financial problems and the unenviable position the fans and club find themselves as a result is unnecessary; Tony told us all years ago these days would come and now we are on the cusp…they are here to savour.

Perhaps now the irritating morons who spend most of their time slagging Wenger off for ‘ruining their club’ and not buying big names can see just how fragile the spending policy of other clubs is.  Eh?  Eh? Oh.

Well I can dream can’t I?!

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http://tiny.cc/RHd9k – if you are in the UK

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30 comments to Liverpool/Arsenal – who has the most injuries

  • smoletar

    Nice article Jonny, why Arsenal are always being slated in the press for the size of the squad is beyond me. We all know that it is youthful, but the talent is there for all to see.

    I don’t think Liverpool will be having a great season, a loss this weekend to the mancs would make it 5 losses for the season, I think? Man City will be taking their place in top four, of that I am sure.

  • walter

    Good article Jonny.
    I never heard of that Kyrgiakos, maybe it is the balloon boy ? 😉

    In fact we now have for years almost always at least 4 players out with long term injuries. Last year at a crucial moment we had 1 defender left of our normal back 4. I think Benitez hasn’t got a clue what is the real meaning of the word injury crisis.
    And I am not going to talk about how he mishandled some potentially good players like Babel. I have seen him play a lot for Ajax and the Dutch team and now after 2 seasons under Benitez he has lost everything he could do in the past. While a player under Wenger makes progress, a player under Benitez looks to fade away.

  • Diaminedave

    Thanks Jonny

    Walter One of our ‘old’ boys ,Pennant, has an interview in the Guardian. Not that interesting but he does say that Rafa neutered his game. All he says about the Arse is how frustrated he was not to get games.

  • diceman1984

    Great article mate…..

    What I wanna say is that Liverpool is really in a crisis. The reason is not because of injuries though, it’s because they have a Rafa as a manager. What happens when your team has a manager who clearly lacks the intelligence is you rely on ONLY 2 top players in your team to bail you out of every game.

    Take Torres out of that team this year Liverpool would be somewhere fighting relegation right now.

    That is why I love Wenger – Arsene shows us how buying players will not always yield positive results.

    And we’ve been missing players all through out previous years. Cesc missed a big big part of last season but we still managed to do reasonably well.

    They can just suck it and wish that some team will falter and let them crawl into 4th spot this year.

    Rafa’s incapability in tactics and transfer market is just beyond belief. I would cry so hard having him as my manager. (Kelly, Kyrgiakos, who? what?)

    PS: I’ve been waiting for a moment like this when Liverpool missed those players at the same time during a run of tough matches, now they can suck it because they’re so so so so so incompetent without those two.

  • diceman1984

    “Perhaps now the irritating morons who spend most of their time slagging Wenger off for ‘ruining their club’ and not buying big names can see just how fragile the spending policy of other clubs is. Eh? Eh? Oh.”

    LOVE THIS SENTENCE by the way…..

  • Gooner

    Benitez is such a piss poor manager it is unbelievable. His transfer record is absolutely shocking.

  • Jonny

    Thanks Diceman, for the record

    “(Kelly, Kyrgiakos, who? what?)” made me laugh out loud.

    🙂

    Diamine Dave – I read the Pennant article too.

    I noted the quote,

    “At Liverpool, he encountered the wrong manager, a coach who neutered rather than nurtured him, leaving him exasperated on the wing, muttering: “Give it a rest. Can’t I just express myself?” Benítez, Pennant says, “is a great manager but he can take the best out of you”.

    Benitez really is the antithesis of Wenger’s nurturing style which encourages players to express themselves and blossom. I sense that Benitez sees it all as a game of chess and his players are merely pieces in his strict vision.

    His actions often seem perplexing and contrary and frequently he drops players on hot streaks or substitutes the best player on the park to bring on the frankly unforgivable Voronin.

    His treatment of Keane was pathetic, I may hate Keane (and I do) but he is a proven Premier League goalscorer and is at the apex of his career. The man management seemed designed to shatter his confidence and having done that and sold him back for a loss they never even found a replacement.

    I don’t doubt Babel would have become a decent player under Wenger (makes you wonder how much better Torres would have been under Wenger) but he’s had the confidence drained from him and looks ordinary. I think Benitez’s grasp is akin to a clumsy child picking up a butterfly; he’s more likely to crush their wings than set them free (and then afterward complain he hasn’t had the funds to buy better players and really compete).

    Meanwhile Wenger’s butterfly collection is positively flourishing.

    Last point – Benitez’s pay off under his new contract, if sacked, is said to be £20 Million! Like it or not they are probably stuck with him till the end of his contract!

    Soak it up boys and girls – we have it SO very good indeed.

  • Geoffrey

    Good analysis, true Benitez has hasn’t faced any Injury crisis, missing only two players and the begins to loose like that, i wonder what would happen if he missed 7 first team players like is common with Arsenal.

  • Cape Gooner

    Thanks Jonny. Let us not forget that Mascherano is also a world class player, second only as a DM to Essien imo.

    Walter refers to us having three of our normal back four out at one stage last season. I seem to remember when we had eight of our first and second choice back four out simultaneously a couple of seasons ago.

    We have so many “top 4 level” players that we can afford injuries. How can we have striker problems when we have six strikers, plus Rosicky and Nasri, plus Eboue?

    One of our injured players is Theo. Harking back to Tony’s first choice XI, he had AA, RvP and Eduardo as his first choice front three. I am not a huge fan of Theo. I think that he can improve enormously. However, he produces some wonderful moments. I will never forget the second goal against Milan or the run he produced at Anfield. He works never stops trying and he generates excitement. I cannot leave him off my team sheet.

  • Geoffrey

    Good analysis, true Benitez hasn’t faced any Injury crisis, missing only two players and the team begins to loose like that, i wonder what would happen if he missed 7 first team players like is common with Arsenal.

  • anaconda

    Good post Jonny.

    You also have to notice that Lyon had to take of Cris in the first half, which left them with no first choice centre backs. In fact they had Toulalan, their best defending midfielder and a 20-year old midfielder in there. For Liverpool similar situation would have meant something like having Mascherano and Spearing as their centre half pairing.

    Everton’s situation yesterday was much worse than said here. They were missing something like eleven first team players for their game at Benfica. Although I think two of their players were ineligible not injured. Jagielka, Yobo, Heitinga, Neill, Neville, Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Baines, Anichebe & Vaughan were the players that were out I think. Put Jagielka in goal and you can make a decent starting eleven out of that list…

  • Pie

    I am so glad someone wrote an article about this. Its ridiculous. Benetiz is a fool, Babel would have been incredible under Wenger, his potential is there for everyone to see, he is wasted within that team.

    Liverpool do have some good players, give them some credit. Kuyt, Benayoun & Carragher are all good players (although Carragher has lost it this season so far). But they rely to heavily on Gerrard & Torres. They should have never got rid of Crouch, Keane or Alonso. Imagine their strike force now if they had stayed. Torres, Keane, Crouch & Kuyt. Thats pretty good. Kuyt as their 4th striker! Ultimately Benetiz has finally been exposed…

    Ah well, it means more happy days for us, atleast 3-4 world class players (Cesc, RVP, Arshavin & Rosicky) and with others potentially world class in the future (Vermaelen, Walcott, Wilshere, Nasri, Vela, Gibbs), mix that with some very good players like Clichy, Sagna, Eduardo, Song, Ramsey and dare I say it Eboue, even bendtner is getting better, then you have a promising future.

    Wenger has proven we cannot only live without Adebayor & Toure but actually improve. The guy is a genius. I don’t doubt him, yet still think we need cover for Song or for Song to be cover for a world class defensive midfielder. And also another central defender. I leave you with this thought….I know this wont happen as its too attacking but I would love to see Wenger play the following team even if it was only for one game against a weaker team like Portsmouth or something. The midfield is devastating!

    Alumunia
    Sagna Gallas Verm Clichy
    Arshavin Nasri Cesc Rosicky
    Eduardo RVP

    Bench: Fabianski, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Vela, Bendtner.

  • anaconda

    CapeGooner: Let us not forget that Mascherano is also a world class player, second only as a DM to Essien imo.

    **

    This is of course a matter of opinion, but on current form Mascherano the 2nd best in DMF, no way. Just to mention some names as food for thought: Song, Felipe Melo, Lorik Cana, Lassana Diarra, Yaya Toure, Wilson Palacios, Seydou Keita, Marcos Senna, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Bayern) etc etc. Not similar players all of them obviously but in my books Senna is up there with Essien. Besides, Liverpool plays with two very defensive midfielders, whereas many of those I mentioned have a lot more responsibilities.

  • sid

    Just making one of my occasional visits to the site in the wake of us (SAFC) having played 2 of the big 4 in the space of the last fortnight. It seems to me that, of all the big 4, the media have decided to concentrate almost entirely on Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool- the Arsenal rarely seem to get much of a mention when discussing potential winners of the title.

    As it is, however, Arsenal have kept with the pace early on and none of the other 3 look anything like going on the kind of run that can pull them clear at the top. Liverpool were dreadful. They are obviously missing Alonso and, as soon as Gerrard and Torres were ruled out, I had the feeling we had a chance. Without those two they struggled to create anything of note and we had more and better chances. I cant see them getting anywhere near the title, especially since their defence is looking dodgy as well. Carragher, as well as being a complete c**t (standing over jones telling him to get off the pitch when he was seriously injured and ended up having to be stretchered off and substituted), is also looking more and more error prone and struggled very badly with our attack. Obviously we got the win partly thanks to Mr B. Ball but still, it was a well deserved 3 points

    Man Utd were also fairly poor. They were better than Liverpool but they dont have that many goals in them. Rooney oten bangs in a load and then goes on a barren spell and, with Ronaldo gone, Berbatov not being prolific and the likes of Wellbeck being very inexperienced, they are likely to slip up a few times this season

    Chelsea were class against us, which had me convinced they would win the league. I still think they probably will but 2 defeats in 2 away games for them puts question marks over their chances, especially since i believe they will lose drogba and essien for a month during the african cup of nations

    All of this should mean the Arsenal are right in the hunt. Results have been steady, performances seem, on the whole, to have been good and, in Arshavin, you possibly have the one player most likely to turn a game on its head. There seems to be a good balance to the side and I think the relative lack of media coverage might be a help. What do people on here think, is this the best chance in a while to win the Premier League again?

  • Actually Sid it took me a moment to think SAFC is Sunderland – at least I hope that is right. My apologies – I thought I knew every abbreviation straight off.

    You have to remember this is a totally pro-Wenger site which was set up as a counter measure to the endless doom-mongers that have gathered around our club, and who think that if we don’t win something every year the manager should go.

    So we are always positive, but I think it is fair to say at the moment we are positive +++. To watch the goals go in, and not just any old goals, but beautiful goals scored from about 2 miles out by a centre half that no one had previously heard of (unless you are Dutch or Belgian) is something to behold.

    Arshavin is indeed a master, scoring from places that look impossible, and transforming games.

    Then when our great Lord Wenger stands up and says “with this team, this year” – and promises us a title or at least a cup, you know we are back on the road.

    But I would add that I was having a discussion about Steve Bruce the other day, and what a brilliant manager he is. Not only does he perform magic, he comes over to me (one of your paying customers) as a nice guy. His interviews are reasoned and reasonable, you see him smiling and laughing with players – and not just with his own players. Everything about him says, yes here is a manager who is good at his job and has style.

    In terms of the rest of the big clubs, we have been saying for 2 years on this site that Liverpool is on the edge because of its debts, lack of income, and lack of a viable model for getting out of the mess. This year’s move by the banks more or less proves the point. I personally think that Liverpool will drop out of the top four, and then not long after will do a Leeds.

    But then I also expect the manager of Tottenham to announce that he has taken the job of managing the team in a residential institution, so what do I know?

    Last, if you have an interest in history, you might enjoy http://blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/2009/10/15/sunderland-6-arsenal-2-16th-october-1909 – the story of a match 100 years ago in which you thumped us. Maybe you can add some further details for our history site.

  • Paul C.

    Great contribution by Sid. I agree with Tony completely, Steve Bruce seems to be getting to grips with this management malarky, doesnt he? Year after year he sends out competitive teams and now his buying/selling seems to be moving onto a new level as well. The true successor to SAF perhaps? I would imagine that Sunderland’s thin squad will ultimately hinder their chances of finishing in the top-6 or 7 but I think they will be close and will be a tough team to beat throughout the season. I have already circled the consecutive away matches at Wolves and Sunderland next month as being a tough combination of matches.

  • Jonny

    Good to have you here Sid,

    I nailed my colours to the mast at the beginning of the season when I bet my Liverpool supporting friends that they would be the most likely team to finish outside of the top 4.

    Liverpool could have won last season but many of the regulars here also knew that Arsenal were desperately unlucky with injuries and felt that with more young players were starting to look the business we would be back with force this year.

    It is clear to me that any of the top clubs would have struggled to win the title with the injury situation Arsenal have suffered over the last two years but somewhow it always feels as though it is whining to say such!

    I also put my money where my mouth goes by putting £50 on Arsenal to win the title before the season started (at odds of 11-1).

    I think any victorious title campaign takes luck but we are better equipped than we were last season and, if we can just avoid injuries to the wrong players, The Arsenal are clearly in with a VERY real shout.

    Even the doom mongers at The Grove have started to make noises about ‘believing’, in spite of claiming Wenger was ruining their club as little as a month ago!

  • @Sid and Tony.

    Just speaking of Steve Bruce, I fondly remember his press conference after the Arsenal v Wigan Carling cup match last season. Carlos Vela single handedly orchestrated a 3-0 humiliation of a fully loaded Wigan team with the likes of Polassios and Valencia.

    When asked to comment on Wigan’s performance against the Arsenal Carling cup kids, Steve Bruce smiled coyly and said “What do you want me to say? we were given a good hiding. In that form, those kids can beat any team in the premiership”.

  • LRV

    Very good article, Johny. Great comments and additions by everyone. I am beginning to believe, myself, that Steve Bruce is turning out to be a potentially very successful manager. I was very reluctant to admit it, I must say. However, it is the truth.

    As for Benetez, I don’t really have anything to add to all that’s been said. I do hope that Liverpool can find some miracle.

  • Marc

    The simple measure of Steve Bruce both as a man and a manger is that Wenger has respect for him. Just look at how many players Wenger has loaned to Bruce. Palacios had a trial at Arsenal, Wenger didn’t take up the option but recommended him to Bruce. Can you imagine that happening with Megson, Allardyce, Breakdown etc?

    In a country that usually (with the occasional exception) manages to produce managers that are either A) useless b) complete scumbags and I’m being extremely polite or C) all of the above, Steve Bruce actually looks like a good manager who doesn’t take pride in his team doing permanent injury to opposition players, especially if they are “foreign”.

  • Marc

    LRV – The best news, according to the press at least is that Liverpool can’t even afford to sack Benitez. He still has 4 or so years of his contract left and would require a payoff in the region of £20 odd million. Liverpool simply do not have that sort of money available.

    Talk about being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Liverpool literally can’t afford to sack him and they certainly can’t afford keep him. At least the scouser’s can rejoice in the fact that Arsenal are broke, it must be true their supporters have told me often enough.

  • Since we are talking (in passing) about the quality of the Arsenal squad vis a vis the Liverpool squad, Henri Lansbury has just scored the most astonishingly brilliant goal for Watford. Extraordinary dribble past two players and squeezing the ball into a spare inch between keeper and post.

    OK, he’s playing against Sheffield Thursday, but even so, bloody brilliant.

  • LRV

    Lansbury is a brilliant lad. He is a great prospect, not just for Arsenal, but for England as well.

    Liverpuddle are indeed between a rock and a hard place. Imagine having a manager that you want anymore but can’t get rid of? That surely takes the biscuit, doesn’t it? My fiend, almost like my twin brother, but a Liverpool fan, came to visit today. He couldn’t stop bemoaning the fate of his club. I had no choice but to feel for him. Very sad, the state of affairs there. How can Benetez expect anyone to believe that he is a good manager?

  • LRV

    Sorry, I meant to write “don’t want any more, but can’t get rid of.”

  • Bloody hell, Lansbury has just laid on the pass for Watford’s third. He went to make the obvious cross, checked back, laid through a much better pass and scored. The kid’s flying.

    Makes me almost reluctant to turn off Sky Sports and watch “Have I got news for you.”

  • Sooth

    Recently, with all the speculation about Rafa’s future at ‘Pool, I’ve been thinking what if Arsene were to leave us right now? And I realised that I wouldn’t be too worried. It may sound strange, but it’s actually a testament to what he’s already achieved for us.

    If he goes, he leaves his successor with a great new stadium, a great squad, a great scouting system, and a great youth academy. His successor will have money to spend (if you believe the Arsenal board, lots of it), and have plenty of talented youngsters trying to break-through. I think you can’t leave a club better off than what Arsene has already achieved for us.

    But hopefully, him leaving is not a thing that will come to pass anytime soon. Probably has another 10 good years or more of management left in him. 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice post Jonny -well done.All said and done we must feel for Benetez,for although he messed up he still comes off as a decent guy.Too many of his buys were duds ,and he should have kept Keane ,Crouch and Alonso .At times I’ve had to ask my 13 year old son who this and that Liverpool player was and when and where he joined the club from.Over the years,despite various injuries [ including Henry ,Viera & Cesc ],the loss of Eduardo last year was the most felt .He was in fine form and with his loss the team imploded.
    So let us praise the Lord AW,the true football messiah ,and give thanks for his vision for the future well being of Arsenal.

  • walter

    I think if Sid was an Arsenal fan he could write som articles over here.
    Sunderland and Bruce are doing a fine job this year and I rather would have them in the top 4 then Man Sjeiki or the unthinkable Spurs.
    Always nice to see someone from another team giving a well overthought comment on football and Arsenal. Instead of the childish “you haven’t won anything in X years haha…”, one can see in some forums.
    I always believe that if you give respect, you will receive respect and so Sid you deserve our respect, mine anyway.
    So I wish you a good season but to be honest, I really wouldn’t mind if you would feel unlucky after you played the Arsenal, if you know what I mean. 😉

  • Jim

    It’s always worth keeping an eye on http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php (handily linked on this site). Liverpool have 4 players listed, 3 of them due back this weekend so Jonny has it spot-on, one player out – Kyrgiakos.

  • LRV

    I agree with you Walter. Sid has shown himself to be a gentleman. Goodluck to your club, Sid. But you will forgive me if I don’t wish you nay luck on days that you play the Arsenal.