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Arsenal’s injury apocalypse

ARSENAL’S INJURY APOCALYPSE  by Don McMahon

It has been roughly 14 years since I began following the Arsenal in earnest, and there has been one constant, other than Wenger, which has appeared to mark those decades, our seemingly perennial injury crisis.

This season seems to be the most promising one for our Gunners since 2008 and yet we are , once again, inexplicably struck down with ubiquitous and incessant injuries which supposedly have put paid to any chance of winning anything, once again.

At least this is the firm belief and in some cases,hope of the AAA and British media Arsenal-haters, as well as some of our more rational Gooners, who are losing patience and faith in AFC’s resiliance and determination. The players themselves seem to be less concerned about who isn’t playing than who is, a very healthy and rational attitude imho.

However, no sane person can deny that these medium and long-term absences have had a visible impact on the Wenger’s ability to field their best XI every game.

So there are three core issues to be examined here:

a) Why are the players so calm and confident, determined and cohesive in the face of this apparently catastrophic situation,.

b)  Why didn’t Wenger buying 3-4 urgently needed replacements/backups to ¨strengthen¨ our squad for the really challenging remaining games, and

c) Why do we keep on getting such recurrent injuries season after season and who is to blame?

There may be other questions to pose but for the moment, these 3 seem central to our current circumstances. I cannot necessarily answer all of these, but here are my thoughts and insights into what possible responses could be.

Point A

We all fondly remember Gallas, our captain, sitting on his French tuff in a Gallic huff after the Birmingham game where Eduardo was taken out by a brutal and certainly ill-advised tackle from Taylor.

From that point onward, the Arsenal team, that had weathered the stormy EPL in first place for most of the season, suddenly began to drop points, lose confidence and ended up finishing in 3rd.

That lack of determination to see things through cost us that year, however this current squad seem to have the grit and steel to fight against the odds. Why are they different from the 2008 squad?

It seems to me that both teams have quality but this year’s vintage have something that the 2008 model didn’t, unity of purpose. In my opinion, the team reflects Wenger’s calm and sage man management and the fruits of his careful cultivation of maturity and perseverance in ALL of his players. As well, this team has faced some serious challenges and along with biased officiating, their indifference to rotational fouling and often brutal Football, or worse still boring defensive opponents and yet they have stayed the course.

The dressing-room seems to be, once again, a place to have fun and a pleasant place to be. It is free of the bloated EGOS that once isolated the less demonstrative players and enraged the less mature. They genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company and want to play for each other as well as Wenger. That can only be a good thing and bodes well for team unity, focus and the patient belief needed to keep their eyes on the prize(s).

Point B

Here is a listing of the currently healthy first team and backup players for every position:

  • Keepers: Szcesny, Fabianski and Villiano
  • Defenders: Sagna, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Monreal
  • Defensive Midfielders: Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky
  • Attacking midfielders: Ozil,Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain,Zelalem
  • Attackers: Podolski, Giroud, Gnabry, Bendtner,

Here is a listing of the currently crocked:

  • Keepers: none
  • Defenders: Vermaelen (out until next week)
  • Defensive midfielders: Ramsey (out until late February?), Abou Diaby(for eternity?)
  • Attacking midfielders: Wilshere (out until next week)
  • Attackers: Walcott (out for the season), Sanogo (out until early February?)

We will have Vermaelen, Wilshere and possibly Sanogo available very soon. Walcott’s absence has been sorely felt as has Ramsey’s BUT the team is still winning.

There is also the issue of Kallstrom but one thing here is certain – the media wanting to whip up more anti-Wengerian frenzy for their blogging fellow travellers haven’t got the story unified.  Arsenal certainly were aware of the injury since Kallstrom was (most sources agree) complaining of the problem when he arrived from Abu Dhabi where he was taking part in warm weather training with his Spartak Moscow.

But it was all more materials for the ¨buy,buy,buy¨ group,  because, in their inflated opinion of themselves, they are SURE we are doomed without a ¨super striker, a beast of a DM or world-class whatever¨. They don’t believe Wenger has a clue and they are convinced that adding one extra player will cure all Arsenal’s ¨ills.

They lament that Wenger has ¨missed¨ so many golden opportunities to ¨strengthen¨ his team with the magic bullet called transfer magic. What they always fail to appreciate is that Wenger not only knows what is best for the ENTIRE team BUT there is no way of knowing what his plans are since he always plays his cards close to his vest, right up until the end. He does this for numerous reasons, the least of which is to avoid losing a prime target to his adversaries. He won’t buy anyone if it won’t really strengthen the team’s prospects of winning a title(s) and he won’t risk upsetting the team chemistry and balance for a quick fix the knee-jerk fanboys are screaming for.

Point C

Why do Arsenal win the injury league each season? Well, in fact we’ve lead it for only 5 years and there are a few reasons why this might be:

* We have a smallish team when compared to other EPL Clubs, so physically more at risk when a head-to-head encounter  happens.

* The officials seem to enjoy watching us get hacked to death by lesser players and also seem to permit skilled players from any team to be scythed down by EPL thugs on a regular basis.

* We play at a very fast pace with a lot of short and medium passes. Teams know our style and know that the referees will usually turn a blind eye to overly harsh play, or as the press like to call it, ¨manly British defensive steel¨.

* Opposition managers know that the Arsenal ¨don’t like it up them¨ and encourage the wholesale aggressiveness we encounter each week.

* Not all pitches are created equal and when playing in the English winter, in cold drizzle and on sodden pitches, the risk of injury is increased significantly as overheated muscles cool quickly and a treacherous turf can easily turn an ankle or twist a knee.

* Despite our most modern and avant-garde medical facilities and the uncontested excellence of our medical staff, with a season as long as the EPL’s and the number of games our Club has to play in the various competitions, as well as the travelling required, the fatigue and exhaustion usually present when injuries occur, is a constant risk.

* Not all players train as effectively as others. Gibbs has remained relatively injury-free and he attributed his success to intensive weight-training, as has Giroud and the Kos/Per tag team. They have worked on their strength, muscular flexibility and general fitness….have others done the same….who knows?

I don’t have all the answers, nor do I claim to have special insight into Wenger or the club’s approach to the above questions. I base my opinions on what I have read on the official website, Wenger’s statements and actions AND similar commentary from other EPL Clubs websites as well as my knowledge of human physiology and psychology.

Hopefully the Arsenal will gradually strengthen their already impressive winning attitude and performances despite our recent string of bad luck and against the wishes of vested interests in the EPL.

Books on Arsenal at a discount

61 comments to Arsenal’s injury apocalypse

  • marcus

    I’m afraid Don, when AFC play a Pulis outfit, I am always concerned.

    I am also concerned that Rosicky had his nose smashed, and no action was taken against the villain involved, and I am also concerned that Theo had objects thrown at him, and he became the focus of judgement, whilst more recently someone else had coins thrown at them, and the FA immediately stepped in and spoke of banning the offending spectators. Things seem to be getting worse, not better.

    We have already seen a series of games which have deflated AFC’s charge. Notable incidents include a compressed schedule, (to be repeated for European Cup), a match winning penalty denied, and a game of offsides.

    Now at this critical juncture of the season a Pulis team appears on the horizon.

    I think any more nonsense or shit, and the AFC should do what Racing Santander did the other day
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2548988/Racing-Santander-REFUSE-play-Copa-Del-Rey-clash-against-Real-Sociedad-protest-unpaid-wages.html

    Of course, on a different note, it is slightly worrysome when a team sponsored by one of the world’s largest banks is not getting paid….

  • Sammy The Snake

    Let’s not count our chickens before May, although IMHO, Arsenal will have done very well to just close the gap this year. In the past years, we have had large points gaps with the champions, and it will be a significant improvement if we’re are off the top by just a few points.

  • Klaus Stein

    “He won’t buy anyone if it won’t really strengthen the team’s prospects of winning a title(s) and he won’t risk upsetting the team chemistry and balance for a quick fix the knee-jerk fanboys are screaming for.”
    Says it all …..

  • Lief

    Lol. It’s not being negative but commenting on the facts before you. With the first real opportunity in 10 years to win the title, and with a known deficiency in striking options, signing a midfielder with known injury problems on loan is a testimony of the club’s ambition. With financial stability now realised, new sponsorship kit deal and healthy revenue streams, and, being one of the most expensive grounds to watch football, I think that there is a genuine right for disillusioned fans to be disappointed. When you also see the likes of proven quality such as Berbatov leave for Monaco, and no desire to sign replacements until the dying embers of the window, a club with the stature, heritage and class of Arsenal becomes a subject of humour and ridicule. The reality is that times have changed. To compete you need to pay a premium. And when you leave your exam preparation until hours before the exam, you must be willing to pay even more than premium! Negative? I just think that’s reality of genuine and understandable frustration of 9 seasons without a trophy and 10 without a title. And much of this because of intransigence and stubborn adherence to archaic ideologies which are no longer valid in modern football!

  • Lief

    It’s so bonkers it feels like there’s something we’re missing. The only explanation I can think of is that he’ll be available sooner than those reports say. He was never going to be able to play today anyway, having not been signed before midday on Friday, so it’s not really an issue for this game, but it’s just impossible to understand why you’d sign an injured player when you need cover almost straight away.No doubt it’s something the manager will be quizzed on further today, so we might get something more definitive from him. But the way the story emerged, the spin put on it from the club one way, then another, wouldn’t exactly fill you with confidence. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, but it does feel like only Arsenal could go through an entire transfer window when there’s ample time and opportunity to actually improve the squad, then sign a pre-injured player!—
    Even arseblogg is at loss with this stupidity

  • jambug

    Lief

    Pray tell how are the actions of ONE transfer window “testimony to the Clubs ambition”?

    I would humbly suggest building a £500 Million new Stadium was a better guide as to a Clubs ambition wouldn’t you? Or have I missed something?

    Lief you really are a num nuts !!!

  • philo

    i dont get it folks.buying players is no guarantee to success.examples Tottenham and recently Manure.Mata is not going to change much at Man u.it takes time to blend a winning team.it took 4 yrs or so for Man City to win the league after they started to be spoiled by oil money.Arsenal FC is doing its things by its own way.it is following its self sustaining model and we still competing. our time will come and we gonna be rewarded one day.Good things comes to those who wait guys.ARSENAL WILL NE GREAT AGAIN soon or later.Patience is a virtue

  • Sammy The Snake

    Lief: Get a life. Must be miserable living with you, give yourself and those around you a break and think positive for a change. It is not easy getting quality players… The only major signing of the transfer season was Mata to ManU, otherwise no other club “strengthened”. And Mata had its own story, the seller was emotionally charged about a player and the buyer was simply desperate.
    There wasn’t much more Arsenal could have done in Jan. Did you see Falcao or Diego Costa move clubs?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Share your concerns today Marcus, Pulis is the type some refs let away with murder against us, though today’s ref is not the worst. Correct about TR, nothing mentioned and nothing done about it, as with the coin throwing thugs. Seems the likes of Yaya and mikel can get away with the sort of tackles MF is sent off for, without even checking the review process. Things do seem to be getting worse, have a feeling they will get worse still as mason, Atkinson, dean, probert are sent out to derail us in the upcoming runs.
    As for injuries, take on board the reasons suggested, unfortunately, I would add rushing players back too quickly, wenger has admitted as much with wilshere in the past. This is possibly a consequence of a relatively small, and seemingly always injury hit squad. Within this squad, there are a lot of players wenger is reluctant to play, so maybe too much put on certain players. I have also read experts questioning our training, fitness and recovery regimes, maybe this is just part of the anti arsenal media narrative, don’t know, but some of it sounds convincing with what we see with our own eyes. Some view the club and people within it as resistant to change, again, may well just be part of the narrative, but I just hope everything possible , using the most modern methods, technology and best medical staff…is being done to limit the impact of these injuries, which are so often pretty serious. Why do Chelsea have on average two or three players out, while we often have seven or eight? But do take your very valid point about rotational fouling. As for Kallestrom, just hope he will not be out for long, but again with the narrative we get, it looks unfortunate to some , careless to others.
    You are correct on team chemistry, we clearly have a great spirit which we don’t want broken. Yes we were quiet in the transfer window, and Draxler may have flown, have a feeling wenger has someone special lined up for the summer though, and signing someone like berbatov may only get in the way.

  • KR

    At Lief,

    At last a view that represents the majority. Being realistic is not negative or disloyal. Your opinion is one of so many season ticket holders. We have had three very negative transfer windows (Ozil apart) following on from a great stadium move that was sold to us to compete with the biggest clubs in the world. All is in place now finance wise and yet we are still waiting. We do require a top striker as Arsene proved buy trying to buy Suarez. Our support at the stadium will not wane but we can still be honest about what we watch and what we require.

  • jambug

    KR

    And you have been watching the best PL team of 2013.

    Do you lot ever stop moaning?

  • marcus

    @Mandy

    One of Wenger’s remarkable triumphs has been to keep the team playing, and not losing heart. But I feel that one day a player, or bunch of players, much like Boateng, will simply say I am not prepared to play under these conditions, and walk off the pitch.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Draxler, injured. Kallstrom, injured. Why the aaa media meltdown over signing the swede and self harming over failure to sign the German?
    Not saying the KK situation is not frustrating, and perhaps avoidable,but as ever with arsenal, a bit of perspective maybe needed

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looking at Ozil a few times during the rotational fouling Marcus, think he has been quite close to that already, must be a real culture shock after the protection he received at a state run team. There are times when I would not blame them if they did walk off. Know I have mentioned it before, but really hope Ivan is raising these issues in the corridors of power he stalks. We are told our players need to man up in a mans game, but the second they fight back, out come the cards, they cannot win., they probably know it, and as you say, a credit to wenger and the team that they fight on with such spirit.
    Interesting seeing Utd yesterday, is that a first….Stoke and Mark Hughes not rolling over for Utd? Would never have happened with Pulis vs fergie.

  • Gooner S

    How many managers, in the face of undoubted criticsm if we don’t win anything this season, would stick to their guns and only strengthen for the right reasons rather than bow to pressure from within the fan base? Many managers of lesser capability and track record would have given in (I don’t know why but Harry Redknapp sprang to mind then!).

    It is interesting that it was all Wenger’s fault that Draxler didn’t sign but then it comes out that Schalke blocked the move. I didn’t see any retractions from those that over-reacted. It seems that Wenger was trying to buy a forward as well as a mid-field player but he isn’t going to just buy anybody and spend silly money. Good.

  • AL

    I blame the officials and the FA for the injury record against our players. Opposing players know they can kick Arsenal players and the worst that will happen to them is a slap on the wrist. I gave the example of 7 career threatening injuries/tackles against Arsenal players that we’re not punished last week; 2 against Arteta from Mikel & Ramires, 2 against Giroud from Toure & Williamson, the stamp by bentlab on a prone Monreal, a stamp on Theo’s ankle by Chiriches, and 1 against Rosicky(his broken nose). All of these should have been red cards, on the pitch or issued retrospectively as some of them were deemed to have been missed by the officials. They were all bad/vicious tackles that could result or resulted in our players missing games through them. But none were punished.

    Contrast that with the two footed tackle from Flamini where he got all of the ball, and didn’t even touch the other player. An immediate 4 game ban was the result. Imo there lies the source of all the injuries our players are suffering. It has nothing to do with playing for Arsenal, apart from the fact highlighted above that if one plays for Arsenal then they’re an easy target. It’s an absolute disgrace.

  • TJ

    Mandy, the media are in meltdown because they are just as puzzled as most of us at what is a farcical situation. They are asking themselves why would Arsenal borrow an injured central midfielder who has played 77 minutes football since October to cover for central midfielders that are currently injured and suspended, while Giroud has to play almost every single minute because the other options are not trusted.

    If anyone thinks that the players won’t be looking at each other asking each other the same question then they are quite naive.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    You’ve read the ” How to ..” manual cover to cover ; you’ve attended all the required classes and lectures ; the field trials were all almost near perfect ;
    you’ve taken all the precautions and have been cautious, yet you fucked it up again …… as always !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6X92PzMBSg

  • jambug

    TJ

    I take it you don’t think Wenger/Arsenal looked at all the options, with a view to addressing the striker and midfield situations?

    Okay fine, if you really think that that’s up to you.

    personally I take the view that they did but found:

    A) The right players where not available.

    B) If they where the price was too high, as rated by AW. (Whom I trust as a judge as opposed to you)

    All I know is, until Ozil, every signing Wenger made was either a second rate player or a panic buy or another French ’embryo’.

    Every transfer window we get told how brilliantly Liverpool and Spurs have done in the transfer window and yet…….

    So you’ll excuse me if I don’t take you and all the rest of the whingers moans too seriously, after all you do it in every window.

    As an aside,

    I find it hilarious how the same Daniel levy who is now being slaughtered by the Spurs faithful is the same man that the media, and Spurs fans alike, where hailing as the greatest wheeler and dealer since, well Harry really, in the summer.

    Same thing happened when King Kenny was buy anything that moved. Look at what Kennys doing at Anfield compared to that fool Wenger, we was told. well we all know what happened there.

    Honestly, you’d think you’d learn your lesson by now.

    Wenger does know what he’s doing believe it or not and I’m prepared to accept that WHATEVER he does it is with the best interests of the Club at heart and as much as I would of liked to of seen someone brought in I am prepared to accept there must be a very good reason why we didn’t.

  • Mick

    @jambug
    And so say all of us…. except of course sperez, Rupert, Lief. TJ etc etc.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tj, guess that depends how long he is really injured for, and who else was available. As for the giroud situation, agree, not the best, wenger seems to agree as well if reports of ba and Suarez were accurate, but the fact is, we did not get those players, and I did not see anyone move in man that could be our striker. I for one am glad we no longer make stop gap panic buys who are not good enough for this team.
    As for Draxler, the media narrative….wenger dithered, wenger wouldn’t pay, wenger vetoed the wishes of the board etc, but it turns out shalke blocked the move, and sky also reporting their director said they turned down a major bid from another club. So much for the media spin, clearly designed to discredit wenger.
    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/9147049/transfer-news-schalke-chief-reveals-mystery-bid-for-arsenal-target-julian-draxler

    Players talking, none of us know what the players think of it all, but the evidence this squad has the best team spirit any of us have seen at the club for a long time, so they cannot be that unhappy.
    Critics and the media always want signings, but be thankful we did not sign some they wanted, I remember a meltdown that our neighbours got the likes of soldado, lamella Capoue then there was mvila, and so many others that we can be glad we did not get. We could of course have signed jovetic as well, good player…..but turned out to be another crock.

  • TJ,

    I cannot recall Arsene saying that he has been playing Giroud so much because he does not trust his other options. Maybe you heard it from Martin Keown or another ‘trusted’ club legend. I have always thought that Giroud’s ever presence in the team is because of what he has to offer the team and not as a slight on the abilities of the other strikers. But what do I know?

    I agree with you on the absurdity of the Swede’s saga but I have difficulty reconciling sentiments on KK with the opposite for Draxler. Could it be because one would have cost at least £37 million and the other is free?

    How you come about: “anyone thinking that the players won’t be looking at each other asking each other the same question then they are quite naive” over the transfer issue is beyond me. Do you really mean Rosicky, Arteta, Koscielny, Mertersacker et al are doubting the club because a loaned midfielder is coming in injured and the club’s leading scorer is playing “almost every single minute because the other options are not trusted”?

    I consider your comment insulting to the players. They are professionals who know much more about what is going on than you or the myriads of the pundits can ever know. I trust them and the way they conduct themselves than whatever speculations any outsider may be making.

  • Yassin

    @TJ and all,
    Just to stop this “manager doesnt trust other strikers,…. Podolski or whatever”

    Please check the below link and date:

    http://news.arseblog.com/2014/01/podolski-reveals-injury-struggles/

    Its better if we stop listening to the biased media for a while and care to look more into details, before throwing accusations.

  • Super Singh

    Jambug.

    Well said.
    What really gets most fans is the argument that “It’s our money, so spend it”?
    NO it Isn’t? From the moment you decide to part your hard earned cash to Arsenal it becomes their money, remember it was your decision? As a club or manager it then becomes your responsibility to invest that cash with a great deal of care?

    It would mortify me if we spend unwisely on players that just don’t fit the bill? To those that clammer for new signings, if you don’t know what’s fully going on, please wind your neck in and chill?

    Unless you was born in 1886, you really got no say in the running of the club?

  • AL

    Some of our fans deserve a manager like Harry Redknapp. Not our club, no, but those fans.

  • Yassin

    On the article,

    “manly British defensive steel”? Whenever our players try this thing, boom yellow cards, its funny we are always the team more yellows in the end of day, although we are being kicked to death.

    Don, i think you missed one of the most important causes of this injury crisis, we have been top of injury list since beginning of season, but now its too much!
    i think the games around last of december and beginning of january is the reason, and when we challenge teams who have a second string players capavle of being first eleven im any other place, you wonder how the heck our players are still up there? Its Genius of our manager, commitment of our players and coaches.

    The southampton game could be a good moment of our season, Ozil have been silenced all games, he was afraid of being injured, look at how he give up on a 50-50 ball cause he is scared of the way other players goes into challenge, WHICH I DONT BLAME HIM FOR, THIS IS FOOTBALL AND NOT WWE.
    but after 1st half of saints game, he was the best player in the second, and hope he realise he can be that player and not get scared of the challenges, specially its Moss today. Cause if Ozil turns on, we will solve the last puzzle which we suffer from in the attacking side of our game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Are AAAAs in fact sadsacks ? Lets find out, from…

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sadsack

    1)An individual whose very presence lowers the tone in the room. Will complain about almost anything and will dress in plain, understated clothes.

    2) A sack of sadness .

    3)A person who’s only role in a friendship is to listen to the other friend whine and complain about their troubles.

    4) A person who goes by a false name. Works at a company where he is just an extension and likes to think of himself as a Loner where he is in fact just a social reject with friends.

    Congratulations to all who answered “Yes ” to all of the above !

  • Here is a talking point that just pisses me off:

    “Arsenal are so close to winning a trophy this year but not spending this January will hurt their chances”

    Bloody hell! How did Arsenal get this far in the first place? Why not let the same management that got the club this far do their jobs?

    Everybody is an expert on Arsenal but they mostly speak out of their asses.

  • Mick

    Exactly Bootoomee.
    Why is it the popular belief amongst the media and doomers and gloomers that the same group of manager and players that got us to this very good position is suddenly deemed not good enough to carry on the good work for the rest of the season?

  • AL

    Bootoomee & Mick
    I also asked this very same question and got no responses. Why should we not trust the same group of players in the second half to do what they did in the first half?

  • jambug

    Super Singh

    I’d like to expand on your pertinent point that you’d be mortified “….if we spend unwisely on players that just don’t fit the bill”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    What I find amazing is that the AAA types use as stick to bash Wenger the fact that he treats Arsenals money ‘As if it’s his own’.

    Surely that’s a good thing, no?

    The fact he doesn’t see Arsenals money simply as some kind of ‘kitty’ to squander at will must surely be a cause for comfort rather than concern.

    If Wenger was this self obsessed, self serving dictator as some would have us believe, surely he would be splashing every penny he could for the chance of short term gain, but at long term risk. What the hell, if it all goes wrong there’s always Monaco, PSV etc.(And make no mistake there’d be a list of takers as long as your arm)

    The fact he seems to care for every penny he spends says to me that he has the best interests of my Club at heart and not just for now but for the long term.

    Honestly I find some peoples take on this baffling to say the least.

  • Gord

    Good morning all (it is 3 minutes to 7 am here)! I just finished looking at 9 pages of Google News headlines, and there are still far too many different stories as to what happened to KK. Bleech!

    Depending on the opposition, we probably have more than a couple of players from the academy who could step up. For me, we only have 3 players of longer concern (Ramsey, Walcott and Diaby). It will be interesting to see how Sanogo fits in, once he is close to match fit.

    Here’s hoping West Brom some luck today, and lots of luck to Arsenal!

    COYG!

  • Neil

    Bottomed….we had a fully fit squad,hence we got that far. Now squad is down to bare bones and the manager should be sacked for not strenghtening

  • jambug

    As a very rough guide to how harshly we where treated compared to others I used to do a simple equation of fouls committed divided by number of cards issued. I counted Yellow as 1 booking and red as 2 bookings.

    Thus:

    Fouls: = 200

    yellows: = 25

    Reds: 5 x2 = 10

    So for this rough guide we have 200 divided by 35 = 5.7 fouls per booking. Obviously the higher this figure the more fouls you get away with. The lower the harsher you are treated.

    I did this for a long time simply using the SUNS fair play table, but as I haven’t bought that rag for a few years I haven’t been doing it for a while, but suffice to say for most of the time we had the lowest figure and therefore where, one of, if not the, harshest treated, and you’ve guessed it Utd where always one of the most leniently treated, but not as a rule THE most.

    If anyone has access to the current standings as to the amount of fouls committed and Yellow and Reds issued it would be interesting to see if this ratio is still about the same.

    As a final note our figure was usually around 6/6.5 the average was about 7.5/8 and the most leniently treated could have a figure as high as 10, sometimes more.

  • GooneressNo1

    Excellent article Don, what a refreshing change from all the hysteria that the media spew out.

  • Mick

    @Neil
    Bottomed? I take it you mean Bootoomee.
    Don’t be such a fool, we have not had a fully fit squad all season. We had Walcott, Podolski, Cazorla, Sanogo and Chamberlain to name just five who were all out for most of the first 2 or 3 months of the season. Any Arsenal supporter should know that.

  • jambug

    Neil.

    Just sacked? surely shot at dawn !! You prat.

  • Mick

    Can we bring back the ‘oick of the week’ award. If so I would like to nominate Neil as the first recipient.

  • Neil,

    Bottomed? Oh my, I am so hurt 🙂

    You comment like a fucking retard though. Seriously, how did that “fully fit squad” come about?

    Think before you post moron.

  • AL

    Just watching West Bromwich v Liverpool, dreadful refereeing on display. No major talking points but yellow cards where there shouldn’t, and no yellows where there should be. No wonder the game is in such a dire state in this country.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Neil,
    why don’t you look at the injury league table. http://injuryleague.com/2014/01/arsenal-extend-lead-top-injury-league-image/

    Why don’t you look at some facts before making a fool of yourself

  • Mick

    @Walter
    It is indeed very easy to make a fool of yourself on the internet. The sad thing is that we cannot actually see the fool making a fool of himself.

  • Mick

    Liverpool could only manage a draw so it is up to us to capitalise now. Surely we are overdue a 5 or 6-0 score aren’t we though I will take a 1-0 if offered now.

  • jambug

    Wont be easy. Didn’t they give City a tough time at the Etihad? Yep, as much as I would love a hatful 1-0 will do me.

  • AL

    I like today’s set up, we should deliver. Injuries have made us not play our strongest team at any time this year, but this line up is as close as it will get, especially upfront.

  • AL

    Saw the palace keeper wrap both his arms around Giroud in the penalty box with nothing given. Not saying it should have been a penalty, but recall Kos conceding a penalty and getting sent off against city for having only one around dzeko. No consistency.

  • AL

    Meant palace skipper

  • AL,

    I wondered about that too. And it should have been a penalty.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great win. Ox is certainly a fox!

  • Ronnie Lott

    we lack moral fibre……Such a shame.

    u still trust Arsene? When is jenkinson gonna get a run out?

  • Gord

    This is starting to make a little more sense.

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/02/arsene-wenger-crocked-kim-kallstrom-worth-gamble-because-he-was-cheap-4288198/

    It’s only one newspaper report, but at some point don’t they have to get the story correct? 🙂

    But, this suggests that Spartak Moscow is footing some of the bill to rehab KK, and we’ve heard about the 3 new medical staff Arsenal recently acquired. AW thinks this is a manageable problem, and we’ll have cover in midfield for the busy stretch.

  • OMGArsenal

    Thanks UA faithful for your encouraging comments.
    To Neil,Leif and especially KR whose delusional claim that Leif and he represent the majority …..you indeed do represent a group of idiots claiming all sorts of ITK factiods and truisms dredged from the yellow press BS you so eagerly swallow hook line and sinker.
    It is time to turn a new leif,Leif and both KR and Neil need a serious reality check. We are neck and neck with a team that can and have spent 5 times what we have to assemble a team, who have fewer injuries than we do over this entire season (although Aguero being out again is a real blow),and who can expect to receive better treatment at the hands of the officials than we will in almost every game.
    When you guys can actually come here and argue using salient and rational proofs and are willing to drop your AAA blinkers, then we can discuss the past,present and future of the Arsenal. By the way, this shite manager and weak squad are top again!

  • Florian

    jambug,

    How do we stand relative to other teams in terms of bookings per foul? I would surely expect us to be top of the table. Wrong table, sigh.

  • jambug

    Florian.

    I don’t know, I was hoping someone would be able to tell me. Fair play table used to be in the SUN on a Monday but I don’t buy it any more. May look for one hanging around at work tomorrow to satisfy my curiosity.

  • jambug

    Gord

    Thanks, I’ve found the cards. Cant find the amount of fouls.

  • jambug

    Gord.

    Found a SUN pull out at work and it had the top five in the FAIR PLAY table and it is as follows.

    Fouls Yellows Reds Points(Y=1, R=2) Ratio(fouls committed/bookings)

    Cardiff 229 29 0 316 1 in 10

    Fulham 233 33 0 333 1 in 7.06

    Arsenal 217 34 3 338 1 in 5.4

    C.Palace 251 31 2 357 1 in 7.17

    Swansea 228 41 1 357 1 in 5.3

    As you can see as I said earlier wet effectively get a caution every 5.4 fouls, a very similar figure to what it was when I used to check this table out more regularly. It was at or around that ratio for years.

    Also as you can see Cardiff get a caution every 10 fouls. Again as I said earlier that is fairly normal for the more leniently treated teams. It regularly used to be as low as 1 in 12 and occasionally more. A massive discrepancy if you ask me. Something’s wrong.

    As you can see Swansea are being treated even harsher. Again as I said earlier there often is a team being as harshly treated as us but it varied as to who.

    One things for sure, ARSENAL consistently where, and still are harshly treated.

    This is only a small selection, but I’d love to have the full table. What’s more, to give a much more comprehensive indication I’d love to have the figures for the last ten years, or even the whole duration of the Premier league.

    I’ve never done such an in depth analysis of this but I would bet my eye teeth that we would be rock bottom. If we aren’t, I will of made my self look a bit silly, so if there’s an AAA type out there who wants to find the stats for me and make me look ‘paranoid’ here’s your chance.

    Please if anyone can get access to these stats I’d really love to see what it shows.

  • para

    We need to start a movement for more consistency in the decisions made by refs. Until this is achieved this stupid mix up and controversy will continue week in week out. As well as teams who are not liked by media are going to have a tough time with injuries caused by inefficient refs.
    When i hear the commentators of the incidents in a game, i sometimes think i am watching a different game. They themselves are one of the causes. They project the ideas that; if a player goes down too easily the opposing player should not be booked. How about, a foul is a foul, easy or hard, and should be punished regardless. Final. Clear.
    If the ref has made a grave mistake, he or she should get debit points, and should be penalised, this would make refs more willing to become more proficient.
    If we add more rules to these we do have, it is just going to confuse the matter more, and i dare say that some probably love the situation this way, confusing, as it allows for so much manipulation.
    Something has to be done soon, as it is getting beyond a joke now.
    It is good that Untold is highlighting these matters, but it is also time for some high profile defence from Arsenal football club against these attacks, come on, there are ways of making it well publicised without putting Arsenal in the firing line, (which we are anyway).

  • Gord

    In reading text commentary of games, it seems that a sizable fraction of cards issued to Arsenal should never have been issued. But how would one estimate the phantom foul to issue a card rate? 🙂

    There is a particular site I am looking for, so this will be URL loaded. There is no guarantee that if a player has a card rescinded, that these records will show that.

    This seems to be complete, you need javascript turned on to display anything. They assign different points than you do, but they break things down into yellow, second yellow and straight red.

    http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/premier-league/suenderkartei/wettbewerb_GB1.html

    Here’s another from TeamTalk (for the Championship, they probably have EPL there somewhere). But look who is top of the table, former Gunner Henri Lansbury.

    http://www.teamtalk.com/championship/top-yellows

    FootballZZ.co.uk has data, but I don’t like their URLs.

    Here’s an interesting view across Europe
    http://www.dutchreferee.com/tag/yellow-cards/

    If you need historical data. This only comes up to 2010/11, and is the site I had remembered from before.
    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/PremierLeaguePlayersRedYellowCards1992-93to2009-10.html

  • jambug

    Thanks for the input lads but non seem to show the simple relationship of cards to fouls which I think is so simple yet so indicative of a how a team is treated. Harshly or leniently.

    The Sun would obviously have these stats as they do the table, but I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to get them from them, or indeed whether they would want to release them, especially if they did show a significant bias against Arsenal, as I suspect they would do.