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The Untold Injury records – Part 2. Arsenal top of the league

By Walter Broeckx

After my introduction that can be found here we now go in to the injury database itself. Again I would like to thank Steve Kelly and Pete for giving us this database.

The first thing we are going to do is to have a look at the general numbers. How many injuries have been counted for each of the 10 teams involved since 2002.

Team Total Injuries
Arsenal 838
Aston Villa 532
Chelsea 588
Everton 631
Fulham 463
Liverpool 520
Man City 563
Man United 720
Newcastle 732
Tottenham 738
Total 6325

As you can see if you look at the numbers we see that since 2002 Arsenal has suffered most injuries. In fact we have suffered 100 more injuries than the team that suffered the second most injuries and that is Tottenham. Closely followed by Newcastle in third place.

If you compare this to other top 4 rival teams we wan see that we have had exactly suffered 250 more injuries in that period than Chelsea. And even 275 more injuries than Manchester City.

If we now are going to split this up in to seasons we get the following table. Mind you this is an average per season table. In some seasons it will have been lower but it also will have been higher. But this is goes for all the teams of course.

Team Average/season Injuries
Arsenal 76
Aston Villa 48
Chelsea 53
Everton 57
Fulham 42
Liverpool 47
Man City 51
Man United 65
Newcastle 67
Tottenham 67
Total 575

So when we put it like this we see that on Average Arsenal had to suffer 9 more injuries each season compared to the two teams in second place which are Newcastle and Tottenham. And compared to one of our main rivals in the league we have suffered more than 11 injuries each season compared to Manchester United.

When you compare this to Manchester City we see that we have on average suffered 25 more injuries than them. Compare it with Chelsea and we find that Arsenal suffered 23 more injuries each season.

These are really frightening numbers. When we look at these numbers it sure looks as if Arsenal has to battle against injuries more than any other team with whom we are competing.

Regular readers on Untold know that I have pointed at the link between bad referees and injuries before. So of course with these numbers in hand and with the list of 124 different types of injuries the next step we will take is to see if we can find that link also based on these numbers.

So the first task that we have to do is to decide what are injuries that came as a result of bad kicking. We all know as some teams openly admit and even brag about it that they go out on the field just to kick Arsenal players. And as a result Arsenal loses matches and drops points. The link between refs allowing such illegal behaviour and Arsenal dropping points is  already proven. You only have to think about this season and you can have a few games where this happened.

And we also have our database of the last 3 seasons of referee reviewing to back this up. Kicking Arsenal and being allowed to do so by the ref results in dropping points. But does that kicking allowed by bad referees also have other side effects? Does this result in more injuries? Based on the tables above you could say : yes. But this includes all injuries also the injuries that usually don’t come from being kicked.

So our next step is look at the total number of contact injuries we can find and compare them with the other teams. And then in a further step we will examine some of those contact injuries and see if Arsenal suffered more of them than other teams.

And then we might be able to see if there is a link between Arsenal suffering from bad referees and dropping points which is already more then proven enough by our referee reviews in the past. But then we might also be able to see if there is a link between bad referees allowing bad kicking of Arsenal players and resulting in players getting more injured.

I would also like to point at the fact that the numbers in this articles have no relation to how many matches were missed as a result of these injuries. But based on the numbers we have found Arsenal has been top of the numbers of injuries and also has been top of the weeks that players have missed because of injury. This might seem logical but it is always nice to see that it really is the case.

But as you can see there is still plenty or work to do in the next articles. Just stay tuned for more.

————

Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years

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28 comments to The Untold Injury records – Part 2. Arsenal top of the league

  • Matt

    Your right we have lots of injury prone players so would expect us to be top.
    At lease were top of something.

  • jambug

    Oh dear matt !!

  • Liam Brady put things in perspective today concerning Ozil
    Without Walcott and Ramsey, Ozil doesn`t have the runners to play in.
    It is these players being injured which has restricted his game. It aint no good being magic with the ball, if you aint got no one to pass to !!
    Think of how many goals Ozil set up for these two and they for him
    Perhaps some of us should keep our gobs shut or perhaps think before we say something
    Mourinho thinks Ozil the best No 10 in Europe, no he aint good enough for us, lets have a moan !!

  • SouthernGunner

    The numbers confirm what many have suspected for a long time. At least we can now start to get to the bottom of, & rectify the problem, whatever it may be.

    Some of the ways in which injuries have been discussed haven’t helped. Those that moan the loudest never seem to offer many explainations or solutions. It’s far too simplistic, not to mention unhelpful, to say we sign “injury prone” players. It’s more likely a number of contributing factors & circumstances, whatever they may be, that contribute to so many AFC players sustaining injury. Being aware that there could be a problem is a start, identifying them is the next step.

    One way that may be helpful to make the discussion a little more specific & concrete is not just stats for each footbal club but also each individual players. Would their developement & careers have panned out the same had they signed for a different club?

    For example, had an AFC player, be it Diaby, Eduardo, RvP or any other, instead signed for a club with the lower injury rating, would their injury record be any different, better or worse? Or had Arsenal managed to sign someone like Gerrard, Lampard, Ronaldo, Suarez etc, would their fitness records be better or worse? The point isn’t to definitively answer those questions, as it would be impossible to know for certain, but hypothosising could offer some help. Couple that with the injury stats & we may begin to see something resembling an answer.

    For a club that competes in many competitions, it’s important to address this issue. Injured unavailable players reduces the size of the squad, it means a heavier workload on the uninjured availalble players, in turn making them prone to fatigue & possible injury. It become a vicious circle if not managed well. Such high Total Injury numbers would suggest it has cost us silverware, but it’s doubtful that it’s ever crossed the minds of the journalists, pundits & naysayers.

  • SouthernGunner

    @terry white

    Agree. It’s no conincidence that Ozil’s “dip in form” started around the same time as when Ramsey & Walcott were injured.

  • Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Really Matt?

    Would you say that Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey were injury prone?

  • Hissy Fitt

    Lord Wenger looked very stern and agitated today at the press conference. That is a good Omen for Sunday.

    Injury wise; our players do not have the savvy compared to other teams and players, so injuries will be part and parcel of our lives as AFC fans.

  • jambug

    Hissy Fitt

    You have a petulant name.

    A petulant icon.

    A Petulant attitude.

    You know what they say, if it looks like an Elephant, smells like an Elephant, sounds like an Elephant, well, it probably is an Elephant.

  • Mick

    Wenger is going to have an investigation of his own on the injury situation, does he read Untold…
    http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/701501587?-19387:844

  • Mick

    @Hissy Fitt
    ‘our players do not have the savvy compared to other teams and players,’
    Sorry I don’t get what you mean, can you elaborate.

  • Mandy Dodd

    these numbers are unfortunately unsurprising but still horrific.
    If down to bad/bent/biased refs, the club should do more than they appear to be doing for the health and safety of our players.
    From reports today, Wenger is taking the injury situation very…very seriously, he needs to clearly. Just hope these reports are more accurate than some regarding the club lately
    Look forward to Untolds continuing investigation, and Wengers analysis, even if we do not get the results in detail.
    Our consistant injury problems have to be dealt with, this season is not a one off

  • Mandy Dodd

    completely agree Terry White

  • Kos

    Maybe, just maybe Wenger is not the same man today as he was back when he won things. And I mean this in terms of his now enhanced reputation, diminished pressure on him and his impression that he need not answer to anyone. He came to England with something to prove, and he knew it. Do not underestimate the effect of that pressure, coupled with the advantages he had in terms of revolutionary diet and training methods, and his pick of quality talent from France. Today, his reputation in the game has burgeoned, and any pressure he feels comes from within – and I bet you it has more to do with playing football in a particular manner than with winning. Winning is seen as a by-product, rather than the ultimate aim. That’s the impression I get from Wenger, especially when you consider last season. I thought we’d miss out on CL and I don’t agree with people who think we finish seasons strongly – go back and look at our record, EVEN in the Invincibles era. And yet we’ve managed it the last couple of seasons, playing effective football simply to win because we NEEDED TO. He hasn’t forgotten how to win – it’s just not as important as staying true to his philosophy. He’d LIKE TO win, but he doesn’t NEED TO win. Huge difference! And can you blame him? He’s got a shiny new 8m contract in his in-tray, waiting to be signed at his earliest convenience!

  • jambug

    It’s good to see Wenger is taking the injuries seriously.

    The impact injuries are easy to explain. We all see the abuse we get week in week out without any protection. Sad. Unfair. A disgrace? But at least obvious.

    The Pulls and strains, to me at least, seem to be too numerous and are far harder to explain.

    There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation. On the other hand there may be something inherently wrong with our fitness training.

    At least they are looking into it.

  • jambug

    KOS

    I’m not saying you don’t make some valid points, but as I did with Rupert I will ask you the same question.

    Under what premise do you think we SHOULD finish ahead of the MONEY teams such as City, Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, Real, Barca etc. ?

    I don’t know. You tell me !!!

  • jambug

    The way I see it, the likes of City and Chelsea don’t see it as a matter of winning things with ‘Football’ or a ‘Football philosophy’ because they don’t have to.

    If things don’t go right for them they don’t have to think about any of that.

    They just go out and spend another £100 Million, as did City last Summer.

    Nobody questions the validity, integrity, or even damn right ‘fairness’ of that. It is just the way it is, and fairness be dammed.

    Arsenal have to compete or else.

    I’m sorry but it makes me angry when people question Wengers commitment to playing attractive football, but never seem to question others commitment to spending more money than a small Nations budget.

    Peoples priorities just seem so mis-directed. But then again doesn’t football just reflect the sad society in which we live.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If what you say is true Kos…and I for one dont especially believe it is, presumably his new contract….which he has yet to sign….would include KPIs and incentives to overcome what you…and many others are implying? If Wenger was just out for an easy few million, firstly, he would have signed by now, or secondly, he could go elsewhere and get a fraction of the grief he gets here.
    If Wenger is either doing something, not doing something, or turning a blind eye to something causing all these injuries, and it were found to be so, I would be amazed if firstly, Wenger himself did not correct it, and secondly, the board would not do something.
    I have heard all this too old to change his ways, wont change staff, lacking ambition, or motivation to change stuff, a dictator more powerful than the board…etc and dont buy any of it.
    But that said, we need to sort out these injuries

  • Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News;
    You are magic and far better than any journal/paper. But also a pain in the arse, `cause I keep wanting to read what you write and almost as important, the responses. Then when brickfields gets involved, I`m sending his jokes round the world
    Ho, Hum keep on being a pain in the arse please !
    I also keep more out of “her in doors way” as well, double wammy !

  • Pat

    Just listened to Wenger’s press conference. Not surpisingly, he says Arsenal is analysing every aspect of the injury situation to find out what is causing it. I would expect nothing less from the club – and especially from a manager who even convincingly described in detail what Arjen Robben does to get so many free kicks and penalties.

  • Hissy Fitt

    @jambug No need to be so offensive. A slag is a heap of cement and also a jambug.

    @Mick I mean that some of our players make decisions on the pitch that put them in precocious situations which lead to short to mid term injuries. Naturally not referring to the long term ones that were acts of thuggery. And some just lack mettal and moral fibre. VERMINATOR the classic example.

    By the way my Man of the Match was Per Mertersacker….not the mighty Oxon (who came in a close 2nd).

  • Mick

    @Hissy Fitt
    Sorry, don’t wish to appear thick, but what do you mean by a precocious situation?

  • Hissy Fitt

    Mick, going for 50 50 tackles half hearted and lilly livered…

  • Mick

    @Hissy Fitt
    OK, now can you give some examples of any of our players who have been injured as a result of putting themselves in these ‘precocious situations’.

  • Gord

    Slag is the generic name for the oxide based ceramic melt which floats on top of a heat of metal. Matte is the generic name for the sulfide based ceramic melt which float on top of a heat of metal. Mineral wool insulation, is typically made from slag.

    In my M.Eng., I took classes in Tung Soo Do. No pads were used in sparring, we were expected to pull punches before contact was made. Occassionally, both people sparring tried to throw a punch at the same time, and had fist to fist contact.

    I was doing athletic first aid for an amateur team. All these players had real jobs. I never seen contact injuries in practice. From things I’ve read about Arsenal, there are players coming up with contact injuries in training. I think the professional environment means that training is closer to game situation. And hence it is reasonable to expect contact injuries in training.

    So, if people are going to go analysing injury data, you need to track down as best you can, whether the injury was incurred in a game or in training.

  • Sav from Australia

    Hissy Fit is a troll. Don’t feed it.

  • bob

    Since the summer, some have advocated a large and affordable quality bench because of the injuries that were bound to come plus the need for rotation to sustain a multiple cup competitions. Having been one who was hounded as a “doom and gloomer” for saying as much, what I’d like to say is this: can we realize that because the refshite and the orc-shite will not desist, is it not high time to actually use the transfer windows to purchase to enlarge the team and stock the best bench we can afford (because we can now afford it)? Part of the problem was to be reckless in this gamble; and now the chickens may – I pray not! – have come home to roost. Whatever Arsene’s investigation turns up, one hedge against the orcshite/ refshite menace is to expect it and to stock up proactively (not reactively, that is) to lessen the inevitable blow. It’s not good enough for a team of our vision and skills to go into major cups with youngsters to toss in against seasoned champions. We need to face fire with fire, and, in this twisted league, that takes an expanded quality bench that we now can afford. This is not being a doom and gloomer. It’s having predicted, alas (yes, alas) what we are now seeing. And it’s not, oh great, we can now be so wise and start to investigate why this is happening, as if to celebrate this awakening. C’mon. This injury shite has been chronic – because of the refshite/orcshite – and quality ensurance enough on the bench is one practical, hands-on, proactive way to combat the warfare that we are in fact up against, match after match.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    terry white @ March 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm –
    Please give ample warnings before you resend my posts as I will not be responsible for whatever mishap befalls the readers !
    But,in perverse way ,I would like to hear about them! Shat /peed /cummed in my pants ;
    upchucked /barfed / threw up ;
    had tea/coffee/rice krispies come out of my nose ; snorted /spat /spilled ( whatever stuff) on my computer;
    my wife /kids/ co-workers /friends are looking at me strangely ; are what I like to hear !

    They are like getting 5 stars for (my non) efforts !
    WOO HOO, HOO !

  • Hissy Fitt

    @sav from australia…

    U r a dickhead…..go play some cricket