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October 2016
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Exposed: the biggest lie of them all. New stats show Arsenal injuries have been below average all season.

By Tony Attwood

The argument hasn’t just been that Arsenal has had lots of injuries, but rather that

a) they had more than anyone else

b) it is all Wenger’s fault.

The second follows from the first, because if it ever turned out that Arsenal didn’t suffer more with injuries than anyone else, then there would be no fault to be analysed.  Arsenal would be just a regular team in injury terms.

I have been trying to argue this point for some time, just based on the number of players out at any one time – the data provided by

And this is a good time to look at the issue again because following the recovery of Tomas Rosicky it has been announced along with the news that three more of the squad returning ahead of schedule.   Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin all took part in training on Friday.

Now that doesn’t mean they will be out and about, ready to play, but give it a couple of weeks and you never know.

However at the same time the BBC and Physioroom have kindly done the work I had thought about doing but found too complex and time consuming – at least during the season (there is a note in my diary to look at this again in late May).

What I wanted to see was not so much the week by week injuries totals, but the number of days missed by injury of members of the first team squad during the season thus far, the total number of injuries during the season, how many players were injured and how this relates to the position in the league.

And the new analysis shows for sure that Arsenal are very much in the mid-table for injuries.  We don’t suffer more injuries than anyone else, and thus the whole issue of injuries is nothing to do with Wenger’s training methods.

The figures also show that the wild and crazy accusations from Raymond Verheijen are as Untold has repeatedly said, wild and crazy.

“The former Wales fitness coach has repeatedly blamed the work-load on Arsenal’s players for injuries and was again critical of what he called the “old school” approach of Wenger,” screamed the Telegraph several times over.

But it is all total nonsense.  Invented.  Mad up.  No truth in it at all.  A bit like saying Ozil doesn’t know how to pass the ball, and then everyone repeating the story until people start to believe.

So to the figures…

Let us start with days missed through injury.   For Arsenal the number is 465 player days this season.

Bottom of that league is Watford with 182 player days lost.  That makes us look bad – 2.5 times worse than Watford.  But top of this league is Newcastle with 1042 player days lost.  2.25 times worse than us.

In fact on this measure – the number of days first team players have been out with an injury, we are 8th in the league.  Below Leicester on 184, but otherwise above all the big clubs.  Watford are, as I write, 10th in the league – so probably benefitting from the lack of injuries by being in a higher position than they might have expected.

In short the clubs with low numbers of days missed generally tend to be in the lower half of the table.  Clubs like West Brom, Swansea, Norwich, Southampton, Chelsea… (Chelsea have 428 player days missing, to our 465.

So let’s look at the top of the league (before the Tottenham result is in today)

  • Arsenal 465 players days lost
  • Leicester 184 player days lost
  • Manchester City 769 player days lost
  • Tottenham Hotspur 668 player days lost
  • West Ham 583 player days lost
  • Manchester Utd 752 player days lost

OK, we are doing better in terms of player days lost than our main rivals other than Leicester.  But I am endlessly told you can proven anything with statistics.  So what about…

The total number injures this season

Watford have 10, again top of the league.  Norwich are second on 11.  Arsenal are on 22 which on this measure places us 7th.  Again not far from the average.

The top of the league by points, but now showing the total injuries this season reads

  • Arsenal – 22 total injuries
  • Leicester – 15 total injuries
  • Man City – 47 total injuries
  • West Ham – 26 total injuries
  • Tottenham 27 total injuries
  • Man U – 39 total injuries

And the final analysis – how many players injured?

Some players have been injured twice, so these numbers will be lower than the total injuries table.

The lowest is nine, which is the number four clubs have achieved.  The highest is 20, for Man U and Man City.  Arsenal are on 14.  Again pretty near the middle.

Once more the low numbers are generally associated with teams in the lower part of the league, and Leicester.    In fact Leicester on nine players injured could be seen as very lucky as all the other teams on this number are much lower down the league.

Here is the league table showing players who have been injured this season.

  • Arsenal – 14
  • Leicester – 9
  • Man C – 20
  • Tottenham – 15
  • West Ham – 17
  • Man U – 20

Conclusions – and they are rather concerning.

What these tables suggest is that clubs higher up the league get more injuries.  The exception is Leicester whose success may in part be down to their comparatively low number of injuries.

Now this is contrary to normal expectations – common sense (that awful concept that so often leads us astray) has it that the more successful teams are successful because they get fewer injuries.

In fact it seems that the teams up the top of the league get pushed and kicked by lower table less skillful, more desperate opposition, who are doing last second tackles to avoid a goal against, resulting in more injuries.  Worse, the lower table clubs do this because they know they get away with it.  Just look for example at the Southampton match, and see how every time he took the ball Ozil was thumped violently in the back.   No foul given.

Fortunately that did not result in injury, but players who are tackled by less adept opponents from lower level clubs tend to get injured more.

All of which shows that the whole “Wenger and injuries” saga in which it is suggested that he uses the wrong training methods, has the wrong type of training pitch, the wrong diet etc etc is based on an utterly false premise – that Arsenal injuries are worse than other clubs.

They aren’t.  It is all totally made up and invented.

So back to the current situation, Mr Wenger said, “Welbeck is two to three weeks away, and I am confident that I will not find a better player on the market.”   The aaa will bemoan our lack of transfers, once again, but they really ought to study the facts.

This is an absolutely perfect example of journalists making up a story in order to bash Wenger and Arsenal, followed by the pathetic aaa leaping on the story.

That no one found out this whole sorry invented saga of Arsenal and injuries was quite untrue is down to all of us – including myself – not doing the work.  But as I say, there is a lot of evidence needed, and the BBC was able to call on a lot of data that Physioroom don’t have on their site.  Yes I could have done it but it would have taken days, and I do also have my businesses to run.

However now we know.

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40 comments to Exposed: the biggest lie of them all. New stats show Arsenal injuries have been below average all season.

  • Rich

    The top sides get more injuries because they play European football when other sides have a week to prepare, also the top sides probably have more international players who start for their national teams.
    You play with fatigue you increase your chances of injuring yourself

  • para

    Maybe just another lie designed to hype the “buy buy buy” mantra?

    Does anyone know if Arsenal uses video analysis at half time in the dressing room? I know we do record the game ourselves from different camera angles.

  • RayB

    Rich makes a very good point there.
    I would also like to see some data on the positions of the injured players as injuries to back four players are likely to be more disruptive than to the midfield or strikers (unless the injured player is world class and irreplaceable of course).
    Another excellent article from Untold Arsenal.

  • Percy

    Off topic but just seen a brilliant gaffe by the useless Anthony Taylor who is presently reffing the Wednesday/Leeds game, one for Walter here. He authorizes a substitution of Foristieti for Wednesday at a Leeds free kick. With Foristieri some five or six yards from the touchline and his replacement dutifully standing alongside the fourth official, HE BLOWS for the free kick to be taken. Leeds, who are trailing 2-0, score from the ball that is played into the box. Cue mayhem; The Useless One troops over to his mate holding the board and, embarrassment writ large, chalks off the goal and has the free kick retaken. How bad is he?

  • Ray B I’d like to see that analysis as well!

    But yes, the Euro issue certainly makes a lot of sense. Leicester of course don’t play in Europe, so we always need to be wary such teams who normally play in Europe and then suddenly drop out.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Good information to defuse the hiked Arsenal’s injury numbers in the injury table which are much less than made to believe by the media.

    I am delighted to known that Rosicky has recovered from his long injury layoff and is now back in full training? Also back in training(not full?) are Welbeck, Wilshere and Coquelin. This is a great good news for us.

    Hoping the recoveries from injuries by these quartet Gunners will lead to high productivity in terms of results on the field of play for us in Arsenal treble titles challenge this season.

    2-3 weeks(very early Feb) before the specialist striker Welbeck, specialist Dmf Coquelin and specialist mid-right winger Wilshere are back will certainly boost the Boss options for selection. And also might encourage the Gunners who are multiple in a particular position in the team to fight for their shirts to play.

    Going into our tough match fixtures schedule as from 2nd Feb to 23rd Feb, when we’ll play against Southampton, Bournemouth, Leicester, Barcelona and some FA Cup games. A return of Welbeck to field action to in alternate co lead the line with Giroud has dispel my specialist striker shortage fears and agitation for the signing of another top quality striker for option and cover at Arsenal in our titles defining moths of Jan-Feb.

    All that is required now, is to keep the Arsenal’s flag flying high at full hoisting in our remaining 3 games in this month of January. In this wise, Cech should henceforth seriously guide against any act of goalkeeping clumsiness at the Arsenal’s goalmouth.

    Despite the in action of Gibbs and Oxlade to perform well by launching attacks on to the Liverpool area of the field to the keep Reds on the defensive, Cech should have saved Joe Allen’s low hot shot drive. But for Cech clumsiness diving, he allowed the shot to beat him. A repeat of such faulty keeping should not be repeated again by Cech for Arsenal throughout this season.

  • Pete

    Tony – I haven’t personally checked but I’m not sure that injuries to Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky have been included – as they occurred last season. Therefore it may be that their total days injured this season need to be added to the total. My gut feel without reworking the numbers myself, is that this hasn’t been done. If so, that would be an approx additional 450 days to add which rather changes the whole analysis I’m afraid.

    Although the same would apply I guess to other teams with injuries carried over – but has anyone had 3 players carried over – none of whom are yet to return?

  • Al

    Off topic, but pigmob reps decide what goes on in this league. So there was 7 minutes of extra time in the match between Everton and chekski, but the whistle wasn’t blown when the 7 were up, Chelsea scored on the stroke of 8 minutes. And even then, the scorer, John terry, was a yard offside…

  • serge


    Well spotted. That’s stats for you.

  • Gord

    I just glanced at the beeb site, and they mentioned controversy in Chelsea winning. I didn’t read the article however.

    Yard offside, that is incompetent officiating yet again.

    The time business. This is regurgitation. The only timekeeper is the referee. The referee _may_ take advice from other officials on time. Near the end of regular time, the 4th official may indicate their guess as to how much time the referee will be adding on for stoppages, up to that point in the game.

    If the 4th official shows N minutes, it more of less means that the amount of time to add on is more than N-1 and less than N+1 minutes. It strictly means more than N-about 1 and less than N+about 1.

    If at the end of 89 minutes, the 4th official was to guess that 4 minutes needs to be added on (between 3 and 5), that also seems to indicate that there is about 1 minute of extra time needed for every 10 minutes of regular time. And 4 minutes of time added on, may itself require almost half a minute of additional time added on. So, we need to adjust our 3-5 estimate to 3.5 to 5.5.

    In any event, to call for 7 and play 8 probably isn’t suspicious. To call for 7 and play 15 would be suspicious.

  • Josif

    @AI – I would just add something else: Funes Mori scored a goal for Everton, went to the fans and got a deserved yellow card. Terry scored an equalizer from an offside position one minute after the final whistle should have been blown and went to the fans but didn’t get a booking.

    I will repeat ad nauseam, I’m afraid: when the dawn of English Calciopoli doesn’t arrive, it will be worth of a blockbuster-movie. Whoever manages to transfer Mike Riley’s hideous personality to the big screen will deserve an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The guy is a Joker of football Gotham in England.

  • Menace

    Al it was the selective vision of PGMO at work. The appointment of cheat Dean at the spuds was another blatant Riley move. Dean danced awarding a goal when he was there last time & sure made an easy job of it this time.

    The Chelski officiating was absolutely vile. Terry & one other player went into th crowd after scoring the off side equaliser & were not booked.

  • Menace

    Gord – the referee indicates with a show of fingers to the 4th official, how much time he intends to add. I think his ninth finger was stuck where the sun doesn’t shine.

  • Notoverthehill

    A good point about the European competitions.

    I would suggest that with Abou Diaby, Rosicky, van Persie and Ramsay, the Arsenal stats were all askew?

  • Andy Mack

    I think ‘injuries /games played’ stat would probably be the most interesting.
    Have The Toffees and the Orcs got more injuries than the teams around them in the league as they’ve played more games (Inc the TinPot Cup)….

    Para, I doubt they’d have video analysis at half time as there isn’t enough time to edit it properly. But I’m certain they do it in their next training sessions.

    Al, Mike Jones to Chavskis rescue!

  • Tyno

    You can as well add to your analyses, the number of Long term injuries. I think that means more than anything when it comes to injuries.

  • Pete

    Gord – I believe the referee indicates to the 4th official the minimum amount of time to add on, rounded down. So if 7 is indicated the referee should play between 7 and 8 minutes. However there may be further stoppages in the added-on time (or in the period between the ref indicating and the 4th official holding the board at 90 minutes).

    So if in the Chelsea game there was an injury during added time or blatant time-wasting by Everton then the clock could justifiably gone past 8 minutes. But I don’t know (and nor do I know if the original 7 minutes was justified).

  • As far as I can see the BBC / Physioroom figures include all players listed in the 25 who are injured and unable to play irrespective of whether the injury occurred this season or last.

    Certainly the Physioroom figures through this season include players whose injury occurred before the season started when they have counted the number of players out week on week on their regular web site list which we quote quite often in match previews.

    It would be illogical to have one set of figures there, but then when calculating the season so far numbers work from a different database. And doing such rough and ready calculations as I can for Arsenal, I get fairly close to the numbers they have.

    So, all players in the 25 who are unable to play. I am not sure what they do about under 21 players who might be considered but are not in the 25.

  • I am not sure Tyno. A long term injury can lead to the club promoting a youngster as we did with Bellerin, or buying in a replacement. So the impact is then less. A short term injury means that the club copes for a few weeks. Also much depends on the quality of the backup available.

    In all I think there are all sorts of factors that will affect a team when they lose a player, including the back up, the chance of buying a replacement, the option of moving players around and changing formation, the positive or negative feeling in the squad.

    My point in this article is to say that the endless rant against Wenger in terms of the notion that Arsenal get more injuries that everyone else is based on an utterly false premise.

  • Pete

    Tony – Have a look at this site which has us losing 1,050 days to injury this season. But they do record from 1 June so guess can knock approx 200 days off that total? Not sure.

    But I have NOT dug below the surface here at all so am not endorsing in any way.

    And the avatars are quite amusing!

  • Pete

    I also confess I did see this report when it came out a couple of days ago and quite a few of the commenters raised the point that prior year injuries had been excluded… but didn’t investigate at the time.

  • omgarsenal

    Normally the referee,in his pre-game instructions to his assistants, designates one of them to keep stop time with him. Since the EPL refs have mikes that connect them to their assistants, they simply tell the other timekeeper to stop his time. With one minute to go in the regular time,he will indicate to the assistant how much time he will add on and the assistant will corroborate this or suggest more or less. The referee is the ONLY official timekeeper and will make the decision for time added. He also informs the 4th official who puts it up on the board everyone sees.
    Usually the referee will allow a few extra seconds during the added time for stoppages of play or whatever. 7+ minutes is not an indicator of error BUT I saw the offside goal and how the linesman missed it I cannot explain as it was on his side of the field and clear as day, as well as allowing Terry and another Cheatski player to run into the crowd without even a caution.

  • Pat

    Watching Match of the Day. Moyes sees nothing wrong with two blatant and unpunished examples of Robert Huth knocking down an opponent by elbowing him in the face. Jenas describes Aston Villa’s style of play as tiki taka. Some things don’t change.

  • Tony, I think long term injuries do matter because of the longer time needed to get back up to the level one was at before the serious injury. We saw this with Ramsey and Walcott and when Jack comes back it will take him a few months to get back up to his best level. This time is not accounted for as the play is able to play but it still copying with the affects of a serious injury.

    I think you are spot on the clubs higher in the table get more injuries because the refs to not protect them from the poor clubs lack of skill. The low table clubs often benefit because the aggressor in a challenge is less likely to be hurt.

  • Tom


    Everton scored their go ahead goal on 89 minute and 59 second of the regular time ,by which time the fourth official had calculated the amount of the injury time added on( 7 minutes).

    The Everton players went into the stands to celebrate the goal and didn’t get into their half of the pitch to enable the restart until 1 minute and 17 seconds had elapsed.

    John Terry scored the Chelsea equalizer in the 98 minute, well within the 7 extra minutes plus 1 minute and 17 seconds.

    The only mistake on the play of course was the off side decision, which was incorrect.
    Why the linesman didn’t flag for off-side is anyone’s guess. Perhaps he didn’t see the flick on which was faint. We’ll never know, since officials don’t explain their decisions.

    Terry did get a yellow card for his celebrations into the crowd.

    Martinez was rightfully upset for losing two points Everton deserved, although it must be said ,he is type of manager who never questions any wrong decisions Everto benefits from.

    Still, instant replay official is the only answer for these types of situations.

    What is my point here you may ask. Just this:
    You are one of the most knowledgable posters football wise on here.
    Be it the rules of the game or its history(English and otherwise) , and it’s a shame that somewhere along the line you have decided to join in the hysteria of conspiracy prevalent on here.

    Chelsea will not make the top four ,nor will they get relegated, regardless of how many wrong decisions they might benefit from the rest of the season.

    I miss the old Josif, or maybe it’s just a different poster by the same name 🙂

  • ClockEndRider

    “you have decided to join in the hysteria of conspiracy prevalent on here.”

    You ought to attend a few games in person. Then you would understand the righteous ange so many of us feel.
    Still, easier to sit there at home watching carefully edited pictures as that way you don’t have to do any thinking yourself.

  • Pat

    Tom, there’s plenty of evidence of the bias and incompetence of referees in many, many articles on this site analysing ref performance over a number of years. So to describe the views of posters on this site as a ‘hysteria of conspiracy’ is inaccurate, to say the least.

    Maybe you have an agenda?

  • Al

    When was the last time Arsenal profited from a goal that should not have stood? I can’t even remember, going back two seasons. Yet other sides get them left right and centre every few weeks. On the contrary, when did Arsenal suffer from a goal that should not have stood? Plenty of times, this season alone; at west brom, Southampton, Liverpool and Villa (good goals we scored that were disallowed, meaning the net result is the same)….

    Was the 7 additional minutes added on in the Chelsea match justified? Highly unlikely. I don’t buy this nonsense of saying Everton scored in minute 90 and celebrated for 117 seconds so the ref was correct in adding those seconds. The refs just guess how much time to add on depending on the result on the pitch. Why is it that added time in the first half is always about 1 minute while that added in the second half is always around 3 minutes? Does it mean we always have more stoppages in the second half? Why?

    I have observed, over the years, how added on time is manipulated by officials to suit their agenda. Take the match that goes into extra time for instance. Each half in extra time consists of 15 minutes, yet you’ll find officials adding two minutes to those 15 minutes, yet they’ll have added a minute only to a full 45 minute half earlier. In our match against Liverpool last week we had only just over one minute added on at the end of the first half, despite 4 goals having been scored in the first half including treatment lasting about 50 seconds to Giroud in the 15th minute. Our second half saw 6 substitutions, an injury to Milner, and two goals but we only got 3 minutes added on time. So it is possible the 7 minutes in yesterday’s match could have been justified, but so could have our match v pool; why don’t we get consistency across all the matches then?

  • Pete

    Al – generally get more in the second half because many more substitutions then.

    It has been statistically proven by sources other than Untold that MU under Ferguson got more stoppage time when they were losing or drawing than when they were winning. Particularly pronounced at home games.

    Tom – There is so much factual evidence of bias against Arsenal, for whatever reason, that it is difficult to know where to begin! But you could look at penalties awarded for/against pre and post Riley compared with other big four teams as a starting point.

  • Al

    Yes, I get that. But there are plenty of matches with 2 or 3 goals that get scored in the first half yet we usually see the officials add just the mandatory 1 minute. I’ve yet to see a match that has more added on time to the 1st half than added on to the second half; unless there has been a critical injury, like Eduardo’s, in the first 45 minutes, we almost always get more time added on in the second half. I think this is one area open to abuse from the officials in order to help one team, as you point out a la fergie-time. And in addition to video refereeing this is one area that needs looking into, such as introducing a rule where the clock stops if the ball isn’t in play.

    I don’t think you’ll get anywhere with Tom; he’s the sort that’ll single out one incident in a match where the ref might have let our player off as evidence of no bias, while ignoring 10 incidents that’ll have gone against us in the same match. But good luck 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Rather than show highlights of past goals of recent games during the pre, halftime and post game on the large screen , I would suggest that the club show all the injustices that were inflicted on our players .

    Adams ‘getting to grips’ with Alexis , or that tackle by McNair on Wilshere’s ‘glass’ ankles. Ramsay’s leg break , or even Dean’s hop skip and jump of glee at the Spuds scoring .

    Or the hundreds wrong decisions by the refs that were wrong or…… . After all its only from the about 5% that they got wrong ! You could always call it , ” PIGMOB REFEREES DO THE DARNEST THINGS !”

    That ought to get the home crowd going !

  • Al

    Spot on, Bricks 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Or you could put up jokes – that’ll will get then in the mood too !

    Q: Why doesn’t a chicken wear pants?
    A: Because his pecker is on his head!

    Q: What do you call an endowed puppet?
    A: Well strung.

    Q: What do you call a country where everyone is pissed?
    A: A urination

    Q: What do you call a guy who cries while he masturbates?
    A: A tearjerker.

    Q: Why did the pervert cross the road?
    A: His dick was stuck in the chicken.

    Two priest’s were taking a piss in the urinals one day and the one priest looks down and see’s a nicotine patch on the other guy’s penis.
    He says “I’m not really a rocket scientist or anything, but, isn’t that supposed to be on your arm?”
    And the other priest goes “Nah, it’s working fine. I’ m down to two butts a day”!

  • Gideone


    Nice article. May I request for a sequel which looks at previous seasons (3 – 5) to reiterate this point and do a trend analysis at least for the Arsenal and maybe 3 other teams with averagely consistent performances (1 top 4, one mid table and 1 relegation battler)?


    Thank goodness for the enlightening effects of fact based reporting on UA. I am convinced you would have drifted into the malaise of AAAism. Chai!

    On a general note, I have developed some thick skin to the shenanigans perpetuated by the PGMO and its agents (I even give excuses on their behalf 😉 ). Maybe the referee booked Terry in his mind. You never know (and never want to know) what goes on in the murky, miry minds of the PGMOB.

  • Tom


    I do watch Arsenal games in person when I can. Although commuting from Chicago to London isn’t the most convenient thing to do, I will be there for the Chelsea game next week.

    As for “not doing any thinking for myself”, I thought I just did.

    Why jump on the bandwagon trying to blame the ref for manipulating time, when a quick math solves the problem and answers the question of where the extra minute or so came from.

  • Tom

    Pat and Pete
    I don’t have an agenda but as I stated many times on here , making blanket statements and giving examples for corruption/incompetence/bias that can be easily disproved or explained away, doesn’t make your case any stronger.

    When two out of three accusations are bogus( incorrect amount of extra time, and Terry not getting a yellow card), then your efforts fall way short of acceptable.

    I generally agree Arsenal don’t get the calls other PL teams get most of the time, but this was a specific comment of mine regarding a game Arsenal weren’t involved in.

  • Pete

    Tom – I didn’t. You just referred to hysteria and I attempted to rebut. The penalty analysis is completely factual and objective. And absolutely damning.

    Usama and Walter’s reviews are slightly more subjective – but I have yet to see any naysayers come back with their own game reviews with specific areas of disagreement (they have often been challenged to). That we could then debate.

    So there is plenty of evidence. But it needs to be looked at statistically. Any referee can get any decision wrong – but it is when the mistakes build up over time and the pattern is invariably to Arsenal’s detriment that it becomes clear there is a deep problem with the officiating.

  • Tom

    We are talking again about two different things.
    Let me reiterate what my point was. Every time there are instances of controversial decisions in PL matches, like Chelsea/Everton, numerous posters on here get their panties in a bunch, crying out the fix is in.

    No matter how simple , logical and factual the explanation might be, like the amount of time Everton celebrated their third goal( 1 minute and 17 seconds) , which was added to the seven minutes already added on,
    posters like Al ( who’s not the brightest tbh, since cant even add 60 and 17 seconds, thinking that comes out to 117 and not 77 🙂 ) reject the explanation and get applauded for their stupidity and ignorance.

    And then posters like you come out and bring up Walter’s ref reviews as if these have anything to do with Chelsea/ Everton game.

  • Norway70

    According to Physioroom Arsenal had one injuried player (Wilshere) for the games against Liverpool and Stoke. Arsenal were without Cazorla, Coquelin, Sanchez, Wellbeck, Wilshere and Rosicky (6 players) for the Liverpool game and 7 (same 6 + Ozil) against Stoke. Not the most reliable of site it seems…. 😉

  • Norway 70 – yes we noted that at this end. It was very strange. As you may have seen Untold tends to run the Physioroom list most weeks in the match preview and of course it is checkable because behind the figures there is the list of players out – which when we have checked each week does actually accord with common knowledge – the list of actual injuries you cite.

    That’s why – because the list is normally accurate for Arsenal week by week – we felt it was right to accept the new analysis the BBC ran. I know, from watching the list week by week that as soon as a player is back in training he comes off the list even though he is not ready for a competitive game, which is why Coquelin and Rosicky for example are not shown, but Cazorla certainly should be on the list.

    That approach (only players who are actually injured rather than those who have not trained enough to be able to play, are listed) applies across all clubs. So Arsenal should have been on two (Jack and Santi)