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It’s November so it must be injury crisis time (and ticket price analysis time)

By Tony Attwood

Yes, it’s that time again.  The time when pontificaters in all the media will tell us that one team (usually Arsenal, but occasionally others) are having a crisis of injuries and that it is Arsene Wenger’s fault.

Of course what they generally don’t do it compare Arsenal’s figures with those of other teams, but well, that’s how it goes.

So now we know Héctor Bellerín is out for around four weeks having been kicked by Danny Rose in the last ten seconds of the game against the Tinies.  It also appears that Mathieu Debuchy is out with a calf injury.

Carl Jenkinson is fit, but he hasn’t played very many games as yet.  However he is the obvious choice unless we start shifting players out of their normal positions.

On the attacking front Alexis Sánchez has said he is fit, and he will either be on the bench on Saturday or will not be playing at all, depending on which journalist you read.  In short no one knows until Mr Wenger sees what state Alexis is in tomorrow.

Speaking on the subject Mr Wenger said, “What I will consider is the risk of injury because he played while recovering from a hamstring injury.  I’ll consider the way he feels as well. On that front you depend on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they recover.

“We were in doubt 24 hours before the game against Uruguay. We didn’t know if he’d play or not. In the end they decided to play him. He texted us to tell us he’s in good shape after the game. He came off after 84 minutes and now we have to wait. I see him tomorrow morning and then I will see if he can be involved in the squad or not.

“You have to trust the medical people from Chile. I completely understand that Alexis wanted to play in qualifiers – they’re not friendlies. Chile are not in a fantastic position to qualify for the World Cup and I understand that Alexis is keen to play for his country in such an important game. After that, it’s a difficult period in November because it’s the first time when some of the players have played many games. Most of the time it’s a decisive period in the Champions League because it’s game number five and, for most of the clubs it’s a very important time in the Champions League. In the Premier League, the first decisive games are also coming up so it’s a period where you can pay a heavy price. We lost important players in November for long periods last year.”

“We go into a period of big games, one after another. The way we deal with these kinds of games will be very important to our position in the league and our ambitions. I believe we are on a very strong run of 16 games unbeaten. We had a little hiccup against Tottenham at home, but now we want to start winning our games again, and this is an opportunity to do that on Saturday.

“We have beaten them and there was many draws as well. I think I have won against every manager in the world during my 20 years here and I do not make of this game a competition between two managers. It’s between two clubs and two teams and I think I can understand that people want to create controversy, but it’s not that that makes the audience.

“What will make the audience [happy] is the quality of the game and we have seen a few games since the start of the season we didn’t respond completely to the expectation level between two big teams and I think it’s important that it’s a top level game because that will be watched all over the world and for the reputation of the Premier League, it’s important that the quality of the game is good. That will be down to the players who are on the pitch.”

Off the pitch the topic of the price of tickets has come up again – it seems to be the BBC’s favourite topic these days, perhaps to cover a certain decline in the audience figures for its football coverage on TV.

As we know some tickets prices have come down with the average price for away support now being £29.44.  That odd amount is because an agreement was reached to impose a price limit of £30 on away support.  Except that Arsenal went out on a limb and reduced it even further than that.   No one else did (as far as I know) and so the average price is down 56p.  But the beneficiaries are the Arsenal fans.

Interestingly it now costs more to be an away supporter in the Championship where the average charge is £31.57.

But the news everyone wants to promote is that the top price for a regular (ie non-box, non-club level ticket) at Arsenal is the most expensive in the land at £2,013, followed by Tottenham (£1,895).

However there are a couple of other points to be made.

Those £2013 tickets at Arsenal are just about the most sought after.  While other season tickets become available each year as some people give up their tickets through moving away, becoming ill, passing on, or just losing interest, the waiting list from others wanting to upgrade to those centre block top tier seats is huge.  You just can’t get them because of the demand.

So what on earth is the point of Arsenal cutting the price of them?  The waiting list will be just as long, because the tickets are so rarely given up.  Indeed if these tickets were allowed to float on open market prices, they would probably be twice as expensive.

The view is perfect, the team is good, and the facilities offered are way above those of other clubs.  Plus the tickets include half a dozen cup games that are not included in other clubs’ ticket prices (and these don’t include League Cup matches where the cost is just £20 a game).  If we count the cost per game, taking into account the number of cup games included (and remembering for Arsenal this normally means 4 Champions League matches and two FA Cup games) the cost per match is

  • Arsenal £80.72 per game
  • Tottenham £90.24 per game (includes two Cup games a season – I think including League Cup, or Europa cup or Champs League… whatever turns up).

Malcolm Clarke, the chairman of the FSF, said, “We will remain vigilant and continue our campaigning to make football affordable for this generation of supporters and the next.”

And we shall be vigilant in taking apart his figures.

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Video referee trials have begun in the PL, and England’s disgraceful links with Qatar revealed for what they are

Ref Review: Arsenal – Tottenham: 25 fouls and one yellow card

Alexis played for 84 minutes for Chile last night while Man U face their own problems

Alexis will start, injured or not; when will the madness stop?

When Arsenal built the Ems they stayed in the top 4 to pay off the debt. How will Tottenham do?

Ten transfer stories that are making the news as the new window approaches

It’s not just the transfers that transform a team, it’s the tactics too.

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #10 complete with video evidence

Why Linekar and Collymore should be applauded for their stands against the media

Arsenal Ladies – Reflections on the season

10 comments to It’s November so it must be injury crisis time (and ticket price analysis time)

  • Norman14

    Desperate to heap “misery” on Arsenal fans, Sky has done a special report on the fact that Alexis and Alex traveled 20,000 miles to fulfill their international commitments, which means Arsenal’s players traveled further than internationals from any other club.

    zzzzzzzzz

    Sky included the fact that we have an early kick off on Saturday, and that adds further airmiles because the players have to get from London to Manchester!

    No shit, Sherlock!

  • Pete

    I can’t believe that the BBC fail to allow for the cup ties year after year. It is absolutely pathetic – apples versus oranges etc.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    But Alex Iwobi last played for the Super Eagles of Nigeria last Sunday if he’s the one Norman 14 is referring to. He should have been back to London Colney on Tuesday when Alexis was helping his country- Chile to beat Uruguay.

    Amid fears and serious concern by Le Prof for Arsenal and Alexis’ health who had injured his thigh in training and missed Chile’s WC qualifying game against Colombia, Alexis was quoted to have said after that by the media saying, he’ll be fit and play for Chile his country against Uruguay in Santiago days after missing playing against Colombia. And he did play in that match with remarkable success.

    Now, Alexis has repeated a like saying as the media quoted him to have said, he’s fit to play for Arsenal after just playing for his country on Tuesday. And he’s flying back to London yesterday Wednesday as the journalists are seeing him doing that at the airport and interviewing him. And he’ll attend training session at London Colney tomorrow Friday, then leave for Manchester later the same day to play against Man Utd on Saturday.

    Of course Le Prof has to assess his physical state of readiness to play for Arsenal after just returned from playing a tough WC qualifying game for his country. But in as much as the Arsenal medical staff could adjudged Alexis to be game fatigued and advice Le Prof not to start him in the Man U game. Yet, I want Le Prof to start him. Because just when fans are thinking Alexis is suffering from fatigue or shouldn’t be allowed to play through minor injury and pain, it’s then Alexis will prove that he’s more than able to cope and he’ll score.

    We want to beat Man Utd on Saturday. Therefore, Alexis MUST be started in the game unfailingly by Le Prof IF he’s 75-80% fit to play. He’s very likely score a goal or a brace for Arsenal in that Man U big game. And he could also give one assist each to Ozil and Walcott to score for us too. So, overall, I am expecting a 3-0 or 4-0 away win for Arsenal over Man Utd on Saturday.

  • Leon

    I think United are in a far worse position than us re injuries, so even with a possible three key players missing we should still be strong enough man for man to beat them comfortably.

  • Norman14

    Samuel:

    Yes, it was Iwobi.

    It doesn’t matter where Alexis was, it has no bearing on his fitness. He probably overcomes jetlag by running up and down the aisle for 7,000 miles anyway 😉

    If the news from OT is to be believed, it looks as if they’ll have a makeshift back 4. Something our pace should be able to exploit.

  • Robert

    Quotes from Wenger on Arsenal.com:

    on Hector Bellerin…
    Hector is out for four weeks. He got injured in the last 10 seconds against Spurs after a very strong tackle by Danny Rose.

    on Santi Cazorla…
    Cazorla is still out. I don’t know exactly how long for. He’s still not even out in training yet.

    Not ideal, but an opportunity for Jenkinson and Ramsey/Xhaka to shine.

  • Gord

    And some “Arsenal” website is running an article that all Arsenal fans are upset that Jenkinson has a chance to play.

    Or, that is what I gleam from the snippet at Google News.

    Wonderful support, that.

  • Notoverthehill

    Tony, the BBC claim the first 7 (seven) cup games for the Arsenal season ticket holder?

    The prawn sandwich seats represent 10$ of the capacity and 40$ of the ticket revenue. This applies to both Arsenal and Manchester United, sources the Bond and the Form 20-F for the Man United.

    The Arsenal and Everton, outsource their catering, Manchester United is inhouse! The latter, with a bigger stadium employ over 2,000 matchday temps.

  • Notoverthehill

    Sorry, wrong key 10% seats and 40% ticket revenue!

  • Gord

    OT: Poppy Game

    Apparently FIFA is proceeding with disciplinary action against England and Scotland. Bunch of dorks.

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