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How our injury levels compare with our rivals. The Untold Injury Index Week 5

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 5

By Dale Higginbottom

Do Arsenal get more injuries then their Premier League rivals? That’s what this series of articles will try to answer and put the difficult run of injuries into some perspective.

As the match intensity increases to include cup competitions we should expect the league campaigns to be hit harder by injury worries. This week saw Arsenal’s first European game of the season and from here on in we should see the numbers increase (though hopefully not) and squad depth will be scrutinised more intensely.

As I have outlined previously, only players declared unfit and failing to make the squad for the game will be included in this list. This means that only players totally unavailable for selection through injury are listed. Additional (minor) issues are also recorded below the figures for each team.

To add a bit more depth to the piece I’ve also decided to highlight the total number of league games missed to date by the current crop of injured players. This number appears in parentheses (or brackets if you’d prefer) after the player’s name. Whilst it won’t mean much for the week-on-week analysis I just thought people might find it a nice little addition for quick reference.

Sunderland Vs Arsenal

Arsenal (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Vermaelen (2)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (4), Ramsey (5), Diaby (1)
  • Attack – Bendtner (5), RvP (2), Walcott (2)

Additional issues:  Injury to Fabregas during the first half meant that he was only able to play 29 minutes.

Tottenham Vs Wolves

Tottenham (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Gomes (3)
  • Defence – Dawson (2)
  • Midfield – Bentley (5), O’Hara (5), Modric (3)
  • Attack – Defoe (3)

Additional issues: Woodgate is out. He’s not part of the 25-man squad so is not included in the list. Van der Vaart picked up a knock in midweek but was fit to start. Kaboul picked up an injury and went off just before half-time.

Chelsea Vs Blackpool

Chelsea (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Bosingwa (5), Terry (1)
  • Midfield – Lampard (2)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported

Man Utd Vs Liverpool

Man Utd (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Ferdinand (5)
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (5), Carrick (2), Valencia (1)

Additional issues: Anderson came on as a second half substitute after a long spell out so may not be fully fit.

Liverpool (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield- No injuries reported
  • Defence – Aurelio (2)
  • Attack – Kuyt (2)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported

Wigan Vs Man City

Man City (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Boateng (5), Bridge (4), Kolarov (4), Lescott (1)
  • Attack – Balotelli (4), Tchuimeni-Nimely (2), Adebayor (1)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported

Tony’s match report yesterday said it was a great result for Arsenal Reserves and he has a point. Arsenal lead the way in the injury league table this week and depending on your view point of who should start when fit, there were between three and five first team starters unavailable for selection. The injuries did have an impact but it was a game that was probably decided by other influences. It remains to be seen how the high level of injuries will impact the whole season but thus far the squad depth is looking good and coping well enough.

Tottenham won but really struggled most of the game. They have a large number of players unavailable and seem to be finding things difficult with the intensity of games from the Champions League. I wonder if this will influence Harry Redknapp’s squad selection in the Carling Cup game.

Man Utd Vs Liverpool probably played out as expected. It was always going to be a tight game and both teams were relatively unaffected by injuries so the result doesn’t seem to be too much influenced by squad selection issues. Man Utd will miss Valencia over the coming weeks and months but with Anderson returning that impact may be minimal. The interesting point so far with Man Utd is that they have dropped points in both away games. Rooney missed both games which leads me to believe that they will still struggle to win games if he was to suffer a big injury.

Chelsea have been having an easy run of it thus far. They’ve not suffered any major injuries and have been able to rest players, which has probably reduced the impact of injuries on their squad in terms of quantity and intensity. They play Newcastle in the Carling Cup and their first big game of the season is against Man City on Saturday. They may have a few more injury issues by the time we face them on October 3rd.

Man City’s left-back issues don’t want to go away with Lescott now joining the injury list, it’s a bit like Arsenal in ‘05/’06. I wonder if they are close to seven different left-backs yet. Whilst they have the same quantity of injuries as Arsenal they didn’t seem to be missing them on Sunday and that’s probably because the players missing are not necessarily starters, except for maybe one or two.

In all, the draw at Sunderland was a good result considering injuries. Last season we played Sunderland away in November and I think we were without Fabianski, Clichy, Gibbs, RvP, Bendtner, Diaby and Arshavin only played the last thirty minutes. So, pretty similar on the injury front but an extra point in the bag and it was a more promising performance than last season.

Attention for this week now turns to the little cup. Both Spurs and Arsenal have their injury worries but given that we will be putting out our reserves our injuries probably make little difference to squad selection. Spurs may put out a strong team but it’s a big risk that could backfire considering the number of players they already have missing.

11 comments to How our injury levels compare with our rivals. The Untold Injury Index Week 5

  • Phil

    Good write up as always Dale. Im curious to see what team Spurs put out. They cant afford not to rotate, but Arry will be a sucker for the chance of getting “one over” us (if a result in the carling cup can be called that!)

  • A Casual Observer

    Nice research – well formatted, great stuff!

  • Anders

    Why is Frimpong included and not Lansbury? I thought they had preatty much the same status so if one’s included the other should as well, or? Or is he not injured any longer?

  • walter

    When I see this injury list and if I would be Wenger I would take no chances and send out the U16 to the game. 😉
    We are agains losing players like we did in April last season so really take no risk with this game. Let the kids do what they can. The most important thing is to have a big squad for the next 14 days as they will be big.

  • Shuaibu

    You have said it all, i think is important we have a massive sqd for the next 14 days

  • Ole Gunner

    What’s this new thing of keeping an injury table which we ably compete to win?

  • Dark Prince

    The biggest problem of our injury list is that we have our 3 best players out injured i.e Van persie, Walcott and Cesc. Just imagine how United would be without Scholes, Rooney and Nani. Or How Chelsea would be without Drogba, Malouda and Lampard. Thats the case with Arsenal. We have our best performing players injured and hence our injury list looks far more worse than the numeric value.

  • walter

    Dark Prince,
    And if you add Vermaelen to this list, who was a sure starter for 99,9 of the fans at the start of the season this means we again are without our spine for the moment.
    Vermaelen-Cesc-RVP is (or should be) the middle of our team. Those are the players who lead their line.
    But I admit that Koscielny and Squillaci are doing an excellent job in defence so far. But still.

    And with Theo Walcott we lost a player who was on fire and who looked to have made the step from being a promise to delevering the goods.

  • TommieGun

    Thanks Dale.

    I think it’s just unbelievable, our luck with injuries. And it’s always the top players, too! I think that injury to Cesc proves that someone, somewhere, had put a bad jinx on us.

    Anyone knows a good shaman?

  • Ole Gunner

    Since when has Walcott been one of our best players?

  • walter

    Since the start of this season.