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The Untold Injury Index after Gameweek 8

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 8

By Dale Higginbottom

In the last injury round-up we were hopeful of an improvement on the injury status of our beloved club. There was the glimmer of a belief that for the first time in a while we might come out of an international break with fewer injuries than we went into it.

The international break is always a nervous time for club football fans. The worries about players coming back with long-term injuries are obviously a concern but there is also the issue of momentum. Jumping straight back into winning ways could be difficult, especially if a key creative player is lost to injury whilst with his country.

Arsenal Vs Birmingham

Arsenal (8 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (2)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (5), Sagna (1), Koscielny (1)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (7), Ramsey (8), Fabregas (4)
  • Attack – van Persie (5)

Additional issues: Gibbs and Walcott were unused subs after recovering from their injuries. Bendtner came on as a 79th minute sub after his long spell out.

Man Utd Vs West Brom

Man Utd (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence, attack – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (8), Valencia (4), Park Ji-Sung (1)

Additional issues: Giggs was doubtful before the game but started. He was also forced off after 42 minutes with an injury.

Aston Villa Vs Chelsea

Chelsea (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (1)
  • Midfield – Lampard (5), Benayoun (3)
  • Attack – Kalou (3), Drogba (1)

Additional issues: Bosingwa has been out for a long spell but was fit enough to make the bench for the first time and play the last 15 minutes. Terry was a doubt before the game but played the full 90 minutes and Bruma picked up a knock but was available and was an unused substitute.

Fulham Vs Tottenham

Tottenham (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Dawson (5), Kaboul (3)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (8)
  • Attack – Defoe (6)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. King was a doubt before the game and played 44 minutes before being forced off with a recurrence. Gallas played the full 90 minutes despite being a doubt before the game. Lennon was also a doubt but made the bench and played the second half.

Everton Vs Liverpool

Liverpool (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield– No injuries reported
  • Defence – Agger (2)
  • Attack – Kuyt (3)

Additional issues: Torres and Konchesky were both doubts before the game but played the full 90 minutes. Aurelio was an unused substitute having been out for a while with an injury.

Blackpool Vs Man City

Man City (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Kolarov (7)
  • Midfield – Y Toure (1),
  • Attack – Balotelli (7), Tchuimeni-Nimely (5)

Additional issues: Richards was a doubt for the game but came on as a 76th minute sub. Wright-Phillips was an unused substitute and Bridge played the full 90 minutes after being sidelined for a number weeks.

This week’s injury figures show that numbers have reduced for all teams listed (apart from Chelsea) when compared to the week before the international break. That is definitely a surprise and what’s more of a surprise is the zero, yes ZERO injuries inflicted on Arsenal players whilst they joined their respective national teams.

With a number of players on the brink of a return that was great news as it definitely eases the pressure for their quick return. A win against Birmingham also helped this a great deal, meaning no players had to be risked to seal a result.

Chelsea may have shown us this week that squad depth could be an issue for them. They missed their main striker, one of the first choice centre backs and their main goal-scoring midfielder this week and their performance against Villa was mixed. We’ve had this problem for the last three games and it has obviously shown in the performances and results that if the spine of the team is completely removed it is hard to get the results.

Considering that they have only three players unavailable Man Utd really should have beaten West Brom at home. Whilst Arsenal lost at home to West Brom I think that had Man Utd had the same injury worries that we’ve had, they would surely have done the same. The issues surrounding Rooney are not helping and it doesn’t appear that anyone is stepping up to fill his place.

Liverpool FC is no longer a club fighting for the title. The injuries are again not a concern for them however one or two injuries hits them harder than any other club on this list as they are severely lacking squad depth.

Man City and Tottenham both have four reported injuries each. They each had good away victories, if a little laboured, and are able to focus on the European games coming up. I think that if we get down to those levels of injuries we’ll surely be finishing teams off better than they seem to be. If is however a massive word when talking about Arsenal injuries.

As we are just out of an international break I thought it would be interesting to put together a list of players unavailable for selection as a direct result of playing for their national teams and how many games they have missed to date.

Arsenal (Total 17)

Vermaelen (5), Fabregas (1), Walcott (4), Bendtner (7)

Chelsea (Total 0)

Liverpool (Total 4)

Agger (1), Kuyt (3)

Man City (Total 5)

Boateng (5)

Man Utd (Total 10)

Ferdinand (5), Anderson (4), Park Ji-Sung (1)

Tottenham (Total 10)

Dawson (5), Defoe (5)

I think it shows that the two teams hit worst with injuries so far this season, Arsenal and Tottenham, have been hit worst by international games as well. Man Utd have probably been quite unlucky, given that a high proportion of their relatively few injuries have come from international games. I’ll keep a track of these figures and do a round-up after each international break.

One final thought, take a look at this:

Almunia

Sagna Vermaelen Koscielny Gibbs

Frimpong

Fabregas Ramsey

Walcott van Persie Bendtner

That’s quite an impressive team. Well that’s a team of players unavailable or returning this week as a result of injuries. That team would have no problems against most Premier League opposition and how exciting is it that we still have all these players nearing a return to action or full fitness.

——–

And just for a moment’s relaxation…

Rooney – no more scrapings from the Great Potato

————————

Arsenal v Birmingham.  It’s time to fall over a bit

The referee’s report on the game

Arsenal 13 Birmingham 6, Time Wasting 25

Arsenal v Birmingham: the thoughts, worries, news, teams, result

2 comments to The Untold Injury Index after Gameweek 8

  • mick

    This index is very interesting but does anyone have any definitive information as to the causes of this perpetual injury problem which has afflicted Arsenal for several seasons now. Various theories/reasons have been put forward by supporters and the media critics ranging from the type of football played (which invites rough challenges), to inadequate or inept physio/training staff. These are only guesses of course so my question is has anyone in authority at the club come up with an ‘official’ explanation as to the cause. Surely it cannot be a question of bad luck can it, in which case we are due a hell of a long run without any injuries!

  • walter

    Another great research Dale and I must say that team at the end of your article is a team that I would want to put out on the field against the strongest team in the EPL at anytime. If all are fully fit off course.

    Mouth watering that most of them are getting near a return and will add enormous to the squad.