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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 11

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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 11

By Dale Higginbottom

Back-to-back defeats are difficult to take as fans of a title challenging team. You always hope that you can recover quickly after the disappointment of a tough away defeat in the Champions League but it sometimes is not that easy. It is helped when it is followed by a home game in the league and when there are few injuries to the squad so that the manager has options to rest players but when luck is not on your side, it’s just not on your side.

Gameweek 11 in the Premier League saw a number of surprises and the following injury lists.

Arsenal Vs Newcastle

Arsenal (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (5)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (8), Gibbs (4)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (10), Ramsey (11), Diaby (4), Denilson (3)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Arshavin and van Persie were not fit to start but came on as second half substitutes. Fabregas and Song were doubtful before the game but started and played 90 minutes. Nasri picked up a knock and couldn’t continue beyond 56 minutes.

Man Utd Vs Wolves

Man Utd (8 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Valencia (7), Giggs (4), Nani (1), Anderson (5), Gibson (1)
  • Attack – Rooney (5), Owen (3), Berbatov (1)

Additional issues: Hargreaves returned and started this week but only managed 6 minutes before being replaced. Evans, Macheda and Fletcher were all doubts before the game but Fletcher started and played 90 minutes, Macheda was a 74th minute substitute and Evans was an unused substitute.

Bolton Vs Tottenham

Tottenham (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Dawson (8), King (5)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (11), Lennon (1), Van der Vaart (1)
  • Attack – Defoe (9)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Corluka and Huddlestone came back from injuries to start on the bench, the latter making a 62nd minute appearance.

West Brom Vs Man City

Man City (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – M. Johnson (11)
  • Attack – Tchuimeni-Nimely (8)

Additional issues: Tevez returned after his brief injury and played the full 90 minutes.

Liverpool Vs Chelsea

Liverpool (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Agger (5), Aurleio (5)
  • Midfield – Cole (1)
  • Attack – Babel (2)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Chelsea (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence, attack – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Lampard (8), Benayoun (6), Essien (1)

Additional issues: Bosingwa was a doubt before the game but was a 70th minute substitute. Malouda was also a doubt but played the full 90 minutes. Drogba could only be a second half substitute as he was not 100% after picking up a virus.

The week’s results showed that this season might actually be a closer affair than we are usually used to. I know this is said every season but by this point there is usually one or two teams that are breaking away or not showing as many weak points when compared to the others. This season however no one team has really stood out as being the team to beat. Each of the big teams has lost games that on paper they should’ve won and this is something to be optimistic about when your team fails to win a game.

At the end of the last injury article I had hoped that for once November might be a good month for Arsenal but so far it’s not really turned out to be the case.

We’re no longer top of the injury table, which is at least one positive point, but seven injuries is still a high number and when you add that to the additional issues it does make for difficult reading. A number of players with niggles this week didn’t help matters but none-the-less the squad that was out was strong enough that you couldn’t really put the result down to injuries.

Man Utd needed a late winner from Park Ji Sung to claim all three points. This week they top the injury table after a virus has hit their playing squad hard. In addition to the players ruled out, a number of players were reported to be playing whilst still recovering from the virus. To get three points in those circumstances is a good effort but they may have injury concerns going into the next game.

By contrast Man City’s injury concerns are practically non-existent. With just two players unavailable and these players are unlikely to be first choice players when they return. A solid victory away to West Brom is a good return to form for them ahead of what looks set to be an intriguing Manchester derby on Wednesday.

Tottenham look to be showing everyone just how difficult it can be to perform in two big competitions. They have consistently been up near the top of the injury league table which hasn’t helped but whilst they top their group in the Champions League their Premier League form is sometimes taking a hit. They are now level on points with Liverpool which says a lot considering the start that they have had this season.

The Liverpool team that, despite relatively few injuries to their squad, have been losing and drawing games that they really shouldn’t, this week showed that on their day they can win games. It was helped by Chelsea’s poor performance and the fact that they missed key players in Essien and Lampard and had an ill Drogba, who could only play 45 minutes. I think this really shows how weak Chelsea’s squad is when your get beyond the first 15 or so players. I think it also shows how important Essien is to them as he was also not in the team that lost to Newcastle in the Carling Cup.

This week’s defeat to Newcastle is nothing to be too disheartened about. We’re still in the top 4, just five points from top and we’re still getting players back from long-term injuries. If we can come back with wins away at Wolves and then Everton the confidence will be back and spirits will again be high for the next home game. Titles are won, not on individual results but on putting together runs of results. A defeat here and there can help players to re-focus and avoid complacency. Let’s hope Wednesday can be the start of an unbeaten run that takes us through November and up to the Christmas period.

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4 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 11

  • Dave

    Good to see someone staying up beat!
    Get a bit sick of all these jerks that never say a word when the team is on a roll then the first hiccup and the knives are out for Wenger and his new signings!
    Kozzer is class, hopefully the ban is overturned. But he really is an amazing defender! And Fabianski i hope he stays calm after that error!

  • Micheal

    Dave, you are absolutely right… These weak-minded people are very good at kicking Arsenal team when they are down… Worse, they called themselves as Arsenal supporters…

  • t00farg0ne

    You have to be upbeat, there’s still a long way to go. For me anyway, there’s a lot of belief that things will be good in the end. It seems that everything is there this season. We don’t NEED Fabregas or van Persie like we needed them the past two or three seasons. The squad depth that has been missing is now here and we can deal with injuries. Yes, we will have the odd hiccup but Arsene is doing everything to minimise the frequency of these by building a strong squad that can inter-change easily.

    Look at the carling cup squads this season. A lot more experience and quality in there is simply down to the fact that the overall squad is stronger and a couple of years older. It’s been a bit of a waiting game but it does seem to be almost there.

  • Evil

    @t00farg0ne
    I agree with you. I believe if we had played a fit player on Sunday (Rosicky, maybe?) instead of an out of form Cesc, we would’ve benefited from it massively.