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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 12

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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 12

By Dale Higginbottom

What’s this, two injury articles in a week? Well yes, given the midweek league games I thought another brief round-up was in order. We’re now into Gameweek 12 and here’s how the injury figures stack up for the mid-week games.

Wolves Vs Arsenal

Arsenal (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (6)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (9), Gibbs (5)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (11), Ramsey (12), Diaby (5),
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Denilson and Nasri had knocks but made the bench and made second half appearances. Van Persie was an unused substitute, still recovering from his injury.

Tottenham Vs Sunderland

Tottenham (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Dawson (9), King (6)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (12), Lennon (2)
  • Attack – Defoe (10), Keane (2)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Gallas and Van der Vaart were slight doubts before the game but played 90 minutes. Corluka was reported to have slight knock and was an unused substitute.

Man City Vs Man Utd

Man City (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – M. Johnson (12)
  • Attack – Tchuimeni-Nimely (9)

Additional issues: Adebayor was reported as doubtful but was fit enough to make the bench and be a late substitute.

Man Utd (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Valencia (8), Giggs (5), Anderson (6), Hargreaves (11)
  • Attack – Rooney (6), Owen (4)

Additional issues: Berbatov, Scholes, Nani and Carrick were all reported as doubts but played most, if not all of the game. Gibson also was an unused substitute after recovering from a virus. Rafael and Evra were both forced off during the second half due to injuries.

Wigan Vs Liverpool

Liverpool (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Jones (1)
  • Defence – Agger (6), Aurelio (6), Johnson (3), Kyrgiakos (1)
  • Midfield – Cole (2)
  • Attack – Babel (3)

Additional issues: Meireles was reported as sick and was only able to play the first half.

Chelsea Vs Fulham

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (3)
  • Midfield – Lampard (9), Benayoun (7)
  • Attack – Anelka (1)

Additional issues: Essien returned to action and was fit enough to play the whole game (well, until his sending off).

The injury table looks to be getting tighter with Liverpool taking a shock lead. Arsenal sit up near the top in joint 2nd with United and Spurs so we’re still not out of the woods yet. The news of Vermaelen was difficult to take this week and he’ll be missed if we can’t dominate games a bit more to take the pressure off the defence a little.

The Wolves game was a great result hopefully set us off on a run. The missing players do not appear to be a concern at present but we just need a bit of consistency.  A few players have been returning here and there so it’s a balancing act of fitting them in without too much disruption. It’s a nice position to be in for a change, rather than worrying that we’ll have to play some players out of position or put pressure on an untried reserve to step up.

Spurs fans are getting restless at their league form. Injuries in defensive positions are giving them a few headaches. Since Gameweek 3 they have had at least 2 defensive players out each week through injury.

They don’t have too much trouble scoring goals despite injuries to Defoe, Modric, Van der Vaart and Lennon this season. Their problems do however seem to be at the other end of the pitch. Two clean sheets in all competitions this season. Both at home, both in August, one against Young Boys at home (does that really count?), and one against Man City on day one of the league season.

Talking of City, the Manchester derby was pretty uneventful but considering the injury situations of both clubs I was expecting a much more one-sided affair in favour of the team in blue. Just two reported injuries for City compared to United’s 6 and a number of players just recovering from a virus. This says a lot about City’s ability to dominate games. They maybe missed a few attacking options but, with all that money available, they really shouldn’t be fielding such a defensive line-up.

What did I say last time out about Chelsea? Well I forget exactly but it was something about Essien. Well, they had him back for the game against Fulham and he only goes and scores the winner. He’s an extremely important player for them so it’ll be interesting to see how they cope without him for three games. Considering the injuries they already have in midfield they can’t afford any more in that area before he returns from suspension.

Earlier in the season I was seriously wondering whether Liverpool should be included in this report as they looked more likely to be fighting a relegation battle than putting up a title challenge. Things do seem to have changed a bit in recent weeks and they are back up the table challenging however, this week saw them hit 7 injuries, their highest level this season (lucky for some) and as a result couldn’t hold on to their lead. Four injuries to key defenders did not help so they’ll be hoping for quick recoveries ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke.

After a defeat (or two) and after confidence has been hit a team often requires a stroke of luck or an inspired performance from one player for them to regain that winning spark or mentality. We saw that on Wednesday with Fabianski and Chamakh. Two inspired performances from players who, to put it kindly, didn’t put in their best performance against Newcastle. It’s these sorts of games where need need to grind out the results and the confidence will come flooding back.

Everton away should hopefully see us build on those performances and put us back on track ready for our next home game against the Tiny Totts on Saturday 20th.

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9 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 12

  • Scotty RSA

    We need to win on Sunday as I see Chelsea dropping points this wkn against Sunderland if not loosing. With the injuries, Drogba’s malaria and Essien’s red card i dont think they have a strong enough bench to beat them. Maybe its just wishful thinking, but either way we have to win!

  • Phil

    Cheers Dale. It did look like United wouldn’t be able to put a team out, but much of it was Fergie working his magic with the journos. I’d imagine it’s similar for Almunia, we don’t declare him fit just yet so there isn’t a furore over whether he’s no1 or no2 in the run up to the transfer window.

  • Paul C.

    Dale – should we remove Frimpong from the list? In some ways that is a bit of a red herring. Maybe Frimpong would have played this season, maybe not. Certainly he looked terrific pre-season, but did he really do enough to get into contention for playing time? I have no doubt he will be around for years to come but maybe we should exclude him from this list this season.

    Thoughts?

  • Waleed

    I believe Almunia isn’t actually injured. At least not anymore. I wouldn’t put Frimpong the fringe on there either. Not to take anything away from his brilliance. So four injuries at the moment. The key one is Vermaelen right now.

  • t00farg0ne

    I think, given his pre-season and the fact that no-one else has nailed down their claim for first choice reserve in holding midfield, his inclusion is relevant.

    Should Squillaci or Djourou pick up an injury between now and Sunday we’d certainly see Song dropping back into central defence. Leaving a gap in holding midfield that would more than likely have been filled by Frimpong. Yes, I know he’s not certain of playing time but Arsenal.com always have him listed in the injuries section, something they haven’t always done for players a little further from the first team such as Nordveit.

  • Paul C.

    Dale – I can see your argument, but Wilshire played virtually all the previous pre-season and looked amazing and then didnt play at all when the season started. Frimpong had only just secured himself a place in the squad, and he is just 18. He hasnt played a minute for us at the 1st team level. I imagine he would have been sent out on loan this season. I dont think he would have been 1st choice back-up this year at least.

  • Steve Palmer

    Dale, a question, injuries seem to be the bugbear of all clubs it must cost an absolute fortune every year, with ankle and foot trouble our achilles heel. I wonder what your thoughts are about the football shoe, it beggers belief how footballers pick their footwear by how pretty the colours are and possibly by the amount of money they are paid to wear them, surly builders on sites wear toetectors and Farmers wellys runners spikes, why dont the players wear ankle boots with some kind of reinforcements built into them for support, after all they wear shinpads and very rarly kick with there shins, i would have thought protective footwear would have been compulsory.

  • t00farg0ne

    @ Paul I think the thought with Wilshire was that there were more experienced and better suited alternatives in his position, Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Nasri, Ramsey etc. Song doesn’t really have an out and out replacement. Yeah, Diaby and Denilson can fill in but it’s always preferred to have like-for-like options.

    @ Steve, I think it’s simply a trade-off between performance and safety. In the same way a Formula 1 car is built for speed, it can have very little contact with other cars, where as in Stock Car racing, the cars are built with the knowledge that there will be a bumping and crashing.
    Football is a non-contact sport and thankfully major injuries due to reckless challenges are relatively few and can be dealt with by having larger squads. If that were to change then we may start seeing equipment changes but not until then.

  • Steve Palmer

    as i watch an awfull lot of football on the TV, i have deduced that the powers at be, work out at the start of the season the teams that they want up and the teams they want down, the fixtures are worked out to favour their choices, refs are penciled in for certain games, and when a team not in favour does not do what they had hoped they get certain knocks throughout the season, the amount of managers i have heard, that have had bad decisions in four or five games on the trot, and i have witnessed this by watching those particular games, also players that have been sent off for innocuous actions to have a two to three match ban, usualy a very influential player, even the television pundits and so called experts very seldom show the bits they dont want you to see, you may have noticed yourself that a certain tackle you thought was diabolical is not shown back in the slow mo they wait till the moment has died down a bit and may show it quickly, i know in my mind the teams that are favourd above others but everybody would say i am biased whats your veiw