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Untold Injury Index: who is still walking; who isn’t

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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 16

By Dale Higginbottom

Monday comes around again and so does another injury round up. With only four games played at the time of writing there might not be so much to report but shall we look at the numbers and see what we can say? Yes we shall…

Arsenal Vs Fulham

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (10)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (13)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (15), Diaby (9), Fabregas (5)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Koscielny was forced off after 33 minutes. Squillaci and Nasri recovered from knocks but played the full game.

Birmingham Vs Tottenham

Tottenham (9 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – King (10), Kaboul (4)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (16), Huddlestone (5), Jenas (2), Van der Vaart (2), Bentley (6)
  • Attack – dos Santos (5), Keane (5)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Dawson returned to the squad but was only an unused substitute.

Man City Vs Bolton

Man City (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Bridge (7)
  • Midfield – M. Johnson (16),
  • Attack – Tchuimeni-Nimely (13), Adebayor (4)

Additional issues: Yaya Toure was a doubt before the game but managed to play the full 90 minutes. Kolo Toure picked up an injury and was replaced after 31 minutes.

Chelsea Vs Everton

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (5)
  • Midfield – Lampard (13), Benayoun (11), Zhirkov (3)

Additional issues: Terry returned from injury and played 90 minutes.

Blackpool Vs Man Utd

This match was postponed and United were likely to have been without the following if the game had gone ahead.

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Smalling (2)
  • Midfield – Valencia (12), Hargreaves (15), Scholes (2)
  • Attack – Owen (8)

These numbers will not be used for an analysis, I’ve included them for anyone who might be interested.

Liverpool Vs Aston Villa

Liverpool play Aston Villa this evening and are expected to be without the following:

Liverpool (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No issues reported
  • Defence – Agger (10), Carragher (1)
  • Midfield – Gerrard (3), Spearing (3)

So, not a lot to report for the weekend, one team couldn’t play and one yet to play so it’ll be quite a short round-up this week. I’ve included a small bonus feature this week at the end of the article so that all your injury needs are satiated.

Spurs lead the way by a clear margin and also have a number of big players missing. Everyone else is on a par at around 4 or 5 injuries.

Another solid win for us but this time it was at home. Hopefully November just again proved to be a bit of an off month and we’re on-track for a good run of results. The injury to Koscielny is a concern but given that Song is fit we should be ok for cover, given that Squillaci and Djourou will be our chosen pairing.

Chelsea and Tottenham only managed draws this week. You can kind of excuse Tottenham for theirs when you see the injuries they have. Chelsea on the other hand really need to start winning or they’ll be soon fighting with City for fourth.

City held out for a win and kept another clean sheet. Their attack could do with a bit more imagination but their defence, as we’ll see shortly, is second to none.

United only have a few injuries on their books so will be a little disappointed that they’re game was called off. They could end up having the re-scheduled game in the middle of an injury crisis and could potentially drop points as a result. (We can hope can’t we?)

With United not playing, and their big players likely to be rested midweek, the line-up to face us next Monday could be relatively fresh. I’m hoping that, rather than be refreshed they’ll be a little rusty and we’ll pounce early and rightfully take the top spot on merit.

Bonus feature

There seems to be a focus on our defensive frailties in match reports and the general media. Untold has also been getting debating the point, but with statistics from Walter analysing our defensive line-ups and the goals conceded.

I therefore thought I would have a round up of injuries to goalkeepers and defenders for each team and see how that may have impacted on the number of goals conceded.

Firstly let’s looks at number of goals conceded. Figures for Gameweeks 1-16 (1-15 in the case of Man Utd and Liverpool)

Tottenham             21

Liverpool             19

Arsenal             18

Man Utd             16

Man City             12

Chelsea             11

As goals per game

Tottenham            1.31

Liverpool             1.27

Arsenal             1.16

Man Utd             1.07

Man City            0.75

Chelsea             0.69

Now how do the injuries look for the same period? The numbers shown are the total number of games missed by goalkeepers or defenders.

Tottenham             35

Arsenal             32

Man City             28

Liverpool             23

Chelsea             20

Man Utd             9

And so, defensive injuries per game

Tottenham             2.19

Arsenal             2

Man City             1.75

Liverpool             1.53

Chelsea             1.25

Man Utd             0.6

As you would expect, the Tiny Totts, who have the most defensive injuries, concede the most goals. Man Utd have so far been very lucky on the defensive injury front with less than one defensive injury per game.

We’re performing quite well considering the two players missing per game. We’re quite similar to United in terms of goals per games however, United have only had nine injuries! If you’re looking at under-performing defences, United’s has to take the prize.

By contrast City are the best performers so far. They’ve conceded just one more goal than Chelsea yet they have had 8 more injuries. It does suggest that they have much better cover in that area and they are generally set up to defend well as a team. Whether that in itself is hindering attacking ability is uncertain but I would think the things are linked.

Liverpool are under-performing a little. They’ve only three more injuries than Chelsea but concede nearly twice as many goals. This highlights their lack of squad depth and could be a big influencing factor on performances and ultimately their current league position.

All-in-all it seems pretty good for us. I don’t think our defence are really letting themselves down with bad performances and fringe players are playing well when it is asked of them. I would hope that things can continue particularly as we found out today that we will be without Thomas Vermaelen for at least the busy Christmas period.

——

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7 comments to Untold Injury Index: who is still walking; who isn’t

  • nikkogunners

    I have known Wenger as a maker of decisions that need be made when the time demands it. He is one of the coaches that has taken the decision to give player new roles that they previously had not played from and they have gone on to perform in those roles. Kolo Toure was striking for Asec when he was brought in, Henry was a winger, Viera was a full back, and the list is long. I suspect this is the moment such a huge decision needs to be made. With the leaky defense and the missing general in Vermarleen and now Kosciely, and a tough December looming where we play 3 of the four top teams in the league with ourselves being the fourth, Wenger may need to think fast.
    Song’s performances in the Central Midfield have been wanting lately and he may need a long rest to refocus. He is one reason the defense is leaky. I think reorganization of the left back give us the solution we need. I have in mind Gibbs coming in for Clichy in the left back position and Clichy moving in DM position. Clichy has some Vieralistic characteristics of fighting without giving up, can win headers one in a while and can create chances. He can cover the final four. He can shoot for goals once in a while and make great passes and still rush back when we are under pressure.
    My Favourite line up for the next a month…

                                 Fabianski
    Gibbs,     Djoureu,      Scilachi,       Sagna
                              Clichy
        Walcott (free-role)   Nasri (free -role)
    Arshavin                                              Van Persie
                              Chamakh
     
    Enough goal getters in the field, Walcott and Nasri can use the opportunity to rain havoc on opposition and fast breaks will use. Walcott will begin getting some central induction and if asked to defend as a team and attack as a team we have possibilities like never before. Creative substitutions can help unsure we can change system when needed.  Chamakh and Van Persie can try hitting it off.
     

  • Paul C.

    Dale – excellent except one point – the assertion that Liverpool are under-performing. I actually dont think that they are under-performing at all. They just are not that good. When you look at the team that finished 2nd two seasons ago, Alonso and Maschereno are gone and have never been replaced. That is huge. Gerrard is into his 30’s and is no longer a one-man tornado. That is their midfield. Two seasons ago they had one of the best midfields in the country. Now they dont. I think their results reflect that. I just dont see that their current talent suggests anything other than a mid-table finish unless Torres goes on a remarkable spree and Gerrard rediscovers some old magic.

  • Phil

    Some really interesting stuff at the end there. If you were to develop it, perhaps calculate something that adjusts the number of games missed by the players’ ranking in the team and comparing that to defensive record. Not sure how you’d do that mind, but the analysis part at the end of the post was certainly interesting reading.

  • Dan

    Paul C – I do think that Liverpool still have the quality in their midfield and throughout the team to challenge for the 4th spot or higher. I think that their problems this season are primarily confidence based. This is highlighted by their Home record in comparison to their away record. Home = W-5 D-2 L-1 Only Man U & Chelsea have better home records. Their away record is the complete opposite = W-1 D-2 L-5 only West Ham & Wolves are worse on the road. So with the confidence high infront of home fans they are doing remarkably well and if they can come anywhere near to emulating that form on the road then they will definitely be challenging for 4th or higher. Of course I hope they don’t. I always find it amusing watching big teams flounder.

  • Dale

    @Paul C
    I agree, Liverpool are weaker than two seasons ago but like Dan said, they do still have the quality to fight for a top 4 place.

    Also, just a quick note, the 4 injuries for Liverpool were correct after last night’s game. Torres did not play as his wife went into labour.

    And final point that i forgot to put into my article, did anyone else notice that the Tiny Totts had 2 Goalkeepers on the bench on Saturday? Yes, they have injuries but does this show that they have no youth/reserve players worth putting on the bench? Possible impact of withdrawing from the reserve league?

  • RedGooner

    See Konchelsky is out till the new year that’s dissapointing.
    I think we will miss his pace in defence against the likes of UTD.

  • just hour ago premierleague.com published news which say that Koscielny joined to Vermaelen, and he is “another” trouble for Arsene defense, as he wont be back until January and for sure will miss clashes with KGB Fulham and Manure. Suddenly news despaired from site and all you get trying to find it is “Coming Soon…
    This new section will appear shortly. Please check back later.”

    Well if you want truth check Arsenal.com, and for this all I have to say is …
    Long live objective and reliable British media.