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July 2021

Untold Injury Index – The Festive Review (Gameweeks 19, 20 & 21)

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Untold Injury Index – The Festive Review (Gameweeks 19, 20 & 21)

By Dale Higginbottom

Rather than bombarding you with an injury update every two or three days I’ve waited until the New Year’s Day games were out of the way before having a round-up

The bad weather prior to the Christmas period has given every club (with the exception of City) chance to get players rested or back to fitness. This gives us some reduced numbers for this period which has greatly aided squad rotation and therefore reduced the risks of picking up further injuries over the festive season.

So, into the numbers and a little bit of a structure change for this article, we’re going team by team.


Vs Chelsea (H)

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Arsenal (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (12)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (13), Gibbs (7)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (17)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Diaby returned to the squad, coming on as a 73rd minute substitute.

Vs Wigan (A)

Arsenal (4 injuries)

Same as against Chelsea

Additional issues: Diaby picked up an injury and was substituted in the 27th minute.

Vs Birmingham (A)

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (14)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (15), Gibbs (9)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (19), Diaby (11)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.


Vs Arsenal (A)

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (7)
  • Midfield – Benayoun (13), Zhirkov (5)
  • Attack – Anelka (2)

Additional issues: Bosingwa returned from injury, coming on as substitute in the 61st minute.

Vs Bolton (H)

Chelsea (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (8)
  • Midfield – Benayoun (14), Zhirkov (6), Mikel (1)
  • Attack – Sturridge (1)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Vs Aston Villa (H)

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (9)
  • Midfield – Benayoun (15), Zhirkov (7), Mikel (2)

Additional issues: Sturridge was a doubt before the game but he was fit enough to make the squad and came on as a late substitute.

Manchester U.

Vs Sunderland (H)

Man Utd (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – O’Shea (1)
  • Midfield – Valencia (13), Hargreaves (16), Scholes (3)

Additional issues: Owen was declared fit but did not make the squad.

Vs Birmingham (A)

Man Utd (5 injuries)

Same as against Sunderland plus

  • Midfield – Nani (3)

Additional issues: Fletcher was a doubt but was a second half substitute.

Vs West Brom (A)

Man Utd (5 injuries)

Same as against Birmingham

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Manchester City

Vs Newcastle (A)

Man City (1 injury)

  • Goalkeeper, defence, attack – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – M. Johnson (19)

Additional issues: Zabaleta was reported as a doubt and was just an unused substitute.

Vs Aston Villa (H)

Man City (1 injury)

Same as against Newcastle

Additional issues: Tevez only made the bench after picking up a knock.

Vs Blackpool (H)

Man City (2 injuries)

Same as against Newcastle and Aston Villa plus

  • Attack – Balotelli (8)

Additional issues: Silva and Kolarov were both replaced in the second half after picking up knocks.

Tottenham H.

Vs Aston Villa (A)

Tottenham (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – King (12), Gallas (5)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (18), Huddlestone (7)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Jenas was doubtful but was included in the squad and was a late substitute.

Vs Newcastle (H)

Tottenham (4 injuries)

Same as against Aston Villa

Additional issues: Modric was a doubt but started and played the full game.

Vs Fulham (H)

Tottenham (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Cudicini (1)
  • Defence – King (14)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (20), Huddlestone (9)
  • Attack – Keane (6)

Additional issues: Hutton picked up an injury in the first half and was replaced. Gallas returned from injury, playing the full 90 minutes.


Vs Blackpool (A)

The match was postponed, Liverpool were only expected to be without Carragher and Spearing for the game.

Vs Wolves (H)

Liverpool (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No issues reported
  • Defence – Carragher (3)
  • Midfield – Spearing (5)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Vs Bolton (H)

Liverpool (2 injuries)

Same as against Wolves

Additional issues: Gerrard and Cole were only fit enough to start from the bench, both making appearances in the game. Meireles was injured early in the game, replaced by Gerrard in the 21st minute.


So over the festive period City and Tottenham were the best performers with three wins out of three. Liverpool got two wins from their two games and us and Man Utd each picked up seven points. Chelsea’s squad continues to show that it’s threadbare with holes and gaps all over the place. Four points from a possible nine and when their bench was announced against us we could definitely see how the mighty have fallen.

In terms of injuries it’s pretty much a level playing field with most teams hovering around the 4 or 5 players per game. City currently have the luck on their side but that really has to change at some point. Our squad still looks incredibly deep and having the option of being able to make 8 changes and still put out a strong team is great to have.

As we go into a new year and another big game we’re hoping that we can get a bit of luck on the injury front. The run from Christmas to the end of the season is where injuries come thick and fast and we know this all too well. Whilst the current situation is manageable, any additions to the crocked list will surely be difficult to manage for any team in the title hunt. Arsenal however are in a great position this season. Not only are we managing the injuries and resting players where possible, but we also have quality players like Rosicky, Gibbs, Eboue, Walcott, Vela, I could go on…who have rarely featured. It could be in the late winter/early spring when these players, fully rested and raring to go, take control of games when the injury list has grown. Not one of our competitors can claim to be in our position of depth and strength and whilst some additions can be made by spending big in January, most of our fresh players came in for very little or even nothing.

Ahead of the city game we are reported to have no additions to the injured list but we do have a certain Mr Ramsey available, fresh from his loan spell by the Trent. It will be great to see him back after nearly 10 months on the sidelines.

City on the other hand will be without Balotelli and Silva so provided our defence can keep out Tevez (who also may not be 100%) City could struggle to score. Maybe now is the time that their luck comes to an end.

An index that is so untold you won’t be able to tell anything from it

An index of the players who played 100 or more times for Woolwich Arsenal

Not an index at all, but a book

4 comments to Untold Injury Index – The Festive Review (Gameweeks 19, 20 & 21)

  • ugandan goon

    just an aside but ipswich’s (&) grant leadbetter’s crimes( against decent football) have caught up with him as he was shown a straight red ine their game against forest last night! also they lost 1-0. one less maimer, sorry committed player for saturday’s game!

  • walter

    Things are looking okay for the moment at our injury front. Long may it continue. Thanks for this update Dale.

    I know you left him out from the start but Ramsey should have been on our list all season long in fact. But it is great to see that he looks to be back and could be available in the next weeks. Let us hope he can pick up where he was when he was kicked off the pitch.

  • Dale


    I’ve had Ramsey on the list from the start of the season up until his loan move to Forest. At that point he was no longer available for selection, irrespective of his fitness so I took him off. As of now he’s back with the club and if he’s still declared unfit he’ll be back on the list. I think this way it reflects the impact on our squad selection fairly.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I agree with you Dale, and I didn’t remember you had him on the list. My mistake.