Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 34

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 34

By Dale Higginbottom

Another weekend passes and another round of injury lists is here for all to see. We get another game closer to the end of the season and after the ups and downs of this season I think some of us are in need of a break, if only to give our hearts and minds a bit of a breather. Anyway, this week was Bolton away, a place of mixed success over previous seasons, but how did injuries impact on us this time around?

Bolton Vs Arsenal

Arsenal (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Fabianski (13)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (31)
  • Midfield – Diaby (16)
  • Attack – Bendtner (9)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Tottenham Vs West Brom

Tottenham (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported.
  • Defence – King (27), Woodgate (7), Hutton (3), Corluka (4)
  • Midfield – Palacios (6)

Additional issues: Bale was a doubt but started and played the whole game. Assou-Ekotto was replaced after just 7 minutes after picking up an injury.

Man Utd Vs Everton

Man Utd (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Lindegaard (5)
  • Defence – No Injuries reported.
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (33), Fletcher (5)
  • Attack – Berbatov (3)

Additional issues: Rafael and Ferdinand both returned to the squad after injuries. Ferdinand played the whole game whilst Rafael was an unused substitute.

Liverpool Vs Birmingham

Liverpool (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Kelly (6), Agger (17), Johnson (7), Aurelio (11)
  • Midfield – Gerrard (9)
  • Attack – Carroll (5)

Additional issues: Carragher was a doubt after picking up concussion at the Emirates but he started and played the whole game.

Chelsea Vs West Ham

Chelsea (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (22)
  • Midfield – Ramires (5)

Additional issues: Cole was a doubt before the game but startee and played the full 90 minutes. Essien was replaced after 56 minutes after picking up an injury.

Blackburn Vs Man City

Man City (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Given (6)
  • Defence – Boateng (9), Richards (10)
  • Midfield – M Johnson (29)
  • Attack – Tevez (3)

Additional issues: Hart was a doubt after picking up a knock in training but started and played the whole game.

Well, it’s all fairly even on the injury front. Funnily enough it’s Liverpool who top the injury table yet they are the team to win most comfortably at the weekend and this considering they have had one of the weakest squads all season. No club is really struggling with injuries at the moment and I think we’re unlikely to see anyone get close to double-figures like we have at some points this season.

We again recorded quite a low number when comparing our usual list for the season. We’re definitely benefiting from the lack of games from other competitions, on the injury front at least, but what we might not be benefiting from however, is the opportunity to ignore previous games and focus on another competition and maybe that’s where we’ve become a little bit stuck and lost a little bit of that confidence to go out and win games.

United and Chelsea both notched up home wins and look set to battle it out for the title should Chelsea win at Old Trafford. Their form is really good at the moment and the lack of Champions League games now could give them the edge.

Man City recorded five injuries this week, fairly high for them this season, and even without Tevez they managed to get an important away win. Now in the driving seat for fourth place and given that their injury levels are manageable they could well have reached their target by the end of the season. One interesting thing will be to see how many players get injured before the cup final. The injury risk by not being fully committed in games can be quite high, as we saw against Stoke, ahead of the Barcelona game.

For the Tiny Totts, Champions League may now be a step too far for them. The draw with us on Wednesday helped in-part to that but it was also great to see Carlos Vela playing his part in making it even more likely that the Tinies’ European jaunt with the big boys is a one-season affair.

Now that the title is all but mathematically out of reach the players really must pick themselves up and focus on the final four games. A top three finish is by no means certain and we still have second place up for grabs. We also can’t forget that there is a lot of pride to play for next Sunday when we need to show, with a win against United, that had our luck with injuries, chances on goal or refereeing decisions been just slightly more in our favour, we could’ve been the ones lifting the trophy in May.

Let’s look forward to this game as a stand-alone one and hope to be celebrating St Totteringham’s Day as soon as possible.

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14 Replies to “Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 34”

  1. We cannot seriously be blaming injuries for the shocker of a season? Manure have RIO F out for how long? But their defenders stepped up whilst our go to sleep. Liverfools played two unknown youngsters yet we couldnt do nothing to them, Chavs – havent had Alex for how long? Quite amazing that the fault never lies with our players or the managers.

  2. @Vretou
    You are partially right but with our perpetually suspect defence, I wonder how much we have missed Vermaelen this season. On the subject of referees’ decisions, we will never know exactly how badly these have affected us (as compared to other teams).
    During the forthcoming (short) close season, it will be up to Arsene Wenger to sort out our shortcomings in dealing with set pieces engineered by our rivals (and vice versa). He will have to decide whether new blood or intensive training is the answer.
    In my opinion, many of our injuries stem from the way the whole team is taught to play. Fast, close, passing (sometimes sideways) lends itself to tackles, many from behind and we have suffered as a result.

  3. Amazing how some people really say something without clearly reading the article.

  4. Very well-written article Dale, nice balance to the analysis. Especially agree with the sentiments of the last sentence…

  5. Number of games missed by:
    Vermaelen 31
    King 27
    Alex 22
    Agger 17
    Ferdinand 14
    Richards 10

    These are the defenders that have missed the most games for each club. No one club has had to cope without one defender for longer than Arsenal. I’m not saying that it’s a good excuse or anything but considering how suspect United have been with Smalling or Evans playing, they may have also dropped more points if the situation had been reversed.

  6. And as Vermaelen was not just our best defender but also was someone capable of scoring from every position the field as he did in his first season I sure think we missed him. Okay, maybe this is a biased view from one who speaks with the same tongue as Vermaelen. 😉

  7. Dale I think you should say it is an excuse tv is a versatile defender and the leader our critics harp on about. Losing him for the season has been catastrophic.

  8. And the prospect of tv returning presents a problem does wenger play to the gallery and sign Cahill but if he does he will want to play where does this leave tv jd or kos?

  9. Cahill is obviously some sort of Messiah, so i think we have to buy him!!

    He must be good , he’s English.
    Born winners the lot of em , aren’t they??

    Has anyone actually seen him do anything to merit all the hype??

    Smells like total bullshit to me, Don’t think he’s got the potential of Kos at all.
    Kos has only one problem with his game. He’s French

  10. I have seen Cahill play some poor games eg semi against stoke. Kos has done well in his first season but the fact is for whatever reason we have imploded again when things matter and defence will get large part of blame. Injuries and refs have played their part but wenger will be under huge pressure to sort out defence after recent events, maybe even against his better judgement. Cahill may pacify the buy English critics as would phil jag if he was available. Personally would like to see better coaching ie Adams bould keown and stick with some good players we have and some coming thru but not sure wenger would bring this lot into first team coaching roles for whatever his reasons may be

  11. The defense was excellent for most of the season, has lost confidence since the last minute pen against liverpool but its part of the learning process and hopefully they can recover. Unfortunatley we seem to get tested to the limit with these strange circumstances ( 12 mins injury time, penalties for the mearest of contact, constantly being told that they’re shit by the hate campaign mob )that seem to happen and when your not that experienced somthing gives. Don’t forget this is kos, djouro and chesneys first full season so they have done remarkably well. Set piece defending will come with practice and experience & should improve nxt season. However our defense concedes the least ammount of shots on goal in the league . That is a great statistic and proves that in open play they really do know how to defend , just need to hold their nerve in the pressure moments. Cahill is just a misplaced pipedream for a return to the old back 4 , in reality he’s not the answer.
    Dont forget the Adams’s etc made terrible mistakes when they were young. Why else we he be called donkey by fans @ every ground in the country for yrs on end

  12. I also remember when there was a massive hate campaign against lee dixon inside the ground, they used to boo him and give him all sorts of abuse.
    And that was before the internet so you can imagine to what level that could of gone to in these times

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