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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 36

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 36

By Dale Higginbottom

After the elation of the well-deserved win over United at the Emirates, Arsenal were brought back down to earth with a visit to our least favoured ground in the league. Least favoured for a number of reasons, not least the bad results there in recent years, but in terms of injuries most fans will obviously think back to this fixture last season and Aaron Ramsey being Shawcrossed. Thankfully for us and our players’ legs, this game came just ahead of the FA Cup Final and so the Stoke players were always likely to be a little more reserved with their rough tackling.

Anyway, time for the numbers who was in who was out?

Stoke Vs Arsenal

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Fabianski (15)
  • Defence – Clichy (1)
  • Midfield – Diaby (18), Fabregas (10), Nasri (6)
  • Attack – No injuries reported

Additional issues: Djourou was a doubt after picking up an injury against United but he started and played the whole game.

Man Utd Vs Chelsea

Man Utd (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Lindegaard (7)
  • Defence – Rafael (7), Evra (1)
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (35)
  • Attack – No Injuries reported.

Additional issues: Fabio and Rooney were reported as having slight injuries but both were fit enough to start and play most of the game.

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Chelsea (2 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Bosingwa (12)
  • Midfield – Zhirkov (14)

Additional issues: David Luiz was a doubt before the game with an injury but started, he had to be replaced at half-time

Tottenham Vs Blackpool

Tottenham (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported.
  • Defence – King (29), Woodgate (9), Hutton (5), Assou-Ekotto (4)
  • Midfield – Palacios (8), Huddlestone (20)

Additional issues: Corluka was a doubt for the game but started on the bench, he was an unused substitute. Bale was substituted after 64 minutes, picking up an ankle injury that has now ended his season.

Everton Vs Man City

Man City (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Boateng (11), Richards (12)
  • Midfield – M Johnson (31)
  • Attack – Tevez (5)

Additional issues: Given returned to the squad and was an unused substitute. Zabaleta and De Jong were doubts but both stared and played over 80 minutes each.

Later today we have:

Fulham Vs Liverpool

Liverpool (3 injuries)*expected*

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Kelly (8), Agger (19),
  • Midfield – Gerrard (11)

Additional issues: Aurelio is expected to return to the squad after his injury.

Looking at the list of injuries, Tottenham again lead the way, largely down to their inability to keep their centre-backs fit. Everyone else is again playing injury catch-up but again, at this late stage of the season, it’s a pretty unremarkable list.

Arsenal picked up a couple of fresh injuries but it was great to see Vermaelen back in the squad. He was last included in a matchday squad in Gameweek 3 and now returns with three games to go and at points it has been a struggle without him. I’m sure if United had been without Vidic for 32 games this season, their unbeaten run would have ended earlier, they would’ve dropped more points at home and the title race would still be on.

Super, Super, Super, Super, Super Sunday was Man United Vs Chelsea and, with the exception of maybe Evra, both teams could field a first-choice team. Unsurprisingly, the wining goal was scored by a player that should’ve been suspended for the game but Vidic does seem to get away with a few card decisions (his goal celebration in the crowd against Aston Villa springs to mind).

Spurs moved back into fifth with just a draw at home to Blackpool (oh, happy St Totteringham’s Day by the way). After City lost earlier in the day there was hope that Champions League football might still be a possibility but now even if they beat City on Tuesday night it looks a long-shot.

If the Tiny Totts lose or draw at City, even fifth place might be something of a pipe-dream. Liverpool, with their current form, must truly be thinking that Europa League football is on for next season. In fact, it’s now in their hands and three wins out of three will see them finish fifth, and probably still give City a scare for fourth.

The defeat on Sunday at Stoke was of course not our best performance of the year and quite a harsh contrast from a week previous. I don’t think we can put it down to injuries, with just five recorded, but a combination of factors including motivation, refereeing decisions and maybe injuries (this might be the game we missed Vermaelen the most) lead to a totally unconvincing Arsenal showing. It’s a shame, not for the title as United’s win effectively ended any small hope, but second place would’ve been right up there for grabs had we picked up another point or three.

So anyway it’s official, no trophy for Arsenal this season. It’s a little disappointing but do we truly feel that there’s nothing to even have hope for? Well I for one think we can be quite proud of this season’s efforts. We took 10 points from the games against the top four which is the same as United and better than Chelsea and Man City. If a bit of additional steel can be drilled into the team and we can put away some the hundreds of missed goal attempts we’ve had over the games, we’ll be laughing. The young players out on loan look very exciting and one or two tweaks here and there will make all the difference. Let’s just hope the FAs don’t screw us out of players during some of the International fixtures.

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4 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 36

  • Dale

    Liverpool actuals

    Fulham Vs Liverpool

    Liverpool (6 injuries)

    • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
    • Defence – Kelly (8), Agger (19), Aurelio (13)
    • Midfield – Gerrard (11), Jovanovic (6)
    • Attack – Carroll (6)

    Additional issues: Meireles picked up a knock and was replaced in the second half.

    I might get a bit interesting if City lose tonight.

  • walter

    It sure would Dale, it sure would.

  • gooner80

    Hargreaves is washed up Im glad arsenal didnt buy him, I dont even think he has played more than a handful of games.

    has cesc got dodgy Hams?

    maybe it is confirmation bias but it seems to me that we pick up injuries around two certain spells of the year, if Arsene can find a way to dampen that especially to key players we will no doubt benefit

  • walter

    One can wonder sometimes about beind a doubt and still end up playing this weekend.
    Djourou was a doubt and had a bad game.
    Luiz was a doubt for Chelsea and had a bad game.

    I do have a feeling (confirmation bias I think) that most of the time it is better to not play a player who is doubtful and just go for a replacement.