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July 2021

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 5

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Dale Higginbottom

Onto Gameweek 5 of the season and with only four games to monitor over the weekend, it’s quite a quiet week for me. Our injuries appear to have reached a bit of a plateau after the difficult start to the season and with three players returning from suspension, things were beginning to look a bit more positive for the club. Obviously events at Ewood Park were not ideal but I think we can still look at things from a positive angle. But first, what of this week’s injuries?

A = Ankle J = Foot
B = Back K = Knee
C = Calf L = Achilles
D = Dead Leg M = Muscle
E = Hamstring S = Shoulder
F = Fatigue/Lack of Fitness T = Thigh
G = Groin U = Unknown
H = Head Injury/Concussion Z = Broken Leg
I = Illness

Blackburn Vs Arsenal (4-3)

Injuries Blackburn (3 + 0S) Arsenal (5 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence Nelson (K) Vermaelen (A,3), Squillaci (C,4)
Midfield Dunn (C), Pedersen (E) Wilshere (A,5), Diaby (A,5), Rosicky (K,3)
Attack N/A N/A
Additional issues Grella was a doubt but started on the bench. Salgado had to be replaced after 18 mins. Ramsey was a doubt for the game with an ankle injury but started. Sagna had to be replaced early in the second-half.
Suspended N/A N/A

Man Utd Vs Chelsea (3-1)

Injuries Man Utd (5 + 0S) Chelsea (3 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence Rafael (S,5), Vidic (C,4) Bertrand (T,5)
Midfield Gibson (A,3), Cleverley (F,1) Essien (K,5)
Attack Welbeck (E,2) Drogba (H,2)
Additional issues Smalling and Hernández both picked up second-half injuries and had to be replaced. N/A
Suspended N/A N/A

Tottenham Vs Liverpool (4-0)

Injuries Tottenham (6 + 0S) Liverpool (3 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence Gallas (C,4), Dawson (L,1) Kelly (E,2), Johnson (E,4)
Midfield Pienaar (G,4), Sandro (K,4), Lennon (G,2), Huddlestone (A,1) Gerrard (G,5)
Attack N/A N/A
Additional issues Van der Vaart was a doubt but was fit enough to start on the bench and come on at half-time, replacing Kranjcar who picked up a hamstring strain. Agger picked up an injury after 27 minutes and had to be replaced.
Suspended N/A N/A

Fulham Vs Man City (2-2)

Fulham (4 + 0S) Man City (3 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence Hughes (K) N/A
Midfield B Riise (E), Etuhu (T), Davies (K) De Jong (J,4), Hargreaves (F,2), Milner (H,1)
Attack N/A N/A
Additional issues J Riise was a doubt but played the whole game. N/A
Suspended N/A N/A

As we saw a lot last season, Spurs top the injury table this week, with Arsenal and United a close second. Liverpool, City and Chelsea have all got Lady Luck on their side so far but I’m expecting a steady rise in the overall injury totals over the next month or two (as the fixture list is getting a bit congested) and I wouldn’t rule out these three getting a few additions.

As I mentioned above (and as Walter mentioned in his article), there are certainly plenty of positives to take from the game this weekend. Whilst it was more dropped points and some poor defending, I personally believe the result was more of a blip than the continuation of a trend. I think the games against Swansea and Dortmund were certainly positive steps in the right direction and confidence is gradually building. I think we’re still going to have set-backs like this but the overall trend for me, only looks upward. We had plenty of chances, first goals for Arteta and Gervinho and a first goal in a long while for Chamakh, who looked good when he came on. We had a defence that are still learning to play with each other and more-to-the-point, a team that is still learning to play with each other, especially after all of the team changes around transfers, suspensions and injuries (it must be at least two changes per game?). Oh and finally, we’re still missing two key players and I’m sure Diaby and Rosicky could provide us with some additional depth and options. All is certainly not lost fellow Gooners.

I don’t really know what to say about the Tottenham Vs Liverpool fixture. I didn’t see the game but I’m really going to be interested by the ref review and I might have to catch the highlights when I get a minute. On the injury front it further shows what a disaster Sunday’s game was for Liverpool. With only half the injuries of their opponents I would’ve expected a little more from them but that’s two away defeats in a row for a team also after our top-four place..

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It was also home advantage at Old Trafford as well and despite having a couple more players out, United sealed all three points against Chelsea. Unusually for them, United have started well this season and I think we can see that (when compared to last season) when Rooney plays well, United play well. I wonder what would happen if he got injured?

The other Manchester team lost a two-goal lead away at Fulham. It’s Fulham’s first outing on the Injury Index and they have not been too ravaged by injuries but then neither have City so maybe there’s a bit of a Champions League hangover there?

The next two weeks will be very interesting as we’ve got three home games in a row before we head across town to play the Tiny Totts. Then, after the international break, it’s Sunderland at home before our next away fixture (Marseille on 19th October). So really, not a lot of travelling to be done between now and this time next month and maybe this will be a great time for the players to settle down, for confidence to be built and playing cohesion and partnerships to be strengthened. The Carling Cup will be a welcome distraction on Tuesday and Bolton are having a bit of a tough time of it of late so we might all be thinking a few more positive thoughts by this time next week.

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5 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 5

  • WalterBroeckx

    Isn’t it a bit strange that from 5 players out we have 3 with an ankle injury?

  • Dale

    Yes Walter, it is quite interesting. I’ll have to keep an eye on that and see how it develops. Maybe it’s just an anomaly.

  • Stevie E

    The ankle injuries are more likely because the opposition are allowed to kick our players without fear of reprisal. Kick someone enough and eventually thee body will say enough.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Interesting to keep an eye on this because some injuries can be down to contact or not.

    Ankle injuries are most of the time a result of a kick. But a hamstring injury is seldom down to contact but more to a muscle giving up while running at full speed. Achilles injury is also mostly down to a kick from behind. That is the reason why tackles from behind are so dangerous and forbidden.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think Ankle, Foot, Achilles and broken leg are the injuries that are for 95% down to a bad contact with an opponent.
    Also head injuries (unless you bang your head against the goal) are down to contact.
    Knee is also for 75% down to bad tackles but we all have seen the terrible images of players coming down after jumping or slipping on the pitch and one of their cruciate ligaments tearing up.

    I don’t know if you can keep some kind of record on that Dale?

    This would and could give a link to the ref review so we could see if some tackles lead to an injury…