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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 8: Arsenal in declining injuries shocker!
By Dale Higginbottom
Any international break is always a time of unease for football fans and when they appear at a time when their club is already suffering the wrath of the injury gods, it can certainly make for times of stunted fingernail growth. This last international break might also have been a little more worrying considering the importance (to the national teams involved) of some of the games played and given Arsenal’s recent run of results, any further injuries would’ve made things even more difficult to stomach. Thankfully, as you will see shortly, we largely came out of the break unscathed and with players returning (or close to returning) we look in a better position to continue into the season with a bit more confidence than we have of late. Onto gameweek 8…
|A = Ankle||K = Knee|
|B = Back||L = Achilles|
|C = Calf||M = Muscle|
|D = Dead Leg||N = Hip|
|E = Hamstring||R = Rib|
|F = Fatigue/Lack of Fitness||S = Shoulder|
|G = Groin||T = Thigh|
|H = Head Injury/Concussion||U = Unknown|
|I = Illness||Y = Hand|
|J = Foot||Z = Broken Leg|
Arsenal Vs Sunderland (2-1)
|Injuries||Arsenal (5 + 0S)||Sunderland (3 + 1S)|
|Defence||Vermaelen (A,5), Sagna (A,2)||Angeleri (K)|
|Midfield||Wilshere (A,8), Diaby (A,8), Ramsey (E,1)||N/A|
|Additional issues||Gibbs was forced off after 50 mins, picking up a stomach problem.||Wickham returned to the squad from a groin injury and was a second-half substitute.|
Newcastle Vs Tottenham (2-2)
|Injuries||Newcastle (5 + 0S)||Tottenham (8 + 0S)|
|Defence||Williamson (A)||Gallas (C,7), Dawson (L,4), Corluka (U,1)|
|Midfield||Vuckic (H), Smith (E), Guthrie (G)||Pienaar (G,7), Lennon (G,5), Huddlestone (A,4), Kranjcar (A,3), Sandro (C,5)|
|Attack||Sm. Ameobi (E)||N/A|
|Additional issues||N/A||Adebayor was a doubt with a hamstring issue but started and played most of the game. King was forced off after 30 mins.|
Chelsea Vs Everton (3-1)
|Injuries||Chelsea (2 + 1S)||Everton (2 + 0S)|
|Additional issues||Ramiress picked up a knee injury and was withdrawn after 65 minutes.||Heitinga was a doubt after picking up an injury on international duty but was on the bench.|
Liverpool Vs Man Utd (1-1)
|Injuries||Liverpool (1 + 0S)||Man Utd (4 + 0S)|
|Defence||Johnson (E,7)||Rafael (S,8), Vidic (C,7)|
|Midfield||N/A||Gibson (A,6), Cleverley (F,4)|
|Additional issues||Agger was a doubt but was included in the squad on the bench.||N/A|
Man City Vs Aston Villa (4-1)
|Man City (1 + 0S)||Aston Villa (4 + 0S)|
|Defence||N/A||Lichaj (N), Collins (G)|
|Attack||Aguero (G,1)||Delfouneso (E)|
|Additional issues||Balotelli was a doubt with a back injury but played the whole game. Richards picked up a head injury and was forced off after 66 mins.||Ireland was a doubt with an ankle injury but started and played the first 55 mins. Cuellar was also a doubt but was in the squad and was an unused substitute.|
Yes, you do see correctly, the numbers have reduced! Arsenal picked up one injury during the break (Ramsey) but were able to bring back Koscielny, Djourou and player of the season (so far) Szczesny all were fit to play after going into the break with injuries. Now, with five injuries (plus maybe Gibbs) the numbers look a little improved, especially as the current injury list only has two long-term absentees and the other three should be back in the next week or two (Ramsey’s even in the squad for the Champions League) so we could possibly see this reflect in performances and results.
Looking around the teams, there’s little else to really comment on, not a lot of change in fortunes. Totts still crocked, City, Liverpool and Chelsea still riding their luck and Arsenal and United now somewhere in-between.
On United, their squad for the game at Anfield was an interesting one. Rooney, Nani and Hernandez were all on the bench as Sir Alex F-Word was worried about United’s poor start to the Champions League campaign and had one eye on next weekend’s Manchester derby. United’s injury levels look pretty comfortable and they should be able to field a pretty strong team against City.
And as we’re talking about City I really don’t know how they do it. Not the results, they are consistent and often impressive, no it’s the distinct lack of injuries that baffles me. It seems that the form from last season has continued where City also recorded considerably fewer injuries than the worst-hit teams. This surely has to change soon doesn’t it?
It might be a little premature to be predicting reduced injury numbers but things do seem to be looking better. I know that typically we’d be anticipating the near-return of a key player and then we’ll be hit by a serious injury to another key player just before he returns (please not van Persie or Szczesny) but let’s hope that is not the case, at least until the confidence is back and all the new players have fully settled in. Ideally though, let’s all wish for a reversal of fortunes between us and City, it could happen.
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