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July 2021

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22 – Still top of the league

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Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22


By Dale Higginbottom



We return to the scene of the accident with the return game against United. We all know what happened in August so I won’t dwell on that, what I will say is that the situation with injuries was not all too dissimilar to the one we currently face. The full-back issue has not eased up just yet but the return of Vermaelen and the emergence of Yennaris certainly have helped a little. Anyway, let’s get into the figures this week.


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



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Arsenal Vs Man Utd (1-2)


Injuries Arsenal (9 + 0S) Man Utd (7 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence Sagna (A,16), Gibbs (M,16), Jenkinson (B,12), Santos (A,8) Vidic (K,15), Ferdinand (B,5)
Midfield Wilshere (A,22), Coquelin (E.2), Diaby (M,20), Arteta (C,2) Cleverley (A,16), Fletcher (I,10), Young (A,7), Anderson (U,10)
Attack Henry (C,1) Owen (T,16)
Additional issues Vermaelen returned to the squad and played the whole game. Fabianski was fit to play but was not in the squad. Smalling and Jones both returned to the squad and both started. Smalling played the whole game but Jones had to be replaced after 17 minutes. Nani also had to be replaced, after 75 minutes.
Suspended N/A N/A




Norwich Vs Chelsea (0-0)


Injuries Norwich (4 + 0S) Chelsea (1 + 0S)
Goalkeeper Rudd (A) N/A
Defence Tierney (G), Ward (K) N/A
Midfield N/A Mikel (E,5)
Attack Vaughan (K) N/A
Additional issues N/A Ivanovic was back in the squad after a spell on the sidelines but did not feature. Lampard had to be replaced in the first half after picking up a calf injury.
Suspended N/A N/A



Bolton Vs Liverpool (3-1)


Injuries Bolton (7 + 0S) Liverpool (3 + 1S)
Goalkeeper Jääskeläinen (T) N/A
Defence Alonso (F), Mears (Z) Robinson (A,14)
Midfield Davis (K), Gardner (K), Holden (K), Lee (Z) Lucas (K,9), Spearing (E,2)
Attack N/A N/A
Additional issues N/A Agger returned to the squad and played the whole game.
Suspended N/A Suarez



Man City Vs Tottenham (3-2)


Injuries Man City (0 + 1S) Tottenham (3 + 0S)
Goalkeeper N/A N/A
Defence N/A Gallas (C,11)
Midfield N/A Huddlestone (A,19), Sandro (C,8)
Attack N/A N/A
Additional issues Richards and Balotelli were both back in the squad. The former started and played the whole game, the latter came on after 65 minutes. King returned to the squad and played the whole game.
Suspended Kompany N/A



So, the two at the top of the injury league table face each other and the game really could’ve gone either way. Arsenal had two more injuries to contend with, but didn’t suffer an injury during the game (thankfully). It’s pretty much no change in four other teams, all recording three injuries or fewer, hardly crisis levels.


Last year we won this fixture with a great performance and single goal by Ramsey however. last year we were in a much better injury position than we were on Sunday. Nine injuries for Sunday’s game Vs four last season. United by comparison, had slightly fewer injuries with seven players out (three last season).


Thankfully, around the grounds the results went our way so let’s have a look what happened.


The other big game of the week saw Manchester also with the upper-hand, with City winning with a late goal over Spurs. City again failed to even get on the scale, recording no injuries for their game but this was fairly evenly matched by Spurs who only recorded three injuries. The game went in the way of the league leaders and all but ended the Totts title hopes. Maybe this is the start of the decline which will include a thrashing on 26 February, they don’t have the easiest run of games coming up.


At Bolton, Liverpool had a very embarrassing defeat. For a team that was looking to challenge for a top-four place, yes they are holding on, this was a day to forget. Against a Bolton team that has been pretty badly hit by injuries all season, and considering Liverpool’s current lack of worries in that area, you wouldn’t expect a scoreline like that. I guess that’s what happens when you rely too heavily on one or two big-name signings.


Almost equally bad was Chelsea’s draw at Norwich. They had most of the possession and chances but, like a lot of games this season, they couldn’t find that winning performance. Chelsea are currently the team to watch for us and it could come down to one big day at the Ems in April.


After a difficult couple of weeks things could quite easily get back on track and very quickly. Firstly, the cup game against Villa will be a welcome respite from recent league results and for that we’re expecting Arteta and Henry to be available. Secondly the next run of league games are all more than winnable before we get into the big games against Milan, the Totts and Liverpool. Finally, in the next two to three weeks we’ll also be expecting the return of Gervinho, Chamakh, Sagna, Gibbs, Coquelin and Wilshere can’t be that far away either.


This season to me has a strong feeling of 2005/2006 season. We struggled in the league then and the Totts were ahead of us for parts of the season. In that season we pulled it out of the bag in the final games and finished in the top-four, just. We also, had an issue at full-back (the year of seven left-backs) but in that season we did also reach the Champiosn League Final. With big players on their way back to fitness and the squad getting back to being more balanced, why not do all that again eh?

11 comments to Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 22 – Still top of the league

  • WalterBroeckx

    I really wonder if Vermaelen was 100% fit for this one. He didn’t look himself to me. Make that 9,5 for me.

    The most frustrating thing is that without those injuries we would have far more points. Of that I’m sure. Losing Arteta at this stage is bad. Lets hope he is back soon because he is vital for the team for the moment.

    And getting Sagna and Santos/Gibbs back would also be a bit helpful.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If I also may add that we are without Gervinho (which is a big loss in my eyes) and Chamakh.
    In L’Equipe they published the whole team missing including those two at the ANC. They called it a rather impressing team to put out. They still had Vermaelen among the injured at that time: just look at this line up

    Jenkinson Sagna Vermaelen Santos
    Diaby Wilshere Arteta
    Gervinho chamakh Henry

    and you still have Gibbs you can play instead of Santos and Coquelin you can play in midfield or defence

  • samih

    I am sure that you have noticed that Arsenal every season is the team that suffers most injuries.And injuries most of the time are long-term !!! I think this has been the major reason for being trophyless for 7 years. My question Mr. Dale what do you thing is the reason because there is clearly something wrong and it is not just bad luck. Is it due to training techniques, or the medical team, or lack of rotation in the squad, or just because the type of players that Mr. Wenger like to recruit are talented but fragile and do not have physical strength..Please do not tell me it is the way other teams defend and tackle against us (as it is often used as an excuse) I do not know exactly what is the reason but something has to be done about it otherwise we will remain trophyless for at least extra few years…thank you for the reply

  • WalterBroeckx

    just my two cents on this: the lack of protection from the refs plays a big part in my opinion.

    Yesterday I have been looking a few minutes at the CC semi final Cardiff-Crystal Palace. In those few minutes I have seen some terrible fouls and the ref just let it all go at first.
    Players who on skill driblled their opponent where hacked down from behind and the ref even didn’t call a foul.

    Every little kick can cause a little injury that at first is not serious. But if you constantly get kicked and kicked and kicked after a while you will get more severe injuries.

    Apart from the war games between Barcelona and Real Madrid most games in Spain are played at a rather technical level and refs act quickle against fouls and dish out yellow cards a lot. As a result the Spanish players can play football as it is meant to be and practice their skills (and become European and world champions, win CL, ….)

    We know that Barcelona players go down easily and get the fouls when they go down. I think they really practice on this. They know the refs in Spain try to protect skilfull players and they know they can pull away from a tackle coming in and still get the foul given against the other player. (You don’t have to really touch the player to commit a foul)

    So you seldom see broken legs in the Spanish league (not that I am aware of anyway) and the injuries there are more pulled muscles or twisted knees from making a bad turn or so.

    In a way it is strange that nobody has discoverd yet that the high protection refs give in Spain to those good players results in those good players getting better and better. Resulting in Spain winning everything they want in the last years.

    And when you compare this to the crap style refereeing we see in the EPL where they would allow murder at times without even giving a foul then it is no coincidence for me that the English team ends up empty handed most of the time.

    The same goes for Germany by the way where the refs calling fouls faster than in the EPL also in order to protect the good players.

    The more kicks you get (and this can only be reduced by the refs who have to act stronger) the more chance of an injury.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think the English refs have more respect and admiration for the Stoke way , as opposed to the Barca way. No coincidence the national team do so badly

  • Uk

    So it doesn’t anythng to do wit buying players wit poor injury records(@least recently)? Arteta(thank God he lasted this long), mertescker(cue arteta),henry,benayoun or spurs buying gallas then complaining he’s injured.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Mediation for this link and Dogface of course. I have missed something today by not going on Twitter I think.. 😉

  • Micko

    Great link Meditation/Dogface.

    I suppose it’s a lot easier to see the truth when you’re an outsider from a different country looking in, and therefore, not unduly influenced by the crooked British media.

  • Mandy dodd

    Nice link. Why was that bebe thing not looked into?

  • Pat

    Walter these points about Spanish and English football deserve a wider airing. The media drool (rightly) over Barcelona but they rarely consider these factors as contributors to their success. That would require drawing some conclusions about English football and English refereeing which might make some of the journos unpopular with some people. The truth is sacrificed as ever.