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June 2021

The Untold injury records – part 9, from groin strains to hamstrings

By Walter Broeckx

After the introduction part 1   and part 2   and part 3   and part 4    and part 5  and part 6 and part 7  and part 8 we continue to have a further look at some of the injuries in detail. And remember this is based on the injuries since 2002.

8. Groin Strain

An injury type that happens rather regularly. And one that we have contributed to non contact injuries. It might be as the result of a contact but I think that most of the time it will be more about making a bad move at the wrong moment.

So how does this table look?

In the table I will present you, you will remark that this is a rather frequent occurring type of injury. Maybe because it also can be classified in other area’s and that it is only mentioned when there is no other possible reason.

Groin strain Injuries Coefficient risk
Arsenal 53 126.19 %
Aston villa 27 64.29 %
Chelsea 24 57.14 %
Everton 58 138.10 %
Fulham 18 42.86 %
Liverpool 39 92.86 %
Man City 41 97.62 %
Man United 38 90.48 %
Newcastle 66 157.14 %
Tottenham 67 159.52 %
League average without Arsenal 42
Total injuries 431

This is what we could call a typical injury and one that might point at over training or bad training methods.

So what we see is that Arsenal has more than the league average. So is there something wrong in the training methods at Arsenal? Well if  we look at the numbers one might think there is a problem. But then again we are not first in this type of injury. Not even second. Not even third! I don’t think we have ever seen an injury type where this happened in our series so far. Arsenal only having the 4th most injuries of this type. A non contact type!

9. Hamstring

Another non contact injury. It can be caused by contact but I think most of the time we have seen players just pulling up when being at full speed and with their hamstring done.  So we will look at it as a completely non contact injury. What do we see if we look at the table?

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Hamstring Injuries Coefficient risk
Arsenal 108 127.23 %
Aston villa 72 84.82 %
Chelsea 68 80.10 %
Everton 80 94.24 %
Fulham 75 88.35 %
Liverpool 64 75.39 %
Man City 96 113.09 %
Man United 88 103.66 %
Newcastle 132 155.50 %
Tottenham 89 104.84 %
League average without Arsenal 84.89
Total injuries 872

Again we see that Arsenal is not having the worst record of this type of injury. It is Newcastle that has suffered most from hamstring injuries over the past 10 seasons.  Yes Arsenal are in second place for this. So not that good in fact.

Other teams that have more than the league average are Manchester United and City. I think this is one of the few times that we see that Manchester City has a higher number of injuries than the league average. If I wanted to take a cheap shot at Mr. Raymond Verheijen I could ask if he could explain this. After all he worked with City. And this seems to be at typical muscle injury. Probable wrong training methods?

A bit more serious now…  When I look at the other clubs I see that this type of injury has a risk coefficient with most teams within the 10% margin. Be it a bit higher or lower but most clubs keep each other more or less in balance. The exceptions being Newcastle and Arsenal on the high side and Liverpool and Chelsea on the low side of the line.

I do have the impression that when you look at non contact injuries this is more the case than with contact injuries.

10. Hip/thigh injury

This type of injury was more difficult to determinate if it should be considered as a non contact injury or as a contact injury.  So in the wider look at injuries we took it as 50% being from contact and 50% from non contact events.

Hip/thigh injury Injuries Coefficient risk
Arsenal 37 139.92 %
Aston villa 24 90.76 %
Chelsea 29 109.66 %
Everton 31 117.23 %
Fulham 23 86.97 %
Liverpool 20 75.63 %
Man City 19 71.85 %
Man United 23 86.97 %
Newcastle 33 124.79 %
Tottenham 36 136.13 %
League average without Arsenal 26.44
Total injuries 275

So we mention the word ‘contact injury’ again and as a result we see that Arsenal once again has the highest number of them all. Be it that we are closely followed by Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton. But we have taken back the first place once again for this injury type.

And again we see that once we speak about contact injuries (and this is a 50/50 case) that the difference between some teams is bigger than with non contact injuries. That is a trend that I think I start to see since I started to look at the details of the injuries. When I look at non contact injuries the differences between teams look smaller than when we speak about contact injuries.

One could say that the pure muscular injuries are hitting all teams but that contact injuries are hitting some teams more than others.

In the next article we will go down to our knees. One of the more severe injuries and certainly one that keeps players out for long periods. And a type of injury that happens a lot in fact.  So stay with us for more research and numbers.

7 comments to The Untold injury records – part 9, from groin strains to hamstrings

  • Franck

    How can u explain why all the outfield players except jenkinson have pulled up injured this season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    to be honest I don’t know if Per got injured this season so far? At least I can’t remember it.
    So I think we have two defenders without injury. Also the biggest in build. Does this has anything to do with it? Just a wild shot to be honest.

  • Tom

    This is the first time I’m commenting on your articles in this series and only because this one hits close to home for me.
    I’m 48 years old and I have played organized football for 42 years and 14 years professionally . I’m 6 foot 2 inches tall and 175 pounds and extremely fit. Football is my passion and I presently play on three different teams , one of which is an open division indoor team and some of my teammates are in their late teens and early twenties . How is this relevant you might ask, well , I had hardly any injuries to speak of while playing professionally when I usually played just once a week but when I retired from professional football at 32 and started playing purely for fun I began experiencing all three types of injuries you cover in this segment and not once from getting kicked . Playing three times a week because of my overly ambitious and ill advised commitments started taking toll and soon enough an add innocent groin and thigh strains have turned into an adductor and quad tears with months of recovery time needed.

    I guess what I’m saying is this . Yours attributing thigh injuries 50/50 to getting kicked and a non contact injury is in my experience wrong. All three are usually a result of not enough recovery time .

    As for your comment about Man City being top of the league with some of those injuries and thus Verheijen being perhaps responsible for them seeing as he used to work for the City. It might be interesting to see an exact year by year breakdown of Man City’s groin, hip and thigh injuries because Verheijen was there only during the Mark Hughes era but he was extremely critical of Mancini’s training methods and he wasn’t the only one. Remember the row between Mancini and Tevez when he refused to play against Bayern as a substitute in 2011? , well what had started the whole thing which not many people know,was Tevez being openly critical about having to do fitness drills twice a day ,which btw Werheijen called ‘archaic’ approach to fitness, and that’s what got Tevez demoted to bench duties.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I admit that the decision on tigh and hip injuries were a bit difficult. The reason I divided it in to both categories was because when just running around your hip is very unlikely to get injured.
    I’m 52 years old and as a ref never had any trouble with my hips. But when playing I did have some hip troubles. I got it from a tackle where my hip was damaged. So from my own experience I split it up (not in this table but in the general table).
    The thigh injuries is more difficult. I had two from those injuries when playing from just pulling up while sprinting. But I also had to be subbed a few times when I got a bad kick (and a knee) from a high boot that hit me and forced me off. So again I used my own experience to determine that it can come from contact.
    But I admit this can depend from person to person. The problem is that the database contains a lot but not that the injury came from a contact or was from a non contact.
    Maybe the injury league could take their numbers to another interesting level and keep record of that.

    About City unfortunately the database doesn’t automatically has the numbers from each month and season fro City. Only for Arsenal we have this. I could try to sort it but I think you need someone with more computer skills than me to get that sorted. Any candidates to do this are welcome 😉

  • Tom

    Thanks for your explanation .
    Unfortunately my computer skills aren’t very high either. It’s probably a generational thing. You need some younger whippersnappers who make their living sitting behind a keyboard 🙂
    Cheers .

  • Menace

    Groin strain can be a contact injury specially as footballers are young men with a lot of female following. This ‘injury’ has surfaced frequently on some players.

    Thigh injuries can be due to the use of the knee in the back of thigh – a deliberate GBH foul – that causes a ‘dead leg’. Another foul that PGMOL ignore when used on Arsenal players.

  • para

    “a deliberate GBH foul”, we do see a lot of these, too many.
    This injury problem needs to be sorted out, so at least it looks like an official investigation is not far off, or underway. I hope football can get sorted out soon as it it plainly obvious that many things are wrong, and these are things that detract from the pleasure of football.