By Walter Broeckx
After 12 articles about injuries it is time to add another parameter to the numbers we have had.
Links to these articles can be found here 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 and part 9 and part 10 and part 11 we continue to have a further look at some of the injuries in detail. And remember this is based on the injuries since 2002.
Again I like to thank the people who have contributed to this. And who have made it possible that we could have a look at the injuries.
I would like to thank Steve Kell once again and thank him for giving permission to use the database he has. You will be able to find him over here in the future by the way AFSC London http://m.afsclondon.co.uk/ His site isn’t operational yet but I hope he will get it on line shortly. We should also thank Pete who was the link between me and Steve Kell and who passed the information on to me. The numbers in the database come from the injury league website where they have been holding records of injuries since a while.
And now I would also want to thank our reader and a person who likes to comment a lot Mike T. People should know he is not an Arsenal supporter but he seems to like Untold. We will take that as a compliment of course. The reason why I mention him is because he is the person who added that extra touch to the series. As people said before we have to also look at the number of games played by each team in total over those seasons they were correct. I do admit that I didn’t have that information and to be honest I didn’t know where I could find the time to find this information. But Mike T. delivered this information at my door step. So we can have another look at the numbers.
So after thanking all and everyone lets crunch the numbers as that is what you are mostly interested in.
The first remark I must make is that unlike the other articles where we always looked at 10 teams we now will reduce it to 3 teams only. Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle. Because those are the teams I got the numbers over those seasons. In a way this is very interesting. Arsenal and Chelsea have been close rivals all those years and have had similar seasons. While Newcastle has been a more mid-table team and so it will show how big the difference is between such teams.
If you remember Newcastle also had a rather bad injury record. So this will make it even more interesting to see how this was affected by the numbers of matches played.
Numbers of games played include all the competitive matches in a season. Premier League, FA cup, League cup and European matches if there were any.
The first thing we notice is the big difference between Newcastle and the other two teams. Around 100 matches difference in some 10 years of football. That is 10 matches per season more played or less depending from where you look.
The gap between Arsenal and Chelsea is 14 matches in 10 seasons so around 1.4 matches difference per season. Not a big gap one could say.
Now we will add the injuries as we showed them in the first articles. And then we will also look at the difference between contact and non contact injuries and calculate the risk of a player getting injured by a contact injury or by a non contact injury for those teams per match.
First of all we will start with the general numbers.
|Team||Played||Injuries||Risk coefficient per match|
So the first thing we notice is when we look at the numbers of injuries is that Arsenal is way in front of both other teams. More than 100 injuries more than Newcastle and 250 injuries more than Chelsea.
If we look at the risk coefficient per match we see however that due to Newcastle playing fewer games over that period that in fact Newcastle has more injuries than Arsenal when we look at it from match to match.
One big difference is the fact that Chelsea doesn’t lose a player per match. As for Arsenal and Newcastle they seem to lose 1 player and a bit per match. If you would extrapolate this to 10 matches it would mean that Chelsea would lose 9 players and Arsenal and Newcastle would lose 13 players. That is a difference of 4 players or about 40%! That is a big difference.
Now let us look at the non contact injuries first and do the same exercise.
|Team||Played||Non contact Injuries||Risk coefficient per match|
As we have seen before we can see that Newcastle had most non contact injuries. And if we take in account the matches played this leaves Newcastle to almost losing 1 player because of a non contact injury per match.
The number for Arsenal is slightly better as it leaves us to losing ¾ of a player per match. The score for Chelsea is much better as they only seem to be losing ½ player per match.
If we extrapolate this to 10 matches we see that Newcastle loses 9 players. Arsenal will lose 7 to 8 players and Chelsea will only lose 5 players over 10 matches because of non contact injuries.
Next thing is to look at the contact injuries. And then we get this table
|Team||Played||Contact Injuries||Risk coefficient per match|
So when we look at the contact injuries we see that Arsenal had most of them. And when looking at it from match to match we lose ½ of a player each match because of a contact injury. Newcastle does a bit better with only losing 4/10th of a player. Chelsea losing even fewer than that.
To put this in to perspective we can extrapolate this again to 10 matches and then we see that Arsenal lost more than 5 players because of contact injuries in 10 matches. That is losing 1 player every other match.
Newcastle would have lost 4 players in 10 matches and Chelsea has lost 3 players. I have rounded the numbers a bit but all in the same direction for the teams involved.
But the difference between losing 3 or 5 players in 10 matches is big. That is a difference of 40%.
So Arsenal has to overcome a contact injury mountain of some 40% compared to Chelsea. That is a big mountain to climb I think.
As all good things come to an end I will stop this series for now. However if someone could offer me the number of matches played by the other teams from the original article I will be glad to do new calculations. But I think that what we have shown by now is enough food for thought.
And enough food for thought to think a bit more before we put blame on the club for mismanaging injuries. Certainly for the bad contact injury numbers we should put the blame elsewhere. And we have to keep that in mind when we face those frustrating years of late.
And remember all the bad refereeing we have shown over the last seasons. Remember this injury records we have just shown you. And then try to say that there is no link between them…. Or better said try to prove there is no such link.
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