The Independent claims Arsenal suffer most injuries after using obviously faked data

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal suffered more injuries than any other Premier League team last season – costing the club £15m in wasted wages, according to a report on the website of the Independent dated 24 January 2017. The report goes on to quote Talk Sport and “Dutch fitness coach Raymond Verheijen” and suggests “The numbers could raise more questions about the training methods employed by the north London club.”

However even a quick cursory look at the statistics provided shows that the whole story is a fake – yet another fake to add to the stories about transfers, Mr Wenger’s tactics, training methods etc etc.

But it is a shocking allegation, and one that we have heard before.  Knowing the injury figures as I do, for we have debated them before, I looked on it with surprise, amazement and then laughter.  Laughter because the fakery is as obviously transparent as the “news” that Facebook give me each day that Stephen Fry has died.

It is obvious because the list of so-called Arsenal injuries for 2015/16 includes Carl Jenkinson being out for 37 weeks, when in fact he was on loan to West Ham.   Yes of course we might say that Jenkinson was still an Arsenal player, but he was playing for WHU, being trained by WHU and being paid by WHU.

Besides which Jenkinson suffered his knee injury on 23 January 2016, after playing 20 games for the club, which means that even if in some odd way he was to be quoted as an Arsenal player for the season he was out for 15 weeks of the season, not 37.  But that still seems ludicrous.  He was a WHU player for the season.

Looking further I then discovered that Danny Welbeck was listed as being out for 56 weeks in the 2015/16 season.  Which is quite interesting given that last time I looked a year had 52 weeks, and a season around 40 weeks.

In fact Danny returned on 14 February 2016 in a 2–1 win over Leicester – I remember it rather clearly since I was there and had a perfect view of his goal.  By my reckoning they have added 28 weeks to Danny’s missing time – and this is before we get into a debate about the difference between being out injured and being match fit.

These figures are alleged by the Independent to come from Hopewiser and the Indy points us to their website “The Weird and Wonderful Ways Businesses Waste Money”.  I found a lot of the site rather odd, in that (for example) it appears to calculate all PR activities as wasted money, and gives no sources or evidence for any of its findings.  But that point rather slips away when compared to the fact that on the page the Indy links to, there is no mention of Arsenal.  Instead there is a note saying

Manchester United wasted £15,850,000 paying injured players in the 2015/16 season

Below that is an article that begins…

Luke Shaw, Radamel Falcao, and Phil Jones are just some of the few who spent extended time on the side-lines for Manchester United last season. As for paying these injured players, Man Utd will have forked out over £15 million to players who couldn’t make the match day squad. That’s more than any other team in the Premier League would have paid injured players last season.

Which makes the headline about Arsenal all the more curious.

But still, if there is a chance to bash Arsenal, it will be used, so I continued to read for the Independent leads with “New research could raise further questions over Arsene Wenger’s training methods”

It is not clear what the “new research” actually is, nor indeed how it could be “new” since the injury figures are actually available week by week, and indeed we publish them in our match previews each week.

Anyway, the piece continues, “Arsenal players suffered more injuries and spent more time on the sidelines last season than those from any other Premier League side – costing the club nearly £15m in wasted wages.”

Now we might pause here, and note that in the actual article on the Hopeweiser site the headline reads “Manchester United wasted £15,850,000 paying injured players in the 2015/16 season”

So Man U are cited with over £15m and Arsenal with nearly £15m in lost wages.  Apart from the fact that this is untrue since Danny Welbeck wasn’t out for 56 weeks in a year of 52 weeks, and Carl Jenkinson had his wages paid by WHU, while not being out for the period stated either.

But even then this notion that Man U wasted more than Arsenal on salaries for injured players is itself contradicted by the statement in the Indy that

“Only Manchester City, who spent £16.3m on injured players’ wages, paid more despite having fewer total injuries, according to figures compiled by data services firm Hopewiser.”

Of course it is possible that Hopewiser has deliberately put false figures on its site, extended the year to 56 weeks without telling me, and that Danny didn’t play for us against Leicester but it was a look alike who scored, and Carl wasn’t paid by WHU when playing for them but by Arsenal.

But I don’t think so.

So when we then read in the Indy that “The numbers could raise more questions about the training methods employed by the north London club,” we might want to translate that into “”The article should raise more questions about the editorial methods employed by Independent which until a while back was a newspaper of some repute, but which seems to be living in a fantasy land where nothing is checked and a rabid anti-Arsenal agenda is maintained.”

After that we get into quotes from Raymond Verheijen including the notorious rant on TalkSport:

“In particular, you have this group of young players who are consistently injured for months, season after season.  We are talking about Ramsey, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere and also in the past Sagna, Van Persie and Fabregas.   Young players are getting injured every season for weeks or months and that is a very worrying pattern.”

Interestingly, there is no mention there of any comparison figures with other clubs.  But still he went on to blame Wenger.

Then the Independent gives us the graphic


You will note the “Get the data” link – and may already have found it doesn’t work.  It doesn’t work on the Independent’s site either.

But I was then fascinated by Swansea’s figure at the bottom – just six weeks lost.  Assuming that was spread between six players being out for a week each, that would mean that around 15 members of their first team squad never missed a single week with an injury.  That seems unlikely, so I went looking for someone else’s figures.

 But chasing this down I did find this chart from   The second column to the right of the club names shows the total number of days lost to injury – always the most interesting figure, and indeed  this is what the Independent is quoting.  I make Arsenal 14th on this chart.  To be clear, 13 teams lost more player days to injury than Arsenal.

Among the highlights from the teams often near the top of the league we had

  • Liverpool! 1908 days
  • Man U 1764 days
  • Man City 1490 days
  • Everton 1349 days
  • Tottenham 1106 days
  • Chelsea 992 days
  • Arsenal 964 days
Back with the Indy however we now come to the chart that led me to understand quite how whacky this all is.  This is where the 37 weeks for Jenkinson and 56 for Danny turns up.  Remember this is the fake list, not my list, and not the list from sources we quote each week on the match previews.

Arsenal injuries 2015/16 


“The costliest injuries to Arsenal last year were Danny Welbeck’s knee cartilage (£3.9m) and Carl Jenkinson’s ligament (£1.6m)” the Independent website continues.

By this stage I reckoned that at least 65 weeks had been added, and that is before I started checking any other figures (and several of them looked dubious to me and worthy of examination but there is a limit to how far I am willing to go sorting out other people’s errors – I make enough of my own!)

However even without that, and accepting all the other figures that would still put Arsenal sixth in the league table of injuries, not first.  I’d say the Premier Injuries figure for the year is about right.

So what happened?  Did someone play a cruel trick on the Independent?  Quite possibly, after all, it was their website which all the way through last summer ran, as a football story, under the headline “Bournemouth”, a piece about the cost of getting to Heathrow airport from central London.

Whatever the source is this crazy story, it does suggest that either someone is playing a cruel prank on the Indy, or Raymond Verheijen and his allies at Talk Sport are still out there doing their stuff.

Certainly it proves, if it needs proving that the aaa and their allies are ramping up the fake news even more than before.  It will be interesting to see if any of them quote the story, or indeed if the Indy takes it down.

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21 Replies to “The Independent claims Arsenal suffer most injuries after using obviously faked data”


    A man who smelled like a distillery flopped on a subway seat next to a PIGMOB referee . The man’s tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket.

    He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the disheveled guy turned to the referee and asked, “Say, ref, what causes arthritis?”

    “Mister, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and a contempt for your fellow man.”

    “Well, I’ll be damned,” the drunk muttered, returning to his paper.

    The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. “I’m very sorry, I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?”

    “I don’t have it, ref . I was just reading here that Mike Riley does.”

  2. More facts ?

    Please, take care of yourself.

    A recent joint study conducted by the Department of Health and the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that 23% of traffic accidents are alcohol related.

    This means that the remaining 77% are caused by assholes who just drink coffee, carbonated drinks, juices, yogurts, and shit like that.

    Therefore, beware of those who do not drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents.

    This message is sent by someone who worries about your well being.

  3. So, Mr Wenger questions the integrity and competence of Moss and Taylor and the next week the press are running fake anti-Wenger stories ??? It’s almost like there was an agenda …

  4. The bias, the double standards, the hypocrisy, the plain and simple lies are simply irrefutable.

    With ‘video’ ‘stills’ and ‘written’ evidence we can clearly see the anti Arsenal agenda in it’s full glory. Not just to Arsenal in general, but to certain players, and Wenger in particular.

    We’ve seen how Xhaka is dealt with for a 2 footed tackle compared to others. One particularly nasty one by Barkley I think it was that went unpunished, saw the referee actually applauded for not sending him off.

    We see how Xhaka was dealt with by Moss previously for a professional foul. Yes it was a professional foul but we see professional fouls of a similar nature on a fairly regular basis and I have yet to see ONE other player sent off (unless a clear goal scoring opportunity)for it.

    We’ve also seen how when Xhaka gives a slight push in the back it’s a foul and a penalty, where as our players can get shoved to the ground, or worse, into the hoardings, and not a word is said.

    We see how Wenger is slaughtered for touching an official with every man and his dog calling for his head, whilst Hart and Stirling where excused with a wave of the hand.

    We hear the likes of darling ‘Arry’ defending Rooneys constant foul mouthed rants at referees, whist in the very next breath berating Wenger for less.

    We see a period where Manchester United scored 3, 4 maybe more, offside goals all of which where again, ignored with the waving of a dismissive hand.

    Yet we score a goal with a narrow offside call and the linesmen is hung out to dry and Arsenal are again proved to get a ‘dodgy’ win. Things will even out we are told. Yep, I’m sure they will.

    Then we have, as pointed out elsewhere, the difference in the way Liverpool/Spurs et el are treated when they get beaten by the likes of Swansea and Southampton, compared to how we are. Mark my words, if we lose to Southampton on Saturday there will be yet more calls for Wengers head, assuming he still has one by then of course.

    As shown by Tony above, yet again totally ‘fake’ statistics are produced simply in order to undermine Arsenal, and Wenger in particular.

    If nothing else, this last week has shown beyond any notions of paranoia or bias that the way we are refereed, and subsequently treated by the media is nothing short of a disgrace.

  5. The moment I tried to click link on in that article, I knew it was faked data, yesterday.

    Good piece Tony.

  6. Good article, Tony.

    I think this is what Wenger referred to as “Fake News” the other day. Such irresponsible reporting from the independent. Aren’t their articles proof read if not fact checked? 56 weeks in a year.

    One more point I think. The fact that a player is injured does not mean his wage is wasted. There are several players on the bench every week who don’t play- are those wages wasted? The unused (including injured) players play a key role in putting in personal appearances for the clubs work in the community and the various sponsored charities (and commercial partners). Does the independent consider that a waste too?

    Finally, it is no secret that the Arsenal captains of the current and previous seasons have been largely out injured. Both Per & Arteta are write match notes to inspire every week and are in the dressing room to provide leadership- Was this also a waste?

  7. I saw this article yesterday on reddit, considering the graphic was a screenshot so i couldnt click on the link anyway that made me suspect the entire article since I could not verify a simple link.
    A quick search on hopewiser took me to a site about address and post code experts so by then the damage was done by the article as it was posted and many people have viewed their fake news. Must have been written by some intern or something, but it’s a shame no one brings this up to Wenger in a conference so he can say its fake news again.

  8. Utter disgrace. If anybody had any decency they’d introduce waterboarding to get AW to admit to his awful training methods………..

  9. Watever d aims,goals nd oblectives of dis ‘fake. News’ progenitors, they hve. Failed nd will fail always,tanks to UT; dis last incident shuld alert every well meaning Arsenal Man to d Inglorious agenda against our darling club, d players nd officials shuld be more careful henceforward to avoiding any oppurtunity for refs to make dem scape goats as in d case of Xhaka;d whole world now knos refs apply different footballing rules to arsenal players; bt certainly nemesis is round d bend for d wicked! Shalom nd well done Untold!!!

  10. Why don’t we fight fire with fire ? Since they are putting up fake news , why don’t we come up with some of our own ? After all all’s fair in loathing and war ! Untold Unleashed !

    We could start our own secret Department of Underground **Diss-misinformation,or DUD .
    No holds barred . It will be so easy to pick off PIGMOB , the media , the pundits and the ex-players .We could always welcome clips ( real or fake ) of the above misbehaving or in compromising situations . After all quite a few million AKBs are really pissed with them.Just imagine that – millions of wanna be Abraham Zapruders !

    And ‘them’ fools who,come on here are quite gullible and would probably parrot all this crap , especially onto ‘them’ sites ! Or we could get Arsenal supporters ( and hackers ) in Russia or China to help ‘spread’ it around .

    Will get to work stat . Or tomorrow – its past midnight here !

    ** diss

    1. (slang, mainly US) to treat (someone) with contempt
    Word Origin
    C20: originally Black rap slang, short for disrespect

  11. Brickfields Gunners

    You mean ‘data’ like:

    Spurs haven’t won a title for over 55 years.


    Liverpool haven’t won a title since for over 16 years.


    how Spurs last FA cup success was over 25years ago.


    how Liverpool haven’t won an FA cup for over 10years.


    Oh, wait a minute……………

  12. Think we found the appropriate word to describe this “fake news” gubbins some time ago:


    And this article that you had the misfortune to stumble past smells like:

    Fermented Gibberish!!

  13. Middlesbrough have confirmed that on-loan Arsenal defender Calum Chambers has suffered a stress fracture in his foot and is going to be out of action for a while.
    I suppose The Independent will blame Wenger for this injury as well.

  14. Articles like this are just so infuriating, because you know that even when they’re completely discredited (such as this one has been), it still digs itself deep into the minds of so many of our so-called “fans”, as they are just so desperate for as many things as possible to criticise Wenger with. I know for a fact that large portions of people still believe that Arsenal have the highest wage-bill in the PL (another one that was literally plucked from thin air), as well as the most expensive ticket prices. It doesn’t matter how many times these claims are refuted, the damage is done the second the articles are published.

  15. @ Nitram – 26/01/2017 at 4:47 pm – I wouldn’t feed them too much simple ‘raw’ data like that! But like raw sewage , it has to be treated first ! Don’t choke them at the first whiff !

    I would rather first awe them and then hook them with some historical, political,social and football facts that would leave their heads spinning . Make them believe that you are an experts of sorts , but never claim to be one outright . Don’t scare them off ! Once you’ve got their attention , you can manipulate them easily like silly putty , or Plasticine as it was then called.

    For example –
    The last time Spurs won the 1st division , JFK had just been inaugrated as the American president .Comrade Fidel Castro was just 3 years into his presidency . Most Asian , African and West Indian were yet to gain their independence from their respective oppressors , sorry ..colonial powers .

    In the music scene , The Beatles were still unknown to many and were playing in Germany , with Pete Best as their drummer.

    In Britain , the The Profumo affair was just still diplomatic insider gossip and Accrington Stanley F.C.(The original )were still in the football league . Alf Ramsey was not yet the England manager .

    But then you reel them in by saying that Spurs were the first team in the 20th century to do the double , but third overall .

    Most Spurs fans were probably not even born then , so not having tasted much success is probably the norm for them ! And you could also tantalise and tease them with questions like , ” Who scored the winning goal in the 1987 FA Cup ?”, and then run !

    Oh , and re: Liverpool , they have never won the EPL . The last time they won the old first division was in 1990 – 27 years ago ! Kenny Dalglish was the manager then. But he did later win the EPL , only with Blackburn Rovers !

  16. Here are some more (selective ) facts –

    These following clubs are the only ones to have won it this century . From season 2000-01 .

    1. Man Utd – 7
    2. Chelsea – 4
    3. Arsenal – 2
    4. Man City – 2
    5. Leicester- 1

    A well known fact is that all Man Utd’s and Arsenal’s wins were by the same managers.

  17. Jammy J @ 110.08

    You are right of course.

    No matter how often we highlight these lies, because that’s all they are, lies, pure and simple, we will never change what people are led to think.

    The problem we have is that Arsenal, and Wenger in particular, have been turned into the pantomime villains.

    The media have create Wenger as a whinging, myopic Frenchie, and Arsenal as a bunch of namby pampy foreigners, who don’t like it up ’em.

    And the bottom line is, the xenophobe that lingers just bellow the surface of so many ‘Brits’ is ready willing and able to believe anything negative written about them.

    Talk to most of them on a one to one basis, and point out how Jose, Fergie and the rest all moan, and don’t ‘see it’, just as often, and show them a few stats and they’ll nod there head sagely and rub there chins knowingly and say things like, “well I never knew that, that’s bad”.

    The problem is, the next day there’s a headline in the Sun screaming ‘whingeing Wenger in ref rant’ and the very same bloke is in with the rest of them proclaiming Wenger as a ‘whinging cheat’.

    The problem is, as the pantomime villains, Arsenal and Wenger bashing is what they want.

    As Jack Nicholson famously yells in A Few Good Men “THE TRUTH, YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH”.

    They are not interested that a story such as above is ‘fake’.

    In fact, and the very reason the Independent runs such a story, is because it’s what the average football fan WANTS to read about Arsenal.

    The sad truth is a negative Arsenal story, real or fake, it makes no difference, sells.

    So putting the truth out there will not help because nobody, except a few like us, gives a shit, and that is a fact.

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