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June 2021

The extremely pesky business of counting the number of players injured

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw

If you are a regular reader you will know just how pesky injury numbers can be.  Reports can claim that Arsenal have players out injured who were actually injured on loan (and therefore not really an Arsenal player, since if uninjured the player would not be playing for Arsenal anyway), players who have been classed as being injured for over 52 weeks in a year (honest!) and players who have a strain but are deemed to be ok for the coming match.

Because of this, along with Stewart Robson’s regular slot on Talk Sprout in which he says that Arsenal always have greater numbers of injuries than everyone else AND ITS ALL WENGER’S FAULT, we’ve taken to running all sorts of injury analyses.   And because of my position as a medical man, not to mention regular drinker at the Toppled Bollard (hostelry to Untold’s elite) I have been asked to conduct the occasional investigation into injury stories.

And so I start with today’s headline from a bloggetta… “Arsenal stay third in the Injury League table, Everton are top and Watford are currently in second place.”

Alarming stuff you will agree, since Untold has been reporting a much lower number of deadbeats on the books.

According to these jolly japesters “Arsenal still have five players out as the rest of the footballing world slowly return from the first international break of the 2017/18 season.”

And they say, “Joel Campbell (knee), Santi Cazorla (ankle) and Calum Chambers (groin) are all still out, but Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi will be back in action for the Gunners.”

Now correct me if I am a doughnut (and I know you will), but isn’t Joel Campbell on loan at Betis and so not an Arsenal player per se.    If we want to count on loan injured players we can, but then we need to do it for all clubs, and I am not sure the bloggetta is actually doing that.

And Santi Caz, yes of course he is injured, but he is not actually listed in the 25 players who can play in the first half of the season, so should we count him as injured.    But if we do, then shouldn’t we also count Krystian Bielik  who is also not in the 25 but is also injured.  You see what I mean about it being complicated.

So complicated I can’t make head nor tail of their own chart of injuries which is based on one point per player per week for 2017/18 – which is where Arsenal turn up third with 25 points.   If we take it we have had three weeks of the PL season (we haven’t but I’ll be kind) that gives us eight players a week out.  That’s quite a lot really, and I can’t honestly understand how I haven’t noticed.

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Indeed the bloggetta suggests that “Everton still have eight players currently sidelined, which sees them ahead of Watford at the top of the Injury League table.”  On this table they also show Southampton with six points for 2017/18 despite their comment that “Southampton remain at the bottom, having yet to face an injury crisis early into the new campaign.”
So trying to make sense of this I looked at this site’s number of injures:

Everton (8):

Barkley, Ross – Hamstring Strain
Bolasie, Yannick – ACL Injury
Coleman, Seamus – Double Leg Fracture
Funes Mori, Ramiro – Knee Cartilage Surgery
Holgate, Mason – Ankle Injury
Klaassen, Davy – Foot Injury
McCarthy, James – Knee Injury
Pickford, Jordan – Muscular Injury

Watford (6):

Cathcart, Craig – Knee Injury
Hoban, Tom – ACL Injury
Janmaat, Daryl – Groin Strain
Kaboul, Younès – Muscular Injury
Pereyra, Roberto – Groin Injury
Zárate, Mauro – ACL Injury

Crystal Palace (6):

Loftus-Cheek, Ruben – Groin Strain
Riedewald, Jairo – Groin Strain
Sako, Bakary – Calf Strain
Tomkins, James – Groin Strain
Wickham, Connor – ACL Injury
Zaha, Wilfried – Knee Injury

Liverpool (4):

Bogdán, Ádám – ACL Injury
Clyne, Nathaniel – Hamstring Injury
Coutinho, Philippe – Lower Back Injury
Lallana, Adam – Thigh Strain

Arsenal (3):

Cazorla, Santi – Plantaris Injury
Chambers, Calum – Groin Strain
Iwobi, Alex – Quadriceps Strain

So this one puts Arsenal in fifth.  But in so doing it continues to includes Iwobi, who it appears will be ready for the match on saturday if required.

Meanwhile physioroom which we have traditionally quoted gives this chart today…

1 Everton 8 M Holgate Ankle Injury
2 Stoke City 7 K Zouma Ankle Injury
3 Crystal Palace 7 P Souare Fitness
4 Watford 6 C Cathcart Knee Injury
5 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 T Hemed Hamstring Injury
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5 K Trippier Ankle Injury
7 Swansea City 5 J Ayew Illness
8 West Ham United 5 E Fernandes Ankle Injury
9 Newcastle United 5 K Darlow Ankle Injury
10 Bournemouth 4 N Ake Ankle Injury
11 Manchester United 4 L Shaw Fitness
12 Liverpool 3 A Lallana Thigh Strain
13 Huddersfield Town 3 M Cranie Hip Injury
14 Arsenal 2 C Chambers Groin Strain
15 Burnley 2 J Hendrick Thigh Muscle Strain
16 Leicester City 2 R Huth Foot
17 Manchester City 2 V Kompany Knock
18 West Bromwich Albion 1 G McAuley Thigh
19 Chelsea 0
20 Southampton 0
They give us two listing Chambers and Santi Caz. whereas the site quotes Chambers, Iwobi, Wilshere, Cazorla.   Jack is apparently injured because he is short of match practice.  Which raises the question how does any player ever come out of this situation, in that you can’t get match practice without playing, but seemingly you can’t play because you are short of match practice.
So should we have Santi marked as injured?  The logical thing would be to say yes, if he were to be included in the 25, but since we have 25 other players listed and he is not, then his injury is not really relevant because he couldn’t be picked anyway.
Of course if we really are getting fine tuned about this, then for Chelsea we might include Cahill who is not injured but suspended.   And here we find do include this player.
Just goes to show.  This injury business, just like every other bit of football reporting is a seriously pesky business.

4 comments to The extremely pesky business of counting the number of players injured

  • Mwaut is that a wedding band mate!

    Did I see Alexis with a chic while he was off for the opening 2.

    Manchester or London!

    Mesut, Bayern didnt come for you, Real ousted you the year they went for CL, Barca, no somehings should be sacred.

    ARSENAL – “Mesut % Alexis; will you marry us till career doth end” the choices of the legendary top scorer and assist master, youngest player, goal scorer standard Bearer’s. Indeed look to each who left since AW reigned.

    The last player to be amongst us and fair on new pastures? Andy Cole.

    You reap what you sew, plant the matchday balls in opposition nets already!

    I see the collective rhetoric is shifting, socially, politically and even ampngst what sgould ve United GOONERS, our stadia, those middle tier soxialites might qant ro ahout on behalf of burning tower block reaidents, a difference ‘we’ can make or hand ocwe yoyr tickets, wtf do we have less than 100% actual capacity for!

    #the perfect right winger and you score 5 a game, the perfect screen you save on injuries and stop the press, the perfect CB and ypu have a 1st 11 set to desstoy.






  • Seriously auto dictionary that has the last say. :/ planned obsolescence crap!

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In the case of Mesut Ozil not yet extending his staying at Arsenal that terminates after this season, I am beginning to think his refusal to do so is not totally on the wage demand side of the issue. But also hinge on the fact that Ozil had said he came to Arsenal because of Le Prof who convinced him to come. And he has since believed in him as Le Prof too has reciprocated his believe by believing in him too.

    Therefore, if Arsenal have tabled a contract extension for Ozil to sign that will run pass the 2 seasons contract renewal which Le Prof has recently signed at the very end of last season, I doubt if Ozil will sign that kind of offer to extend his contract. Because he looks not to want to play under another Arsenal manager except Le Prof. In fact, I was taken aback when I read Le Prof signed for only 2 more seasons to remain at Arsenal instead of 3 more seasons staying that used to be the case. So, in this case of Ozil dragging his feet in extending, I think Le Prof limiting his managing Arsenal to only 2 more seasons that expires at the end of 2018/19 season is the main reason responsible for Ozil not wanting to extend. However, his high wage demands could be part of it. But had it been Le Prof will be at Arsenal for the next 3 seasons and Ozil is offered a contract extension of 3 years with good increased wages to go with it, he’ll sign.

  • goonersince72

    Tired of the nonsense. If AW sprained his ankle they’d add it to the injury list. Also, who cares? The negative lies and distortions re AFC won’t stop because there’s no accountability. If any of the experts, pundits, scribes, whatever were to lose their job if they were caught out in their lies perhaps they’d stop. I don’t pay attention – the only way to make them go away. Still rather support the Arsenal than any other club.