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June 2021

Arsenal v WBA. Men down, and how many Arsenal games Gibbs missed through injury

By Bulldog Drummond

And this is what we were told about: the fixture congestion of the Europa League.  In this case it is Monday, Thursday, Sunday, although the Monday game is caused by TV, not the Europa.

How are we taking it?  Well, we’ve shot up to fourth in the injury league, although to be fair West Bromwich Longball, who are being shown as 16th in the table, have only one fewer injuries than Arsenal.  Here’s the full table from physioroom.

# TEAM Total injured Last man down What he got
1 Everton 8 W Rooney Eye Injury
2 Stoke City 6 B Martins Indi Groin Injury
3 Watford 6 N Chalobah Knee Injury
4 Huddersfield T 5 D Williams Fractured Foot
5 West Ham United 5 M Antonio Groin Strain
6 Arsenal 4 C Chambers Hip Injury
7 Tottenham Hots 4 M Dembele Ankle Injury
8 Burnley 4 J Walters Knee Injury
9 Liverpool 3 A Lallana Thigh Strain
10 Crystal Palace 3 C Benteke Knock
11 Bournemouth 3 T Mings Back Injury
12 Manchester U 3 P Pogba Hamstring
13 Brighton and H 3 S Sidwell Back Injury
14 Newcastle United 3 F Lejeune Ankle Injury
15 Manchester City 3 B Mendy Knee Injury
16 West Bromwich A 3 C Brunt Calf Strain
17 Swansea City 2 K Bartley Knee Ligament
18 Chelsea 2 D Luiz Wrist Injury
19 Leicester City 2 R Huth Ankle Injury
20 Southampton 1 M Targett Ankle Injury

I’ve always been bemused with physioroom as to how one club comes above another when both have the same number of injuries – it certainly isn’t alphabetical order.   But that’s how they show the list.

Indeed if you have been with Untold for a very very long time, you may recall that we started the injury chart by doing all the research ourselves for the top six clubs; there were none of the sites we have these days.  Our correspondent at the time got a new job partly as a result of that groundbreaking work.  It was how we first proved the point that Arsenal don’t get more injuries that everyone else, although some of the media still hasn’t caught up.

Using an outside source that has more resources than we had has helped, but it does mean it is harder to make sense of of the numbers.   Anyway here are our details – and it is pretty much as we knew.

Man down What’s up When’s he back?
C Chambers Hip Injury October 14, 2017
D Welbeck Groin Strain October 14, 2017
F Coquelin Hamstring Injury October 14, 2017
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury January 2018?

Mr Wenger talked this week about injuries and suggested that not too much had changed in recent years, and being a man who has studied injuries a lot he was pretty damning about the fads that come and go, singling out cryotherapy, which uses cold rather than warmth to cut injuries, speed recovery, increase energy levels and improve sleep.  As he said, “… the stuff where nobody knows whether it is efficient or not.”

The problem is of course that the human body is a fiendishly difficult object to work with, for not only is each model differently built, there is that thing called the mind which can influence recovery rates.   Mr Wenger added, “If you read the science, some have proved it works and some have proved it doesn’t work. The ones that prove it works are usually sponsored by the guys who say that it does.”

There are indeed certain anti-Wengerians who fall into the camp of damning some approaches in order to promote others.  You can usually tell what they are up to by the fact that when they talk about Mr Wenger and his methods, they always claim they are “so out of date.”

He added, “Since I’ve been in the job, we have improved a lot the medical treatment. A lot. But, still, if you have a muscle problem, it takes 21 days. It took 21 days 30 years ago.    We have to respect nature and nobody could make miracles unless they doped the players sometimes. That means they inject players for a big game and the guy plays with an injury, with anti-pain.”

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This does give quite an insight into injury numbers.  A man who plays is classified as not injured, even if he is playing while carrying an injury.  So clubs that don’t risk their players in this way are always penalised in the injury charts.

As for today’s game he said, “I think from the Doncaster game last Wednesday to Monday night, we have enough time to prepare. After that, from Monday to Thursday, it will be short. And especially from Thursday to Sunday. But you have to adapt. Maybe we have to make some decisions in Borisov that will give us a chance to recover between the two games.

“You cannot sacrifice deliberately any competition with the pressure that every club is under now.  But you know that you could pay the price for it. You know that if you go further in the League Cup, at some stage you play in the semi-final – home and away in January – and you have the FA Cup, the Premier League and, sometimes, you lose players in these competitions.”

Facing Arsenal will be Kieran Gibbs who played 137 league games for Arsenal.  Over the last seven years he missed 99 games through injury, but has been going round saying that playing for the Baggies will make him a better player.  He left the club with good wishes for his future, but history suggests very few players actually find greener grass after leaving.


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19 comments to Arsenal v WBA. Men down, and how many Arsenal games Gibbs missed through injury

  • Steve Vallins

    I maybe wrong hear but wasn’t it Bertie Mee who reduce a sprained/strained ankle recouperation time down to 10 to 14 days instead of the normal 21 days (obviously dependent of the severity of the original injury)
    Rotation of the players a must with priority the league

  • Josif

    Here is a question nobody has ever answered about the Arsenal injuries:

    Wilshere, Welbeck, Cazorla.

    How come “a few days out” injury becomes an “out for a season” one?

    Wilshere in 2011-12.

    Welbeck was nine-and-half months out after an injury that should’ve kept him out for a few days (April 2015-February 2016).

    Cazorla was supposed to be out for “a few days” after his injury v Ludogorets in October 2016. He hasn’t played a single minute since then. In Cazorla’s case, it was explained with infection he got after the surgery. How did he get an infection?

    I think I have asked a very legitimate and fact-based question (or two).

  • Steve Vallins

    Josef from what I recall the medical people all went down the road of rest instead of an operation then found out after a rest period the injuries hadn’t healed suffiecently , misdiagnosis in the first place ? hope we get better

  • nicky

    1. I think it’s natural for an optimistic view of injuries, before the medics have completed a professional examination. It also “worries” the opposition!
    2. In my view and from a certain amount of experience, all hospitals are hot-beds of their own forms of infection. You are admitted for a reason and as a sort of kindly gesture, a separate infection is invariably available. As though it’s a personal thank-you for your custom. 😉

  • Josif


    Thanks for the response but that doesn’t answer how did Santi get an infection after the surgery.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Probably an air borne pathogen present in the operating theatre that landed on the wound during the operation or perhaps in the ward when a dressing was changed – it happens unfortunately despite all efforts by hospitals to avoid it.

  • Chris


    the WOB brigade will tell you it’s mr Wenger’s fault because he checked him in at the wrong hospital
    the anti-Wenger Kommetariat will say he uses outdated methods – maybe he sent him to a bush hospital in Congo to meet some healers
    and anybody who’s had a little to do with hospitals knows you are always at risk of getting some infection while being there, whatever precautions you take. After all when you are in a hospital you a surrounded by sichk people, by people who touch sick people and by a multitude of germs

    Finally, what difference does it make. I mean, it’s his life, his health and who are we to want to know that he should not have gone to the loo that day, or shaken the doctor’s hand who just came out of another surgery, or eaten that lunch ?!?! What is the added value of knowing his full medical file ? Or are you suggesting there is a conspiracy to hide incompetence at Arsenal ?!?!

    Finally, how many times in your life have you or someone dear had the flu, were told in a few days you’ll be over it only to see it last longer.

    At last comes the question how reliable a club is towards its player. They take care of them and do not consider them like pieces of meat, which cannot be said of many other big clubs. Were Arsenal to just get rid of often injured players, we’d hear no one asking questions. But from all I know, they stick to their contract and have moral standards. I like that.

  • John L

    Chris, I agree.

    The honourable treatment of Abou Diaby was a good example of this approach.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    @Steve Vallin.
    I think the answer to your question should be hmmm. No body seems to have the correct answer including me. Even science medicine appears to be struggling with knowing the answer . But I think nature should have the correct answer. Or don’t you think so?

    Yes, Le Prof is very correct in his saying that the grass is always not greener for a player that forced his way out of Arsenal. Yes, this is true. We’ve seen players who forced their ways out of Arsenal to either remain at the level they were at Arsenal or fell below the level. So, what’s the big deal about player forcing his way out of Arsenal? Higher pay packet? If not, then, let him stay at Arsenal to fight for his place and improves on the quality of his game.

    In the case of Kieran Gibbs, I think quality situation at Arsenal this summer forced him out from there as Arsenal being a top four club has to be keeping top quality players in it’s senior team squad always to compete at the top level of the game always. And in this regard, the big injuries and the smaller ones Gibbs has suffered in the past has degraded the top quality form he used to maintain to low quality form which is not suitable for Arsenal to keep keeping for their seasonal titles win challenging. And as a result of the emerging new policy at Arsenal, Le Prof has no any other option other than the option to move Gibbs on after signing Sead Kolasinac. Gibbs should therefore not feel bad about his been moved on as it was the Arsenal board decision to reduce the numbers of fringe players at Arsenal to the barest minimum during the last summer window and not totally down to Le Prof who would have still keep him if his hands were not tight.

    Nonetheless, Gibbs should be careful now that he’s a baggie not to do anything hampering on the field of play of the Ems against the Gunners to favour his Baggies team to disadvantage Arsenal in their game tonight. For, any such misendervour in playing by Gibbs against Arsenal will severly be punished by the Gunners who will turn their backs totally on him as if they’ve never seen him before talkless of knowing him.

  • Josif


    Thanks for reply.


    I’m not suggesting any kind of conspiracy. I’m asking questions based on three separate cases of three different players in three different years in a five-year period. If anything, Untold Arsenal is a place where you can ask questions nobody has raised anywhere else.

    Has there been a similar case (multiple cases in fact) in any other club in England?

    And, yes, the human side of Arsenal is something that every Arsenal fan should be proud of and, truth to be told, I reckon it’s mostly connected with Arsene’s values. That’s something that I didn’t question.

  • Goonereris

    Of course, the premier league is replete with post-game assessments of injuries going wrong. Luke Shaw, after returning from his leg break got a niggle which was wrongly assessed as a few days. He’s since lost his place. Ashley Young too copped an injury that was to keep him out for two weeks, but he ended up staying out for months. Logic Remy is another who’s suffered injuries that have initially been thought to be “nothing” niggles only to see him out for months.
    The point being made is that Arsenal do not have a monopoly of misdiagnosis of injuries, as it is being (mis-) presented. Plus, it has little to do with the manager or the style of play, as some would have you believe or Brendan Rogers, Klopp and even Pep can be expected to have an equally poor record of long term injuries.

  • Goonereris

    Logic? Hahaha! Loic, I meant to say.

    On another note, I do expect Gibbs to do well at WBA because he will play more and defend more, since they are a side who spend a long time defending in games. Good thing he didn’t leave under rancorous circumstances, so he should always be well received by our fans, being “one of our own”, and all that…

  • Steve Vallins

    Josif sorry for the miss spelling of your name earlier
    What other premiership team has had 3 ankle/leg breaks in a similar time frame , none to my knowledge Arsenal do seem rather unfortunate in these situations

  • Nitram

    Steve Vallins

    I do hope your tongue was placed firmly in your cheek when you said ‘unfortunate’

    For some reason I think it’s a tad inappropriate when disgraceful, leg breaking, career ending, assaults are described as ‘Unfortunate’.

    What is ‘unfortunate’ is that it didn’t end the careers of the perpetrators instead of the victims.

  • Josif


    The thing is, none of these three cases were caused by ankle/leg breaks.

    Most painful cases of leg-breaking actions by the opponents were:

    -victim: Abou Diaby, perpetrator: Dan Smith (referee Dermot Gallagher gave only a yellow card to the thug so it was Arsenal who had to play the rest of the game with ten men),

    -victim: Eduardo da Silva, perpetrator: Martin Taylor (referee Mike Dean sent Taylor off),

    -victim: Jack Wilshere, perpetrator: Paddy McNair (referee Mike Dean didn’t even give a foul for that assault, never mind a card).

    None of these three players have managed to restore neither their fitness nor pre-injury form. Their perpetrators were shit-players before and after the incident.

    The only exception of the rule was Aaron Ramsey. He was a victim of Shawcross’ assault but still managed to return to top football. (Peter Walton was the ref in that match and he sent Shawcross off.)

    There was also a case of ruining Mathieu Debuchy’s career. Jon Moss was the referee and he didn’t even deem Arnautović’s deliberate push of Debuchy to the hoardings was worth of a foul, never mind a red card for the stupid Stoke thug.

  • Gord

    Even if an injury still takes the same time to heal, doesn’t mean that an improvement has not been made.

    To just rest an injury, the body may not lie down new tissue in the best orientations, whereas light usage during healing may lead to new tissue being layed down in a better orientation.

  • Steve Vallins

    Nitram it was definitely tongue in cheek I know as well as most Untold readers know how we have been treat by referees
    What we don’t know how long Santi was carrying his injury before the final tackle on his Achilles put him out also Kos is also supposed to be carrying an injury which is being monitored with more than likely rest and treatment

  • Nitram

    Steve Vallins

    Thanks, thought as much.

  • Wow guys, civility, no actually sounds like the forum of a gentleman’s club! Yay! 2-0 another clean sheet and very few scares. So we doubled up, kept a clean sheet probed and controlled a fame.

    Damn the profigacy and more LD ref bias at Tue bridge. 4/5 Brighton and Bate to see us start Oct on a run, no need to drop any points until City and if we can’t pass a depletes Norwich, I’ll give Weighty a free pass!

    We should be 5th by october, in cusp of winning EL group and LC quarters.

    Is it that we are having a bad season or simply that we are doing so well and both signings have hit the ground running.

    Thierry shut up, no more 121 sessions for Romolu plz.

    Aaron was purring and Montreal is making that Ceasar Az job look easy. Bellerin looks good again and Alexis and Ozil are learning humble even if they should he given contracts equal to their status, but let me see world class first, or jumping ship because world cup to ply your wares at, tut tut.

    Couldn’t fault anyone today even Xaka is calming the f**k down.

    Next BATE play to your favouritea billing, its a gwbuinw case of who the f**k are you, you get no respect 4-0.

    Repeat with Brighton, as much as Tue place has its ups, 15/16 those Brigtonians pissed me off, I told them, you no make the cut Tull next year and, yeah. Their manager Huston can’t cut premier league. I think Delia had a crush but even she was like, you no have the quality.

    Best emirates winning run over a dozen.

    Those citizens still can’t defend and Pep is going to give us a chance. Jack needs to be fit along with Mesut, Giroud and Alexis, sub’s could be the key.