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June 2021

Absolutely amazing overwhelming Arsenal injury crisis brings club to the edge

By Tony Attwood

Oh yes oh yes oh yes, the injury crisis is back and the bloggettas are knocking each other over in a desperate bid to get the absolute ENORMITY of the crisis registered.

Because MAKE NO MISTAKE this is the big one.  It is “horrible for Wenger” according to the quaintly named 101 Great Goals.  It is


If it were a colour it would be a bleeding heart.  Because “Arsenal could be without these seven players” according to the Daily Canon and my word that really does make this sound like A BAD ONE.

So let’s check the list.  Here’s the list from 101.  You’d better sit down for this.

“Shkodran Mustafi became the latest high profile injury at the Emirates Stadium….

“Laurent Koscielny is also a major doubt this weekend. The centre-half had to withdraw from France’s international squad due to his ongoing Achilles problems.

“And Calum Chambers is also an injury doubt. The English defender has a thigh problem.

“Moving further up the pitch, Danny Welbeck is sidelined with a groin injury, while Mesut Ozil has a knee setback.

“Arsenal’s final absentee is Santi Cazorla, who is still recovering from a long term injury.”

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101 goes one better and throws Coquelin into the mix to make it seven.   So let’s try and untangle the amazing total and absolute Arsenal cock up that has allowed such a staggering mess to take place.

First, Santi Cazorla is not a member of the 25 registered players, so fit or unfit it would make no odds, he could not play.  Indeed when you see those funny little articles about the players Arsenal are ready to sign on 1 January, it is always interesting that they never tell us who is going to leave the 25 to make room for them.

If, as seems quite possible Santi Caz is back, or expected to be back, in the late winter or spring, then that will require one person to leave the 25.  Bring in a couple more who are already signed and sealed according to the bloggettas, and that means we have to get rid of three players.  It would be good to know who the scribblers have in mind.

So what of the other six?

Mustafi: Yes he is certainly out following the normal insanity from an international team.

Koscielny: He didn’t play in the internationals which must be good news since it meant he wasn’t further damaged, but we know he has an Achilles problem, and so could be a bit of a doubt.

Chambers: Injured probably for one more week – it was a hip injury.

Welbeck: Are we quite sure he has not yet recovered?

Ozil: Rather like Welbeck, I’m not seeing any news to say he has not recovered.

Coquelin: I’m fairly sure he is back in full training.

OK that makes it Santi Caz plus three, which adding it up carefully makes four of whom one can’t play anyway.  But let’s see what Physioroom has to say about this.

Player What happened When’s he back Doubt level
S Mustafi Thigh Strain No Return Date Major Doubt
L Koscielny Achilles Injury October 14, 2017 Slight Doubt
C Chambers Hip Injury October 14, 2017 No chance
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury No Return Date No chance

They have got it down to four, one of whom could not play whether he was fit or not.  So that is three out of the current squad, one of whom is a “slight doubt”.

And that raises the question: is two players out of the 25 a major and total catastrophe that will have Arsenal fans rioting in their armchairs?

Just to get a grip on the whole thing, here’s the physioroom top 10

# Club Total number of men down Last man down What he did
1 Manchester United 7 M Fellaini MCL Knee Ligament Injury
2 Crystal Palace 6 S Dann Knock
3 Everton 6 P Jagielka Hamstring Injury
4 Huddersfield Town 6 M Hefele Achilles Injury
5 Watford 6 I Success Knee Injury
6 Newcastle United 5 J Shelvey Thumb/Wrist Injury
7 Bournemouth 5 R Fraser Hamstring Injury
8 Arsenal 4 S Mustafi Thigh Strain
9 Tottenham Hotspur 4 M Dembele Ankle Injury
10 Liverpool 4 D Lovren Back Injury

Yes the Mustafi injury is annoying indeed, but still, it could be an awful lot worse.  We could be in the same mess as Tottenham and Liverpool.  Oh, hang on, we are.

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12 comments to Absolutely amazing overwhelming Arsenal injury crisis brings club to the edge

  • jon fox

    Too shallow an analysis by far. Surely what most matters is not just numbers injured (as your graph compares, rather uselessly) but WHICH key players are out and for HOW LONG. To lose Koscielny alone would not be disastrous against Watford, were all our other CB’s fit. But to also lose Mustafi, who is reported to have TORN a thigh muscle, so months out if true, but also the young Chambers. LEAVING MERTS WHO HAS HARDLY PLAYED SINCE THE CUP FINAL, AND HOLDING , RAW AND MISTAKE RIDDEN. I call that pretty bad and I suggest so would most Gooners. Trying to bend the facts- and trim a bit here, add a bit there just to fit a theory, quite of your own invention, is not wise and not honest either.

  • Well yes jon fox, except that it doesn’t seem to matter how often Mert plays; after all he had not played all season before he became the man who totally took control of the defence and was a major part in beating Chelsea at Wembley. And you somehow, I can’t quite see how, ignore Monreal, whose performances in the back three culminated in him being listed in the Guardian’s top 20 players in the PL across September. I don’t often agree with them, but on this I do. And the fact that Elneny has played central defence to much acclaim by Mr Wenger. And… well, I’ve done all rest so won’t repeat.
    At heart you appear to have the worrying view that is so regularly reported in the media, that young players can’t be trusted. I think you are too harsh on Holding, but if your view is that we should only use players in the first team who have already matured that would mean that we would never have given a place to Bellerin, whose opening games were not very good at all, or to Jack Wilshere, or to Koscielny who for his first year really wasn’t the man who he came to be later or…
    I could go on and on, but in essence I think your whole premise is flawed by a lack of proper evidence.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Per has played in 4 matches so far this season. The CS against Chelsea where he came off with a nasty head injury and only then Chelsea could score. And then against Koln and Bate Borisov in the Europa League and finally in the League cup. 4 matches played, 4 wins. Not bad at all.

  • Usama Zaka

    Our CB options good enough for time being even with Mustafi out for long term. We can play 3 CB in PL games, but for cup and Europa 3 CB will be difficult to put in to place, we may risk injury to any 4 available.

    With Per retiring and Kos last yr in contract, I think we will make 1-2 defender signings (1 first team + 1 youth) in january at least.

    My personal pick for the long term CB is Mouckthar Diakhaby from Lyon, fantastic talent only 20.

  • Gord

    But to also lose Mustafi, who is reported to have TORN a thigh muscle, so months out if true,

    An often mentioned characteristic time scale for the body to respond to a change in training (or stress) is 6 weeks.

    A little investigation into muscle strains (sprains are for ligaments and tendons), turns up one example of an ordinary 18 year old recovering from a 3rd degree strain (complete tear) of a pectoral muscle (large muscle in chest) in 2 months. This is just ordinary medical care, certainly not that available to a team like Arsenal.

    Lots of journalists will use the plural of month in prose if the period of time in question is longer than 1 month (which is 30 or 31 days). To them, it doesn’t matter if it is only 1 microsecond longer than 1 month. But it is longer than one month, it is technically correct to use the plural.

    For me, one should first investigate whether the term “couple” is more appropriate. And yes, this example shows a recovery from a 3rd degree strain of a pectoral muscle in a couple of months.

    If the period of time is longer than “2 months” (which I will suggest describes 1.5 to 2.5 months), one should investigate whether the term “a few months” is more appropriate. A few typically refers to between 3 and 7 months (or here, between 2.5 and 7.5 months). In our example, “a few months” is not appropriate, as the recovery time wa less than 2.5 months.

    It is only when “more than a few months” is the time period in question, that the unqualified plural should be used. As “a few months” was not appropriate, the unqualified plural is also not appropriate.

    It is entirely possible that Mustafi’s injury will take longer than the 6-8 weeks I will think is a good guess at recovery time in this instance. But your unqualified months usage almost implies he could be gone for the season, which I think is far too pessimistic.

  • Gord

    The CBC is running a story about a new kind of wound dressing which changes colour in the presence of infection.

    Something like this might have helped Santi Cazorla.

  • Gord

    Aaron and Nacho are playing today, let’s hope they make it through unscathed.

  • Gord

    Giroud’s goal has been nominated for the Puskas award!
    Or rather, is one of the final three. So vote for Giroud!

    You will need to have javascript turned on to vote, but thankfully there is no cross site scripting involved, so you only need to allow on this.

  • Gord

    Marca has an article on a FIFPro study into concussions:

    The study found that athletes who suffered four or five concussions during their career were 1.5 times more likely to report symptoms of common mental disorders.

    Gee, it’s different than what that genius Roy Keane said.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    For our away PL game to Watford on Saturday at the Vicarage Road, I don’t see Le Prof having centreback selection problem for that match as there are still 3 specialist centrebacks in Mertesacker, Monreal and Holding available and fit to play in this match. And ElNeny and Coquelin are adaptable centrebacks whom Le Prof can play in the match as centrebacks if it becomes necessary during the playing of the match. Therefore, there is no cause for any alarm in centreback options for our Watford match due to injuries to some of them are carrying. Arsenal can cope with the centrebacks they have available and deal with the Watford game to come away with all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – 09/10/2017 at 9:31 pm – Done !

  • Flares

    Jon Fox,

    Thank you for pointing out the TORN thigh muscle of Mustafi. Nothing emphasises the gravity of a TEAR like writing TEAR in block capitals.