Do we get the most injuries? Untold Arsenal Injury Index, Gameweek 3

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 3

By Dale Higginbottom

This is the second instalment of the weekly look into the injury levels faced by the clubs in line for a title challenge. Arsenal’s problems with injuries over the past three seasons have been well documented in the media and have largely been blamed for the lack of trophies in recent years. Untold Arsenal have always been willing to look deeper and counter the (often wrong) beliefs that “Arsenal have too many injury prone players” or “Arsene signs crocs” and this series of articles will hopefully gather the raw data required to finally prove (or disprove) these beliefs. So, gameweek three went as follows:

Blackburn Vs Arsenal

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Frimpong , Ramsey, Nasri
  • Attack – Bendtner, RvP (started but injured during the game)

Point to note: Djourou and Denilsen appeared to have been declared fit but did not make the squad.

Tottenham Vs Wigan

Tottenham (9 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Gomes
  • Defence – Woodgate, Gallas
  • Midfield – Bentley, Modric, O’Hara,
  • Attack – Pavyluchenko (second half sub, returning from injury), dos Santos (second half sub, returning from injury), Keane (unused sub, returning from injury)

Chelsea Vs Stoke City

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Bruma
  • Midfield – Kakuta

Man Utd Vs West Ham

Man Utd (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Ferdinand
  • Midfield – Hargreaves, Anderson

Point to note: Carrick has been on the bench for a while returning from injury. He only appeared as a second-half sub but was not reported as injured.

Sunderland Vs Man City

Man City (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Boateng, Bridge, Kolarov
  • Attack – Balotelli

Liverpool Vs West Brom

Liverpool (1 injury)

  • Goalkeeper, defence,  attack- No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Rodriguez (second half sub, recovering from virus)


The past two weeks have put Arsenal up near the top of the injury list with our long-term absentees either still out for a while or on the verge of a return. This week has seen things pick up for Arsenal on the injury front and going into the Blackburn game with four injuries is a big plus point so far. The injury to van Persie is obviously a blow but at least he can’t get even more injured whilst away with Holland.

The absence of early Champions League qualifiers for the first time in a while has probably helped somewhat and the fact that new signings have not needed to settle in has meant that less pressure is on injured/unfit players to make a quick return.

On the other side of that point is Tottenham. They seem to have been the worst hit overall so far in terms of injury quantities and on injuries in key areas to key players. Those early Champions League qualifiers can be really competitive with so much at stake and with players only just returning to match fitness after the summer the extra strain of two games per week can often be injury-inducing.

The remaining teams have all had similar levels of injury concerns so at the moment there are not a lot of major issues to report. This is likely to change over the season as more teams play midweek games and fatigue kicks in.

There will not be an injury round up next week as we have Arsenal fans’ favourite point of the season, the international break. Expect the numbers to change for the worse this time in a fortnight.

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18 Replies to “Do we get the most injuries? Untold Arsenal Injury Index, Gameweek 3”

  1. It is hard to tell based upon two years and two teams but it looks as if that qualifying round in Europe does take a lot from the players and the teams.
    Tottenham losing some players and losing to Wigan can also be partly down to the CL qualifier.

    And I also think that maybe Arsenal have done a somewhat different build up to the season. Maybe because of the world cup but also because we had to play no qualifying games this time.

    The season before we had to make sure we were ready and flying early on and this time we could prepare our selve a little bit more relaxed as for the league is only starting after the international break.

  2. I like this sort of article. It is a good level of knowledge. It helps realize whether or not we have this problem vs. others. And, if we do then at least we can deal with it.

  3. Just one thing I wanted to add. I see that Chelsea have been quite lucky with their key players picking up knocks just before the international break. It looks like Terry, Lampard and Drogba (I think he’s fit but has been dropped) have all been given time to rest over the next two weeks, meaning they will be fully fit for West Ham away.

  4. Gibbs is recovering from a small groin injury. He has not played because wenger wanted him to recover completely

  5. Injuries or not,chelsea will still win the premiership.I’m a gunner but lets face the fact.I see us as second best,and will certainly fight it out with them(Chelsea).Man u will finish behind us this season.

  6. Once again, there are some inconsistencies in this that make it hard to use a proper research piece. For any proper study you must lay out the guidelines from which you will be working and stick to them. For instance, one of those guidelines might be:

    The study will EXCLUDE players who are injured during the series of games in question.

    Such a statement would mean that not only would RvP be excluded from this week’s study, but also Terry and Lampard from Chelsea. Instead you include RvP and exclude Terry and Lampard, thus making our injury list look worse.

    There has to be consistency from this from week to week and people have to know exactly what the conditions are for EVERY team. Once again, you have included players named as subs but not in the starting 11 for some clubs, but excluded them (Carrick) from others. Which one is it???????????????? You even mention Carrick after Utd’s list, why wasnt he just on the list??????

    Please state the conditions of this study (for instance, you could clearly state that this weekly study will be based on the squad injury reports that every team publishes on its website the Friday before a match) and stick with them. To do anything else makes any results you try and garner from this study scientifically unnacceptable as evidence in any pub argument. It is just “he said” versus “you said” in the way you are doing this. It isnt too late to correct. Set out your conditions clearly, and stick to them no matter what the results. That way we can all have a valid piece of research to refer to.

  7. @Paul C, Terry played 90 minutes so i don’t consider him as injured for the game against stoke. Lampard was substituted but to me that looked more tactical than due to injury (if people think that is incorect I’ll happily add him to the list).

    Players who are fit to start are not included in the list.
    Players who have been out but make the bench will only be classed as a half-point in the final analysis, as will players who are forced off due to injury during a game.

    Carrick has been on the bench for the past three games, it seems odd to think that he is still unfit to play, making seemingly no improvement over this period. To me that seems more of a tactical decision than forced due to injury.

    Just including the players on the friday injury lists will not confirm players on late fitness tests nor will it include players injured just before the game.

  8. Dale – Then make those points clear. Right now it is hard to figure out how you are actually doing this. You say “Players who have been out but make the bench will only be classed as a half-point” but such players could be 100%, completely and utterly fit. So how can we start saying they are unfit. We just dont know. If they are fit enough to be on the bench then they are not injured. You have made a personal judgement on Carrick, and declared him unfit yourself. How do you know it isnt tactical? How do you know SAF isnt just pissed off at him for some reason? With regards to Terry, Lampard and RvP the easy way to resolve the issue is to cut off the study once kick-off commences. Players are only injured if they miss the NEXT game, not if a knock causes them to be substituted.

    I agree about players taking late fitness tests, or about late withdrawals, and those could easily be fit into your conditions. But right now this seems all over the place with personal judgements and supposition all over the place. You should begin every week by re-stating the conditions by which the study is being conducted and stick to those conditions no matter what. And one of those conditions should definately be “If you are in the squad then you are fit”.

  9. Paul,
    Can’t you be more sensitive in regards to your commentary? What have you ever written? If you want to help contribute why not e-mail Dale and ask if he could work out your needs?

  10. Arsene Apprentice – you can see the articles I have written by putting my name, Paul Collins, in the search option above.

    Uh, you seem to be the one being sensitive. I am trying to give some helpful comments to Dale in order that we can have a really accurate and thoughtful study done of injuries this season. I have already mentioned to Dale that I think it is a great idea to do what he is doing. I dont see Dale complaining about “lack of sensitivity”.

    This is a public forum. People understand that their ideas are going to be critiqued when they sibmit pieces. That is the way it goes. I would say exactly the same things face to face, in fact I generally find myself toning things down considerably when I come online since people cannot see the smile on my face.

    It is just a bunch of fans throwing crap around, like we do in the pub. Havent you ever called your mates “idiots” in the pub because you have disagreed with your opinion and tried to convince them of the way you see things?

  11. All is fair in War and games…

    I will pay special mind to your writings as I see fit.

    If they were memorable I can assure you there would be no need to search your name, Mate!

    As for opinions and such my point is they can be expressed in a different manner as I was offended.

    I like the concept of Dale’s article. It is interesting because this club has been tagged as being soft with its players. And, recently Arsenal are blamed by the media for being incompetent in regards to the physio staff.

    So, in order to get a good look at these two statements it is inherently good to read this type of analysis.

    So I want to be clear here I have no problem with critique’s, but I do take issue with discouragement. It is not the first time I have been candid when I felt a blogger was out of line… My comments to you were instructive because I felt it better to share your ideas with Dale so maybe next week the article could be more robust. Obviously you would rather defend your writings and your tactics with so-called mate’s.

    Do me a favor tone it down in regards to supporters..

    And, turn it up to the imposters that visit the site from time to time.

  12. Arsene Apprentice – what on earth are you so mad about? I gave some thoughts to the author of this piece, who took them in the way they were intended (i.e. without any personal offense). Anyone who has ever done a research project knows that critique is a way of life and that setting accurate parameters is the hardest and most time consuming part of the research project. The last thing Dale wants is to spend a year doing this study and then at the end of the year have people say “oh no, your study was crap because the parameters were wrong from the start”. I was trying to assist Dale in the setting of accurate research parameters by playing devils advocate. In my first post last week I applauded Dale’s attempts and said how happy I was that he was attempting this.

    Do you not agree that when a player is included in the matchday squad, whether or not he starts, then he should be listed as fit?

    And do you not agree that if you are going to include one player (RvP) on the list who was injured DURING the game as one of our injured players, then you should also include players from other teams who were injured (Terry and Lampard – who may miss England’s match) even if they might not have had to come off the pitch as early as RvP?

    To me those are inconsistencies. If you think they are not then why not? This is a public forum and my critique SHOULD be public so that other fans can critique my critique and give their own reasons why they think my conditions are wrong. That is what debate is all about. Dale and I were doing just that, DEBATING, when you jumped in. I am sure Dale can take care of himself, as he was. If you think my points above are wrong, then tell me and give your own reasons. Dont insult me.

  13. Paul,

    I apologize. This is just becoming silly. I really like this new category. If your comments were helpful and as you intended and Dale can improve upon by taking in your suggestions then awesome. As for what I wrote disregard.

  14. AA- No problem, so often on the internet these things can mushroom because, as I said above, you can’t see the smiles on peoples faces (or the lack of a smile!!!!). I honestly think what Dale is doing here is fantastic. I have often thought about doing it myself. I want it to be a really accurate and thoughtful study. I want us all to be able to refer to it at any point if a fan of another club says “we get just as many (or more) injuries as you do”.

    Because of that I really would be interested to know what you think about the parameters. Dont you think the two points I made above (about being fit if in the squad and about gettying injured during a game) are inconsistencies? I want this to help Dale figure out really solid parameters to make his own job easier.

  15. Paul,
    I agree with your points. A player should be considered injured if on the official website Like what Wenger discusses the manager states the player is injured. Also, maybe an analysis would be more accurate if like you mention it was given before kick-off only. And, if an injury did occur during the game like RVP this week it is stated in the following weeks data. In any event I think the timetable should be consistent and accurate from week to week. Like you I would like to see a full accurate analysis over the course of the season.

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