Partizan v Arsenal: the Untold Injury Index

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 6

By Dale Higginbottom

This last weekend saw teams, including or beloved Arsenal, slip up against weaker opposition. What do the injuries say about this and do we as Arsenal fans have good reason to believe that this was just a hiccup?

As before the players listed are players failing to make their respective squads due to an injury that has been reported. The number after the player name is the number of games he’s been unavailable for selection this season and any other issues are reported below the team’s figures.

Arsenal Vs West Brom

Arsenal (8 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Vermaelen (3), Gibbs (1)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (5), Ramsey (6), Fabregas (2)
  • Attack – Bendtner (6), van Persie (3), Walcott (3)

Additional issues:  Rosicky was reported as a doubt before the game but made the bench. Diaby and Eboue also passed last fitness tests to make the starting line-up.

West Ham Vs Tottenham

Tottenham (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Gomes (4)
  • Defence – Dawson (3), Kaboul (1), King (1), Assou-Ekotto (1), Gallas (2)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (6)
  • Attack – Defoe (4)

Additional issues: The injured Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list.

Man City Vs Chelsea

Man City (6 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Richards (1), Bridge (5), Kolarov (5)
  • Midfield – Wright-Phillips (1)
  • Attack – Balotelli (5), Tchuimeni-Nimely (3)

Additional issues: Boateng, Lescott and Adebayor were only fit enough to make the bench (nod to Tony’s excellent carpentry joke in an earlier article). Boateng and Adebayor came on as late second-half substitutes.

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper- No injuries reported
  • Defence – Bosingwa (6)
  • Midfield – Lampard (3), Benayoun (1)
  • Attack – Kalou (1)

Additional issues: Kakuta was reported as a doubt for the game but was an unused substitute.

Liverpool Vs Sunderland

Liverpool (1 injury)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Aurelio (3)

Additional issues: Kuyt was doubtful prior to the game but played the full game. An injury to Konchesky meant that he was only able to play 28 minutes before coming off.

Bolton Vs Man Utd

Man Utd (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, defence, attack – No injuries reported
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (6), Carrick (3), Valencia (2)

Additional issues: Giggs played just 53 minutes, coming off with an injury. Ferdinand appears to be fit having played mid-week but was left out of the squad.

On Friday, and even more so mid-afternoon on Saturday, I had hoped to be writing this injury round-up in a more joyous mood. The Carling Cup win against Tottenham, the great financial results showing that we’re superbly equipped for the future. A great tie in the Carling Cup (ok great for me, being a Gooner in the North-East) and Chelsea finally dropping points in the league. All these were reasons to be cheerful and there’s no reason why one result should take anything away particularly when you look at the injury figures.

It is beginning to sound a bit like a stuck record but Arsenal again top the injury league table. Whilst this doesn’t excuse the performance on Saturday it shows that sometimes, after a hard week, you need one or two of your inspirational players to step up and take hold of the game. Missing Vermaelen, Fabregas and van Persie is like Man Utd without Vidic, Scoles and Rooney; Chelsea without Terry, Lampard and Drogba or Liverpool without Carragher, Gerrard and Torres.

The Carling Cup was a deserved victory but a team can only ride its luck for so long without these key, inspirational players.

Spurs could be regretting signing Gallas as he picked up another injury and their defence is looking particularly weak considering the players missing. A defeat away to West Ham adds to their difficulties and with the Champions League games adding extra pressure it’s a wonder if they might suffer later on, either through increased injuries or even more dropped points or defeats.

The early Saturday game between Man City and Chelsea was always going to be a tight affair. Chelsea probably missed a few attacking options with Lampard, Benayoun and Kalou unavailable and it’s a wonder if they really have the squad depth considering a few of their key players are getting on a bit and are therefore a little more likely to pick up knocks or strains.

Man Utd have continued their form in away games as they struggle to get all three points. In all three of their away games Rooney has either not played or has been there in body but not in spirit, they need him fit and on form.

Liverpool just can’t compete. Only one recorded injury plus the knock picked up by Konchesky and they still can’t win games. They have six points and have had very minimal injuries so far, so no excuses. We would give anything not to be in Liverpool’s overall position but would dearly love their current run of luck with injuries.

I’ll leave the full analysis to the first round-up at the half-way point of the season but I did want to point out one small observation. So far this season 12 different Arsenal players have missed at least one league game through injury. That’s 12 players who have had their start to the season stutter at a time where building match fitness and finding form is important for confidence and self-belief.

Excluding Woodgate, Spurs have also had 12, Man City 9, Chelsea 8, Man Utd 6 and Liverpool just 2.

When squads and line-ups are affected and adjusted week-on-week and the preparation time between games is just a couple of days it’s no wonder that sometimes the team doesn’t always gel. Players will go out of position, passes will go astray and there will sometimes be a breakdown in communication but this won’t always happen. It’s just three points and it will all be forgotten when we beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Partizan vs Arsenal – an Untold Prediction

17 Replies to “Partizan v Arsenal: the Untold Injury Index”

  1. It is very interesting to see the state of the injury situation at the various clubs and it is almost taken for granted that we will come out on top numbers wise. What is even more depressing to see is the fact that we seem to suffer a double blow by losing our key/best players on a regular basis and all at the same time. Being without a few fringe players is one thing, having the likes of Fab, Van P and Vermaelen (the complete spine of our team) unavailable creates enormous pressure on the rest of the squad. Bearing this in mind it is to their credit that we are doing as well as we are. How well would our rivals do if they lost their three best players in defence, midfield and attack?

  2. Agree Mick and like Dale pointed out in his article and doing a great job by following this for us.
    Losing Frimpong, Gibbs or Bendtner for a few games would be not a big problem, with all respect, but they could be used to give other players rest and now we cannot do this. So the pressure on the remaining players gets higher and also the risk on fatigue and more injuries gets higher.

    So in a way as long as we keep in touch with the rest of the top while we suffer all these injuries we know that when they come back we will have more options and be stronger.

  3. just a thought, but does AW use injury excuses as a way of hiding dropping players who dip in form, just sometimes. is the spanish waiter actually injured for tonight, or has he been dropped? is Diaby always injured or dropped. I just think that we can’t always be the unlucky ones??? just a thought?

  4. There’s no point complaining about injuries. It ain’t gonna change a thing. The boys better get their act together for the trip to the Bridge or else…

  5. I’m amazed we’re doing as well as we are with so many massively influential players watching from the stands. Full credit to players like Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri for stepping up and playing fantastically well. The whole team is playing at a fairly decent standard (omitting the memory of Saturday) but I think it will be down to Jack & Samir again to night to really drive the team with inspiring performances.

  6. Ole Gunner, what’s the point of anything?

    In fact, every different type of article on Untold has been criticised at some time or other as being not the thing we should be considering. There was someone the other day who had a bash at Phil for his financial analysis, published at a time when (according to the writer) the only thing that mattered was how bad we were against WBA.

    Injuries, like finance, are part of the mix, part of what makes Arsenal.

  7. Sir Tony, it’s true. I just feel it fosters a sense of ‘victimhood’ and I use the word lightly.
    But this made me laugh; “Injuries, like finance, are part of the mix, part of what makes Arsenal”. I’m still waiting for the day we’ll have a fully fit squad. Does anyone even remember the last time that happened?

  8. Ole, it would seem that such a situation has never arisen at least in recent years. It should be noted though that when we have had over 90% of our first team including the RVP CESC and not-Fabianski combo, we have done VERY well against both UTD and Chelsea regardless of home or away.
    Given that , I am less than hopeful about the coming weekend.

    Thank you Dale for this on-going index. It is a credit to you and this site. I would not be surprised if we see similar material being produced on other blogs down the road….just not on ACLF apparently;-)

    Personally it is the comparison to other clubs that I find most informative both in terms of distribution between areas of the team and duration, an added dimension if you will, which augments the standard types of articles produced by other sites. Especially those that limit themselve to one topic per day (not thinking of any blog in particlar……..honest!) 🙂

  9. I think this injury index is extremely valuable to better understand the situation between the top teams.

    Chelsea’s injury concern have been in the media this week. Looking at these statistics tells a different story. I have for some time argued that the EPL these last few seasons may well have ended very differently if we had fewer injuries to key personnel.

    Currently, we have 4!!! sure starters (Almunia, Vermaelen, Fabregas, van Persie) when everyone is fit + a couple that would be right around there (subs/starters Walcott, Bendtner, Diaby and maybe Ramsey).

    Take out Chech, Terry, Lampard, Drogba from Chelsea + another 3 usual subs/starters and you will quickly realize that Chelsea would be very reduced as well as the start of the season has been very good for us.

    Saturday’s loss made me absolutely dejected but putting it into perspective, we’re still nicely positioned in 3rd.

  10. I think Almunia and Wenger may have known he was injured slightly for the second half against west brom. He looked to me like he was holding the arm when that second goal went in.

    We sure have bad luck Injury wise or we dont get enough protection or have bought two many injury prone players its hard to say, personaly I only consider Manure and Chelski as our opposition and the stats compaired to them are frightening.

    good article Dale keep up the good work

  11. I don’t know about the entire squad being fully-fit, that must be a pretty rare occurrence for all clubs. But against Blackburn we did have what one might consider our first XI (at least for the first 30 minutes before RVP was forced off).

    Team vs Blackburn:

    Almunia; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy; Song, Diaby, Cesc; Arshavin, Walcott, Van Persie

  12. @Walter
    Don’t have to go back to the 30s. Our double year of 70-71 saw us use but 16 players…and that after Charlie George was out for most of the season after the first game. That team still runs off the tongue as though it was yesterday:
    Wilson, Rice, McNab, Storey, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Radford,Kennedy,Graham,Charlie, Kelly, being the main men towards the end of the season.

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