By Bulldog Drummond
In the injury charts Arsenal are still right up there at the top with seven alongside Newcastle and Leicester. Every other club has fewer.
As mentioned before, in the days of Mr Wenger he was blamed repeatedly by a couple of eccentric commentators, and their views were taken up by the media and made mainstream. Mr Wenger had no idea how to train players, Arsenal always overtrained, so we got injuries. His fault. Simple.
But now with new players and having gone through management changes we are still there at the top of the injury table. Compare us with the other traditional top six teams and we are on our own. The figures are
- Arsenal 7
- Manchester United 5
- Chelsea 3
- Liverpool 3
- Tottenham Hotspur 3
- Manchester City 2
If this were just a one off, it would be neither here nor there, but this is the same story that we were looking at in 2008 when Untold Arsenal started publication. So why?
It could be pure chance, and there is no explanation. It could be that referees allow Arsenal to be kicked more violently than occurs when other clubs play. It could be something in the training ground that causes injuries.
Whatever it is, it is curious, but even more curious is that with the notion that it is all Wenger’s fault having fallen (largely because he isn’t here any more) none of the media that propagated the notion that it was Wenger’s fault, have returned to the subject to look again. None has admitted being wrong either.
That suggests they were just making it all up. And if so, what else are they making up? Or put another way, what is it they are so afraid of finding that they will not investigate why Arsenal have been getting so many injuries for so long?
Here is Physioroom’s take
|Calum Chambers||Knee Injury||Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury||None||Ruled Out|
|Mesut Ozil||Lower Back Injury||Lower Back Pain||None||25%|
|Shkodran Mustafi||Thigh Injury||Hamstring Strain||Currently Being Assessed||Ruled Out|
|Matteo Guendouzi||Other||Internal Disciplinary Matter||None||Ruled Out|
|Bernd Leno||Knee Injury||Knee Ligament Injury||None||Ruled Out|
|Gabriel Martinelli||Knee Injury||Meniscus Tear||None||Ruled Out|
|Pablo Mari Villar||Ankle/Foot Injury||Ankle Surgery||None||Ruled Out|
In terms of those who are fit Eddie Nketiah is available following suspension and Cedric Soares is (according to the BBC) no longer cup tied.
Aston Villa do need to win this game to fight against relegation. Here’s the foot of the table…
|16||West Ham United||36||10||7||19||47||60||-13||37|
West Ham are safe leaving aside them losing by eight goals across two games and Villa winning by eight goals across two games.
Our record against Villa has been quite good over the years…
|21 Dec 2011||Aston Villa v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|29 Jan 2012||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||3-2||FA Cup|
|24 Mar 2012||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||3-0||Premier League|
|24 Nov 2012||Aston Villa v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|23 Feb 2013||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||2-1||Premier League|
|17 Aug 2013||Arsenal v Aston Villa||L||1-3||Premier League|
|13 Jan 2014||Aston Villa v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|20 Sep 2014||Aston Villa v Arsenal||W||0-3||Premier League|
|1 Feb 2015||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||5-0||Premier League|
|30 May 2015||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||4-0||FA Cup|
|13 Dec 2015||Aston Villa v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|15 May 2016||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||4-0||Premier League|
|22 Sep 2019||Arsenal v Aston Villa||W||3-2||Premier League|
That defeat on 17 August 2013 became notorious, and Walter’s review of the match on Untold opened…
“Sitting in front of my TV I couldn’t really remember seeing such a ref travesty for a long while. But then I remembered the PL has stopped some 3 month ago so it had been a while.
“Whatever 11 players we would have put on the pitch today wouldn’t have mattered.
“From the first minutes it was clear that the ref was going to give us nothing. Every time an Arsenal player came close to an Anthony Villa player the whistle went. On the other hand Villa could do what they want and only when things really were bad the ref would give the foul.”
Actually I thought it looked a lot worse than that.
And here’s one thought about our team, courtesy of the BBC
“Nicolas Pepe has been involved in 17 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season (8 goals, 9 assists) – only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (27) has been involved in more.”
So the team…
“Confirmed” team news from the Standard. What does “confirmed” mean?
Holding Luiz Kolasinac
Cedric Torreira Xhaka Saka
Nelson Lacazette Aubameyang
Predicted line up from the Independent
Mustafi, Luiz, Holding;
Cedric, Willock, Xhaka, Saka;
Nelson, Nketiah, Aubameyang
Possible starting line up from Sports Mole
Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac;
Cedric, Torreira, Xhaka, Saka;
Nelson, Nketiah, Pepe
Predicted line up from the Sun
Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac;
Cedric, Torreira, Xhaka, Tierney;
Nelson, Nketiah, Aubameyang
Well, something like that.
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