Aston Villa v Arsenal; why all these injuries? the corruption of 2013; the team

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

Player Reason Further Detail Situation Status
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…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
16 West Ham United 36 10 7 19 47 60 -13 37
17 Watford 36 8 10 18 34 57 -23 34
18 Aston Villa 36 8 7 21 39 66 -27 31
19 AFC Bournemouth 37 8 7 22 37 64 -27 31
20 Norwich City 37 5 6 26 26 70 -44 21

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…

Date Game Res Score Competition
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.



19 Replies to “Aston Villa v Arsenal; why all these injuries? the corruption of 2013; the team”

  1. The fact that questions were asked about the Alexander Arnold challenge by pundits, i.e. was it any different to the challenge for which Eddie was sent off, clearly indicates that the bias has gone on for so long that anybody can see it. There seems to be two sets of rules for tackles and that must certainly be a factor in our injuries the way I see it. We will need proper officials evenly applying the laws of the game backed by an independent VAR system to address our injury problems rather than any throw away lines from commentary teams that are often not even watching the match they claim to be at.

  2. Though it’s early days but the way we won against Liverpool and City with park the bus style it is a bit of shame for a club like Arsenal famous for it’s trademark attacking style of football.
    How could one justify Park the bus style we accused Pulis & Allerdyce when they adopted against us. It doesn’t justify. Wenger would never play such football even against Bayern or Barca even knowing they were superior teams than us. Hope Arteta do not take us to George Graham days.

  3. Winning football is what Arteta is making Arsenal play. We do not play kick and chase but we pass to success. Do not mistake good defence for por poor football.

    If you want pure attacking football please put your assetts on the line and perhaps one player might be paid to attack. The problem is some systems are expensive and some systems are PGMOL proof ……. well nearly. The problem is VAR is also a PGMOL tool just like the pundits and media.

    I would be happy with any way that Arteta plays our team because he loves our club and he loves the players that want to work his way. Players that don’t work his way sit out and vegitate.

  4. Arteta is using the best tactics for the players he has got , football is a results based business , so until we’ve had a couple of transfer windows along with incorporating some of the youngsters he will play a game which suits Arsenal depending the opposition .
    As much I admired Arsene he was stubborn , he seemed to want to impose his tactics even against far superior opposition leading to some heavy defeats which must have affected the players , this was most notable in his later years

  5. Hmmm. Good comments read above. But by the way, why was Raheem Sterling not at least get yellow carded if not red carded by the Pgmol match officiating referee in our FA Cup semi final match against Man City when Sterling looked to have intentionally clattered Mustafi heavily which consequently left his hamstring injured? But if it was a Gunner that did that clattering on purpose, will the Pgmol match referee leaves him scape free unpunished?

  6. Villa are fouling quite well.That is to say their defence moves up and fouls our players on the break by simply grabbing our players. And, Kavanagh is letting them do it. They should have at least two yellows for professional fouls.

    We are playing very slowly. While 90 minutes is a lot of time to move up, we are playing as if we have 190 minutes to score.

  7. Impressive refereeing! Only Arsenal get yellow cards. Willock knocks over a player…ordinary foul…wasn’t a break as he was going sideways…yellow!

  8. Can’t say that we deserved to win. We played as if we were walking in mud. At times there was 40 yards of space between our back line and our forwards. We pretty much gave them the middle of the pitch all game.

    Their goal came on their first chance…well played flick. And later they had a break down the left. We had some half chances but there was nobody making runs and nobody looking for them because our midfielders abandoned the middle of the pitch.

    As for Kavanagh, it was a solid effort to tilt the pitch. Nothing really egregious, just giving us all the yellow cards. They knew they could stop our breaks with a hook around our waist with impunity.

    On the bright side, we can rest everybody at the weekend if we wish and prepare for 1 August.

  9. Please don’t blame the ref.

    The players were useless, the tactics were useless, the manager useless and the whole thing a great embarrassment.

    One shot on target against Aston Villa.

    But of course, we are so fantastic aren’t we?

    We beat Liverpool and Man$ity.

    Yes by parking the bus.

    The truth is that when we have to go out and win, we could not beat ourselves out of a paper bag.

    This performance was not Riley’s fault, it was Arteta’s and the players.

    I am delighted I only had to sit through 30 minutes of it.

  10. Sian is in trouble but Kavanagh gets a prize from the pigmob. Sian should not have given the foul against Villa on the edge of their box and forces targett to get booked.

    The cards were all prewritten and onlt Arsenal were being invited to the yellow ribbon party. Not surprising but disappointing because every point is important but not any more. I’m looking forward to Watford beating us by the odd goal in 7.

  11. Poor performance, all on the cup final now.
    Finishing 8th to 10th should prompt questions from the owners , Arteta will need to improve things next season with whatever he is given

  12. Nothing to worry about. This was a “morning after qualifying for the FA Cup Final” type of display by Arsenal. I’ve seen it so often. Such a display must worry Chelsea!

  13. You may well be correct Nicky, but the problem with these displays, if we don’t win the cup and are not in Europe next season, it is reported we will have very meagre transfer funds to improve things this summer.
    Of course we all know that not all improvements come from transfers , but as Arteta himself says, this squad needs strengthening.

  14. Hmmm. But the Gunners knowing very well that Europa League spots through the PL league table placement are still very much at stake for picking and open for grabs. But still the inconsistent and unreliable Gunners were again at it this night at Villa Park doing what they know best at doing i.e. to handout disappointment to us Gooners as they lost 1-0 to the Villians in their no 37 Premier League match encounter of the season tonight. I have heard some suggestions in some quarters alluding their match playing ineptitude showing against the Villians this night to tiredness. Tiredness? I think the Gunners are professional footballers but not amateurs. But yet they complained of been tired in their Villa match. Sic. To think of it, was is not the Man City they played against in the FA Cup semi-final match last Saturday at Wembley that beat Watford this night? But how come the Man City played in the Cup semi final match that beat Watford 0-4 this night were not tired when in actual sense they don’t even need the win as they have already picked the PL runners up medals this season. I think Mikel Arteta still have a lot of work to do on these Gunners if their weak mentality is to change for the better next season.

  15. We never really got going . While I was hoping that we get all 3 points , not too disappointed with the result. Hopefully we get to winning ways against Watford . At least to impress Troy Deeny .
    You know that ‘cajones ‘thing !

  16. 29-2-2020 Watford briefly adopted by Arsenal fans as second fav club after they beat you-know-who…3-0

    Arsenal needed to return the favour by mopping up JT & Villa yes…. JT… as if that was not enough incentive(seriously, what good is football without your villains?)

    Final Day would have been all smiles and shirt exchanges at the end.

    Now Watford are going to have to go “full Deeney” on that day nothing less and “full Welbz” too (they really have no choice)

    On final day of the 2019-20 season we will not be fighting for top 4 or Europa or even
    St. Totteringham’s day.

    On final day we will be in the “Battle of the Cojones”

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