Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 9

Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 9

By Dale Higginbottom

Nine games in, as-near-as-dammit a quarter of the season gone; second in the league and (at present) a level of injuries that is manageable. Gameweek 9 injury figures.

Man City Vs Arsenal

Man City (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Kolarov (8), K Toure (1)
  • Attack – Tchuimeni-Nimely (6), Jo (1)

Additional issues: Balotelli was a second half substitute after being out for seven weeks with an injury. Tevez could only play 52 minutes, coming off with an injury. Yaya Toure was a doubt but started the game and played the first half before coming off due to a tactical change.

Arsenal (5 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – Almunia (3)
  • Defence – Vermaelen (6)
  • Midfield – Frimpong (8), Ramsey (9)
  • Attack – van Persie (6)

Additional issues: Koscielny was an unused substitute as he returns from a spell out injured.

Stoke Vs Man Utd

Man Utd (7 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Evans (1)
  • Midfield – Hargreaves (9), Valencia (5), Park Ji-Sung (2), Giggs (2)
  • Attack – Rooney (3), Owen (1)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

Chelsea Vs Wolves

Chelsea (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, attack – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Alex (2)
  • Midfield – Lampard (6), Benayoun (4), Ramires (1)

Additional issues: Kalou came on as a second half substitute after a short spell out through injury. Drogba played 90 minutes, returning after a virus.

Tottenham Vs Everton

Tottenham (4 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper – No injuries reported
  • Defence – Dawson (6), King (3)
  • Midfield – O’Hara (9)
  • Attack – Defoe (7)

Additional issues: Woodgate, not in the 25-man squad, is not included in this list despite being injured. Kaboul returned from a spell out and played 90 minutes.

Liverpool Vs Blackburn

Liverpool (3 injuries)

  • Goalkeeper, midfield– No injuries reported
  • Defence – Agger (3), Johnson (1)
  • Attack – Kuyt (4)

Additional issues: No additional issues reported.

For the first time in a while Arsenal are not top of the injury standings. Just five players missing this time is something that we were hoping for before the international break. The totals this week seem a bit more even across the teams but Man Utd have shot up to top the injury table.

Man City Vs Arsenal was not a game ruled by injury concerns. Both teams were able to field strong teams with a selection of strong substitutes available on the benches. City missed Kolo Toure who was unavailable and Tevez for most of the second half but then Arsenal also were without Vermaelen and van Persie so honours even there.

The return of Cesc Fabregas seemed to make a difference this week. However, whilst he put in a good shift it was in fact the team around him that showed that it’s not just about one player. There is a feeling of optimism at the moment that as long as one or two of our key players are available, the rest of the squad can fill in and make up for the other missing players.

Fabianski is now showing that he can be more than capable between the sticks. Eboue and Gibbs have proven over the past season or two that they can step in comfortably at full-back. Djourou has come back from last season’s injury and showing the form that he showed whilst on loan at Birmingham City a few seasons back. Squillaci has made the odd mistake but is settling in and has great experience at the top level. In midfield Wilshere is proving to be ready to step into Cesc’s position when he’s out and if Ramsey can do the same when he returns, we’ve got great replacements in midfield.

Finally upfront, Bendtner and Chamakh are more than capable at providing firepower in van Persie’s absence and Walcott, Rosicky and Vela have an abundance of quality that impact on games should Arshavin or Nasri be unavailable.

Onto the rest of the games.

Man Utd showed that they can do it when Rooney is not there, winning their first away league game of the season. They did make it difficult for them selves but given the week they have had it was a good result for them.

Chelsea had a somewhat easier task ahead of them after their mid-week win. Despite missing a few players in midfield they managed a fairly comfortable home win against Wolves largely down to the return of Drogba and Kalou.

Liverpool finally got their second win of the league season. This was long overdue considering their injury record. I still get the feeling Torres is not fully fit and as he gets back to 100% they should start winning more.

Spurs had a tough return from their midweek defeat with a home tie against Everton. A 1-1 draw was a fair result but considering the relatively few injuries to their squad compared to previous games these are the sorts of games Tottenham should be winning if they are to challenge for the title.

Last week Arsene Wenger said that he believes that the injury record is down to a combination of bad luck and bad tackling. He said that he does not believe our injury levels to be significantly higher than our rivals and that’s exactly what these reports hope to show.

Maybe it could be argued that he is sometimes over-cautious when it comes to return dates and playing players straight after injury. There’s no true way of identifying whether this is the case as it is difficult as an outsider to truly know the level of risk involved when making decisions on player fitness. It seems to this outsider that maybe Wenger is sometimes on the cautious side but if I am right in that assumption is there good reason for it?

It is by no means a bad thing to be cautious. December last year Fabregas made a cameo appearance against Aston Villa and single-handedly won the game. He was just returning from injury and as a result of playing picked up a knock that put him out for three more games. Do events like this influence decisions? Certainly. Will it make the manager think differently when similar decisions have to be made? Maybe so.

In the case above we dropped 2 points against Everton at home that we may not have done had Cesc been playing but gained three points from the Aston Villa game which could have easily been just a draw. It might not always work out like that and so it could pay to be on the cautious side, particularly when the squad depth is such that it allows players to be fully rested before their return. Arsene has been slowly building this squad over the past seasons and it is now showing, particularly with Sunday’s result, just how much strength and depth there is at Arsenal.

Manchester Arabia v Arsenal: the full story from start to end

Prelim: What might we face from Mr Clattenburg

Existential nonsense: Songwriter Paul Simon, and the Professor of Philosophy, University of Frinton on Sea, discuss the game with Her Majesty the Queen

But seriously: Sunday’s preview: the game, the tactics, the team, the result

The result: We predict everything correctly, apart for the bits we got wrong

The ref review: You are just not going to believe the score that Mr Clattenburg got in our regular referee analysis

On the history site: Arsenal did not start where we thought they started

15 Replies to “Untold Injury Index – Gameweek 9”

  1. I was also wondering about Diaby. I saw a report somewhere that he suffered an injury during the warmups.

  2. Great work, as always.

    I think the stats you show reflect the feeling all of us as fans have right now as we finally see our squad expanding rather than contracting. There seems to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

    Getting Vermaelen back soon is big. You can’t have enough defenders at this stage in the season.

    That was a superb bench we had on Sunday.

  3. without seeming too negative I think there is another international break soon?

    by the time RVp ramsey get up to speed I suspect more players will be injured. it is one thing a player coming back from injury but it is a another for them to be match fit.

    I am worried that chamkh might get worn out hes played alot of games.

    The only good thing I can see is that with such a large squad our players SHOULD not be worn out and the team should be rotated to avoid injury

  4. gooner80,

    Now that Big Nic is back, I feel Wenger will be rotating Chamakh and Nic to keep them both fresh and match fit..

  5. gooner80 – this is exactly the reason you have a big squad. We have a squad that can cope now. We’ve had one bad result this season, home against WBA. Think about last season when our first choice defenders were out (I regard Kos as first choice based on his performances at Arsenal so far). This year we have Squillaci and Djourou keeping a clean sheet at City.

    Everyone gets injuries. As our squad matures physically we will be less and less prone to mass outbreaks of injuries.

  6. Paul c- I know what you are saying, it is just we have had a few time where it seemed like we was going to be near full strength and then something goes wrong

    what I mean is that players could take 10 games to be up to the pace and if you lose 4 and get 4 back you are not gettingmatch fit players back but players regaining fitness and players who were match fit that are now injured.

    Like what was said Aw can rotate finally

    I think the best squads are Arsenal, city, and hate to say it spurs

    still think chelsea probably have the best first 11 even though IMO very few would get into arsenals first team may be it’s bias

  7. Oh I think a lot of Chelsea’s players would get into our starting 11 now. Cech, Terry, Cole, Essien, Malouda, Drogba. But that will not be the case in 2 years, unless Chelsea are willing to spend another fortune to buy equals. They are the best right now. We are trying to catch them. But they are getting old. We aren’t.

  8. lets hope they get injured using their zimmer frames.

    I am hoping chelsea have a decent patch of bad form, the fixture list has more or less been hand picked for them this year, with only one tough away game which they lost, lets hope those chickens come home

  9. @gooner80
    On the other hand, Chelsea’s fixture list might be their undoing. They’ve had plenty of ‘easy’ games at the beginning while their squad is fresh and almost fully-fit, perhaps when those big games come around their old squad will have begun to struggle with injuries.

    Maybe getting some big matches out of the way early would have suited them better.

  10. Nice work again Dale.
    I do hope that from now on we dont suffer from more injuries than we have now and if we get injuries they are a bit spread around the squad and not like in the past all our defenders out at the same time or the whole spine out at the same time.

    If Diaby got an injury during the warm up it should be 6 players out. I was a bit surprised not seeing him even on the bench.

  11. I had heard that Diaby had some sort of injury prior to the game. It was indeed a surprise to not see him on the bench in a game where we were outsized considerably by the opposition.
    That was one hell of a bench we had there eh.
    Nice article and very informative. I appreciate the amount of work involved dale cheers.
    It was really heartening to hear AW saying that he will be playing a STRONG side against Newcastle.
    Finally we have the squad to go for both cups.
    Bring em on!

  12. Yes, my mistake. Diaby appears to have missed the City game with an ankle injury. I’ll add him to my overall figures.

    Looking at the bench from Sunday it was difficult to know if it was an injury or just that he was not selected. Such a strong bench, I can see most (if not all) of them starting the game against Newcastle.

  13. I wrote on a piece of paper this morning a theoretical 4-2-3-1 set up for Arsenal and found that we had 2 full teams for that, without another 8 players who can or do play for the 1st team. That’s 30 players as a core squad (yes, including Lansbury, JET, Eastmond in the extra eight).

    All I could see was that we might want to strengthen a little bit at centre back and in a perfect world there would be two specialist right backs. And the goalkeeping is an ongoing monitoring situation currently not a crisis.

    To me, there’s no excuse this season. Either the squad and players, along with the manager, are good enough. Or they ain’t.

    Wenger can tweak if he wants, but there’s no need for radical surgery. But he can tell players that if they ain’t good enough he’ll ship them and bring in someone who is……….

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