Arsenal v Chelsea: the injuries, plus referee ineptitude and disaster areas

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal team 1925It is at this point in the season that commentators start raging about how appallingly inept Arsenal are at everything, since we have five players out with an injury or illness. 

And we might remember of course that previously it was Mr Wenger’s fault as no club, it was said, had as many injuries as Mr Wenger’s Arsenal.  It was all untrue, but it was repeated week after week for around 10 years).

So it is important to compare with the rest of the league.   As ever this season we are taking our figures from the Physioroom injury table

Here are the number of injuries – working down from the top

  1. Leicester City: 7 players injured
  2. Manchester United: 7 players injured
  3. Brighton and Hove Albion: 6 players injured
  4. Crystal Palace: 6 players injured
  5. Newcastle United: 6 players injured
  6. Norwich City: 6 players injured
  7. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 6 players injured
  8. Arsenal: 5 players injured
  9. Aston Villa: 5 players injured
  10. Chelsea: 5 players injured
  11. Liverpool: 5 players injured
  12. Tottenham Hotspur: 5 players injured
  13. Watford: 5 players injured

So we are midway down the table in the group from eighth to 12th.  Here are the physioroom details.

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes Knee Injury Aug 12: “Gabriel continues to be assessed and is aiming to be back in training in by early September.” 11/09/2021 None Ruled Out
Thomas Partey Ankle/Foot Injury Aug 07: “Sustained an injury to ligaments in his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea. Expected to be back in training in approximately three weeks.” 11/09/2021 None Ruled Out
Edward Nketiah Ankle/Foot Injury Aug 07: “Sustained bruising to his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea. Expected to be back in training in approximately four weeks.” 11/09/2021 None Ruled Out
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Other Aug 20: “It’s still very uncertain [if they can make the game]. I cannot give any answers today. I don’t know if they can train in a few hours and if they are going to be able to compete at the weekend. I don’t know.” 22/08/2021 Late Fitness Test 50%
Alexandre Lacazette Other Aug 20: “Lacazette still hasn’t trained as he’s not been good.” 22/08/2021 Late Fitness Test 25%

In our games against Chelsea we have historically done well, although that figure is helped by the fact that before the mega billions poured into the club they were pretty awful, only winning the league once and then by having an ex-Arsenal man as manager (a man incidentally who they sacked shortly after giving them their one and only title of the era).

Overall therefore we are still ahead with 80 victories, 65 defeats and 58 draws.

In terms of high scoring games we have come out on the wrong side occasionally, but mostly they have been in our favour, our last scoring of five being in October 2011 with our 3-5 away win although in March 2014 they went one better and beat us 6-0.

That latter game was and is notorious.  It was Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match as Arsenal manager.  The referee, a certain Andre Marriner incorrectly sent off Kieran Gibbs – while all the players (from both teams) gently tried to persuade Mr Marriner that he was an incompetent dodo who should be removed from not just this game but every game thereafter and sent to a rehabilitation home in the Falklands.

Even the almighty FA could see the whole thing was a load of nonsense, and eventually after several years deliberation (or so it seemed) decided that the wrong player was sent off. 

The rules clearly stated that while a player should be booked for deliberately handling the ball, a red card was only to be shown for “the unacceptable and unfair intervention that prevented a goal being scored”. Therefore, the red card was withdrawn from both players’ records.

But of course by then Arsenal had had to play out the game with 10 men, and Chelsea knew a winner when they were on to one, and that ref was most certainly from their point of view, a Chelsea winner.

Was it not ever thus?

Up next: How the referees call a foul every time Arsenal tackle, but Chelsea can just get away with it over and over again.

How referees influence games 



20 Replies to “Arsenal v Chelsea: the injuries, plus referee ineptitude and disaster areas”

  1. Off topic, just a reminder that our Women kick off in Moscow in their Champions League game at 17:00 against PSV Eindhoven

  2. Ben

    Thanks for that.

    Exactly. The journalists in a pathetic attempt to avoid calling it a foul, harking back to how the game was played in the 70’s Simply to avoid saying Arsenal we’re screwed.

    Jeez how desperate are you to do that?

  3. This seasons directive.. “let the game flow”… not only takes a massive step backwards towards agricultural tactics but legitimises poor decisions by match officials.

  4. So desperate because their house comes crashing down.

    Every game in the EPL has enough poor refereeing to provide a week of investigative journalism – how can a game with one set of rules give so many contrary interpretations of those same rules?

    Thank you Mr Klopp & Ben.

  5. Just had a quick look at the BBC Football headlines with 10 mins to go in the 3pm kick offs. It’s interesting to note that Man City have had 13 shots, three of which were on target. Compare this to Arsenal’s 22 shots and 4 on target against Brentford. Then see what they said about both teams. The one with 13 shots was “running riot” whilst the one with 22 were “woeful”.

    It would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that even our own fans actually believe the toxic bias of the media.

  6. Mikey

    It’s the gross exaggeration of the reporting of us that rankles so much. Okay our finishing was poor and it cost us but we wasn’t woeful.

    A fair report would of said something along the lines of:

    “A dominant Arsenal made to pay for poor finishing against a gritty and at time’s dangerous Brentford, who took advantage of their rare forays into the Arsenal box, as well as some questionable calls from both the on field and off field officials”

    I could even live with them calling our finishing ‘woeful’ if they really must. But the overall performance was simply not woeful.

  7. It’s good to see Klopp sticking up for Arsenal in front of the press. It’s a pity Arsenal don’t do it for themselves.

  8. Ladies 2-0 up at half time. I have to say that Iwabuchi looked a class act even before her magnificent goal.

  9. @ Nitram

    I quite agree, we weren’t great but this is the power of the media. I read some reports which said we “didn’t put in the effort” and “created little” but when you have three times as many shots as the opposition that simply cannot be true.

  10. I’ve watched the Klopp interview again, and it’s interesting that the journalist claiming that Leno wasn’t fouled was from TalkSport.

    Klopp said “from the referee’s point of view it was a legal goal…..for all football people talking about the goal against Arsenal, it was a clear foul on Leno”. Klopp had cleverly excluded the journalists from the collective definition of “football people”.

  11. Seismic

    I know what you mean but if we did it ourselves we’d simply be accused of sour grapes.

  12. Mr Gibbs is a white player? Clearly Mr Kieran Gibbs is black and as black as Mr Oxlade-Chamberlain. That was and is the issue. Identification for the red card was casually racist just like your casual and equally ignorant assertion of Mr Gibbs as a WHITE MAN, at least you called him Mister

  13. We can only be accused of sour grapes up to a certain point. When

    ‘Klopp said “from the referee’s point of view it was a legal goal…..for all football people talking about the goal against Arsenal, it was a clear foul on Leno”

    that certain point puts football people on one side of the fence, and the referee’s point of what is a legal goal on the other side of the fence.

    Two camps, one on each side of the fence.

  14. Zedsaunt

    His wording suggests it was a talking point amongst ‘football people’.

    He can’t mean the pundits because as far as I’m aware they all said no foul

    So who has he been talking to?

    Another thing is it’s pretty damming as he obviously doesn’t count the pundits or media mob as ‘football people’

  15. Raw links, it is what us grown ups call a mistake, a quick draft which noted the two men’s colour was set wrongly. I think your assumption says more about you than about my making a silly error while editing on a train and then not re-reading the script. Fortunately most people realise that errors happen even stupid ones..

  16. The makeup of the ”football people”camp, the makeup of the referee’s point of view of what is a legal goal camp.

    From the viewpoint of the referee’s legal goal camp, as a camp, it will include people who stand in that camp because it’s their job, they get paid for it, they want to stay in the crowd, they want the status and cannot imagine a life without that status, because they accept the authority of the ref even when they know the ref has got it wrong.

    As a ”talking point amongst ‘football people” the game Brentford Arsenal was the first game in the EPL of the new season and the first game in the EPL since Covid removed crowds from the EPL.
    Therefore it would be watched, transmitted, people would bet, advertisers would measure audience size and revenue.

    We know French TV immediately called the Leno foul out as a foul. How many other TV channels called out the Leno foul as a foul?

    How does any Arsenal fan find out how much money can be won or lost on EPL referees making a foul on the Arsenal goalkeeper a legal goal?

    How does any Arsenal fan find out how much advertising revenue gets generated because the EPL refereeing of Arsenal is so structured in the EPL that giving fouls against Arsenal as goals against Arsenal makes entertaining, suspense filled football on TV?

    Does Mr Arteta use the word ”bury” precisely because the ‘talking point amongst ‘football people’ was about the foul against Leno being given as a goal and Mr Arteta could talk for hours on the subject.

  17. Who do we find in Mr Klopp’s ‘football people” camp?

    You then start thinking about those in the ‘other camp.’

    It’s not even certain you can find the words to accurately describe the camp prepared to accept the foul on Leno as a ‘legal goal.’

    You start thinking about people who might recognise the goal as illegitimate, because of the foul on Leno, but ‘legal,’ because the referee gave it.

    Are these the same people, you might wonder, who believe the position in the table at the end of the season is the definitive definition of Arsenal’s season?

    You might wonder what is the threshold for someone who can accept a goal is illegitimate because a foul has been committed and accept the goal is legal because the referee has given it?

    Mr Klopp called it ”a clear foul on Leno.” At the end of the season that could be two points, three points, lost, and a league position lost. Why is it accepted that there is this possibility that a club might be denied a league position by a referee’s decision when football people know, according to an established title winning manager, that a goal was given by the referee after a clear foul on a goalkeeper?

  18. Jens Lehmann would have retaliated to such a foul. Perhaps the perpetrator would not have tried it on him

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