By Bulldog Drummond
It 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
- Leicester City: 7 players injured
- Manchester United: 7 players injured
- Brighton and Hove Albion: 6 players injured
- Crystal Palace: 6 players injured
- Newcastle United: 6 players injured
- Norwich City: 6 players injured
- Wolverhampton Wanderers: 6 players injured
- Arsenal: 5 players injured
- Aston Villa: 5 players injured
- Chelsea: 5 players injured
- Liverpool: 5 players injured
- Tottenham Hotspur: 5 players injured
- 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
- Arsenal have been given more red cards in the last 10 years than any other club.
- How clubs manipulate referees through their tactics
- Proving unconscious bias by referees is rife in the Premier League: penalties
- Revealed: How clubs have evolved their “referee handling” tactics with such success
- How the impression refs have of certain clubs influences how they are treated
- How clubs developed the fourth type of match fixing in the Premier League
- The big six transfers thus far, and who’s got more cash?
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?
- Why do journalists get so fixated on scoring in double figures?
- Buying players does not mean success as last season shows…
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?