Modern football is a squad game, gone are the days where a Liverpool team could either win the league, or win it whilst only using 15 or so outfield players. Modern Premier League football is an ultra-fast paced, physical game played by super fir athletes, middle distance runners in terms of fitness levels, where the chance of sustaining an injury in-game or in training is increasingly high.
Muscle injuries are the most common affliction. Ligaments and tendons come next, followed by impact injuries-broken bones.
What I am about to introduce to you is something called Man Games Lost To Injury. MGLTI or whichever quirky, quick acronym can be dreamed up will suffice. Man Games lost to injury tells us, team-by-team, how many games have been lost to injury for each team.
A team can boast nearly a full squad of players for the opening day fixture except for injuries to 2 players. This equates to 2 man games lost to injury. I have then extended this rationale for every team in the league. What this gives us is an injury table, not in the traditional x player is out for 4 weeks, but in an easy to identify table which tells us not how long a player has been injured for, but for how many games he has missed through said injury.
I put this method together by my own hand mostly, I used each teams submitted PL squad list, and any notable under 21's and I then checked game sheets against local game previews to see who was absent. I also used the Injury Room and Who Scored to iron out any mistakes or wrinkles that arose.
If anyone knows of any mistakes don't hesitate to let me know.
Man Games Lost To Injury
Arsenal have had the worst injury record, and there may exist a glimmer of hope in terms of improved form once they get everyone fit. United are next with severe depletion of the defensive corps to blame for the high figure. Aston Villa round out the runaway group with key injuries to Dunne, and serious illness to Stiliyan Petrov.
Chelsea and Everton, both in the top 4 and displaying good form, have avoided the injury bug up until now. That will change for Chelsea with Terry's injury, and a clean bill of health is essential for Everton's less than bloated squad if they are to mount a challenge for European qualification.
League Wide Man Games Lost To Injury Per Week
This is the league wide average of teams man games lost to injury per week.
A total of 37 man games were lost league wide on the opening day of the season. As we can see injuries rose steadily until week 5 of the Premier League season, upon which they have leveled out somewhat and become stable.
Arsenal have seen regular first team-er's such as Wilshere, Rosicky, Gervinho, Gibbs, both keepers, Chamberlain and an assortment of others miss time this season, and we have to assume that this has hindered Arsenal in terms of first choice selection. This high number of injuries must have had an impact on Arsenal's form which hasn't been as good as expected this season, it is fair to say. It goes without saying that a consistent team selection helps in terms of performance, especially if that consistent selection involves the majority of your best and first choice players.
Cheers for reading. I write for Bitter and Blue.