So the transfer window is shut, Arsenal didn’t sign a forward, and now Danny Welbeck is out until Christmas.
Hands up if you saw that coming?
Of course, injuries that turn out to be more serious than first anticipated are not a new thing at Arsenal. In fact, it’s something of a pleasant surprise when a player returns when the club say they will.
We all know that three weeks is Arsenal speak for ‘Three months – at least!’
So, we know that we will be without Welbeck until at least Christmas and, at the very worst, we have until January when the transfer window opens again (ha) to make do with what we have.
But how do we know that they aren’t going to explode and fall to pieces at the slightest touch? After all, Danny Welbeck has already accrued more days out through injury in his first season and a bit with Arsenal than he did in his previous five with United and Sunderland.
How many games have our forwards missed over the last few seasons? (aware that past injuries are no indicator of future problems).
Let’s have a look…
This guy is made of steel.
One of the few players who is the exception at Arsenal; he not only suffered a broken leg that didn’t keep him out for a year, he was able to return AHEAD of schedule.
Since his arrival in 2012 he has missed only 11 games through injury and nine of those were when he broke his leg. Nine.
In his first two seasons, he missed only one game per season, and one of those wasn’t even an injury but illness. There were seven other injuries and one bout of illness, but he missed no games because of them, the big faker.
For all the crying he does on the pitch, you and I know when he’s screaming he’s not really hurt and going to be ok. 138 appearances, 59 goals. 11 missed matches.
I’d tip Oli to stay fit and continue to be vastly underrated by far too many people
If Olivier Giroud is made of steel then the Bionic Mosquito is constructed of Adamantium.
His stamina and determination to play are legendary but we can see this season that he might not be quite as indestructible as we’d all like to think he is as he struggles to really get going, clearly affected by fatigue and a lack of a proper long break.
He’s still managed more shots (without scoring) than anyone else in the Premier League (20) this season and that’s after only about two minutes holiday.
Last season he picked up a hamstring injury and, unlike mere mortals who would be out for a at least three weeks, was back in two having missed only two matches. He also managed to pick up a knee injury last year but unsurprisingly, missed no matches because of it.
Even if his leg did fall off, he’d probably still demand to be picked and hop around the pitch, covering more ground than most others.
Now that the good news is out of the way, it’s time to get to Theo.
When I asked our stats guy for the numbers, I only asked him for the games missed since Olivier Giroud arrived at the club, so these don’t look quite as bad as they could do (it’s been depressing enough lately without adding to it).
Theo has missed 43 games in that time, with 26 of them because of his ACL injury.
Earlier that same season he missed seven with an abdominal strain while the season before he suffered a groin injury, calf problem, another shoulder issue and a bruised lung.
Making the All-time Premier League Injured Xi, Theo is a fragile boy, although he’s far more sturdy now than he has been during the rest of his time at the club. Last season he returned from his ACL in October and then missed a further five games with a groin injury but has been injury free since. Probably because he’s hardly used.
In addition to these injuries, Theo has also picked up seven other injuries (and two illnesses) that, thankfully, didn’t cost him any matches (shoulder, ankle, knee, ankle, unspecified knock, ankle, thigh, thigh).
So that’s two pretty hardy forwards out of three and, as Meatloaf will tell you, that aint bad.
Up front we’re ok and we’ll survive until Welbz returns.
That’s unless I’ve cursed everyone with this piece, which is always a possibility.