Arsene Wenger must have done his fair share of walking underneath ladders, breaking mirrors and kicking black cats in the last decade if our latest number-crunching infographic is anything to go by.
Since the start of the 2004/05 season the Gunners have suffered an eye-watering 755 injuries, an average of an injury every five days. It is by far, the most injuries any Premier League club has suffered in the same time frame. In the same decade approximately 1,400 tree surgeons have been injured in the UK – making playing for Arsenal more than half as dangerous as harnessing yourself to a 40-foot tree and swinging a chainsaw above your head.
The most common injury at Arsenal in the last 10 years is an ankle/foot injury, which contributes to 16 per cent of the total injuries. Chasing the table-toppers is hamstring – with 109 – and knee injury with 71. Rounding out the Champions League places is illness, flu or virus which has occurred 49 times since the start of the 2004 season.
Some of the rarer injuries include two broken noses (Sol Campbell in 2006 and Tomas Rosicky in 2014), malaria which Kolo Toure contracted in 2008, and Calum Chambers’ bout of tonsillitis in September. That wasn’t the only dentist-related injury however, as Jose Antonio Reyes had his wisdom teeth out in April 2006.
In September 2006 both Theo Walcott and Johan Djourou suffered shoulder separations, while Kieran Gibbs (2011) and Nicklas Bendtner (2009) were out of action after both getting treated for a hernia. If you’re eating your lunch right now, we can only apologise.
Despite his reputation Abou Diaby is, incredibly, not the most injury-prone Arsenal player of the last decade. That unfortunate title goes to Theo Walcott who has suffered 42 injuries since the start of the 2004 season.
They include eight ankle/foot injuries, an abdominal strain, ACL knee injury, a bruised lung, three hamstring injuries, and four bouts of illness or a virus, amongst others. With that in mind it is quite incredible that Walcott has still managed to rack up 69 goals in 282 appearances for the Gunners, and makes you think just how much more he could have achieved with more luck on the injury-front.
Joining Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott in the top five injury-prone players of the last 10 years are Tomas Rosicky, Kieran Gibbs and Robin van Persie, so hardly any shocks there.
This weekend the Gunners travel to Swansea with seven players currently out injured. Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny and David Ospina are all in the sick bay, however Arsenal are still the 5/4 favourites to take three points.
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