Injuries in football are very much part and parcel of the game, despite the added protection players are afforded in this modern era. Besides the divers and feigners there are a vast range of legitimate injuries that players pick up and some clubs seem to be more unfortunate than others when it comes to the number of players in the treatment room. Any knock to key players can have a drastic impact on a team’s success so we’ve been inspired to look back at last season to uncover which club endured the most injuries and how that correlated to their finishing position.
Incredibly, fourth placed Manchester United were the Premier League side who had to deal with the most injury problems during the 2014/2015 campaign. They did of course finish a massive 17 points shy of top place Chelsea who took the title, and nobody could really argue that the Red Devils failure to win the league can be solely attributed to injury problems, but the loss of key players during critical parts of the season did cause Louis Van Gaal problems.
Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Robin van Persie, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera all suffered a number of setbacks last season which meant they had to sit out crucial games both home and away. England star striker Wayne Rooney was plagued with a trio of niggles which, based on his record, surely would have cost United goals, but the biggest disappointment for the Dutch boss was the consistent problems faced by new signing Luke Shaw. The former Southampton left-back made the move to Old Trafford in 2014 and was unfortunately hit with 4 injuries throughout the campaign.
Aside from Manchester United’s injury-plagued season, Arsenal were another top side that were given headaches by excessive injury problems. In fact the Gunners endured 66 problems in total and at one point it seemed their delicate squad were dropping like flies. Notable knocks to key forwards like Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain would have done nothing to help the mood of boss Arsene Wenger, but his troops still rallied to claim a 3rd place finish.
Sliding down the table and Stoke City and Newcastle United also suffered 66 and 64 injuries respectively, but Burnley, with the fewest injuries in the top flight last term, were relegated from the division- casting doubt on any aspersions some Premier League managers may cast about the number of injuries relating to final league position.
As we head into the second month of the new season, Everton and Aston Villa have the most players out on the side-lines so far but it remains to be seen whether or not the total number of injuries incurred last term will be eclipsed this time round. Fortunately, club doctors and physios are working all the time to prevent injuries and keep players out on the pitch for as long as possible. It’s not just managers and club doctors who follow injury news, it can also be a crushing blow to supporters when a clubs star man is ruled out for a long period of time so Man United fans will be hoping for better luck this season.