Newcastle Beat Arsenal and Spurs To Top The Four Year Injury League Table
Last Summer Newcastle didn’t buy any players, though the signing of Faye Downey, as a fitness consultant, was said to be aimed at helping to cut down on the number of days lost to injury by the United squad.
Exactly what influence simply recruiting an individual will do is open to question, as it appears clear that there are a number of factors that combine to decide your place in the injury league table.
In 2013/14 Newcastle lost 1303 days to injury, which is an improvement on 2012/13 when United lost 1745 days and were top (worst) in the Premier League.
That 1303 days figure for the season just finished put Newcastle fifth top (see list below) behind Arsenal 1716, Spurs 1441, Villa 1426 and Everton 1367.
However, in both 2010/11 and 2011/12 Newcastle had the fourth worst totals on each occasion, 1339 and 1258 days respectively, so the 2013/14 figure (1303) was simply a continuation of the overall pattern.
The last four NUFC years looking like this;
1303 2013/14 5th
1745 2012/13 1st
1258 2011/12 4th
1339 2010/11 4th
That total figure for the four years of 5,645 days puts Newcastle top of the pile with Arsenal 5,492 and then Spurs 5,330.
As well as simple bad/good luck, other factors that determine the injury record could include some or all of; training methods, style of play, over-reliance on a small group of players due to a squad that isn’t big enough, and/or a transfer policy that may favour technical but fragile players.
I would think that the one glaring consistent thing at Newcastle over the last four years is the fact that the squad has been chronically small, season after season. The demands this puts on the same players to perform week after week, at times when they might not be 100%, must have a big flashing light on it.
In contrast, I think it looks likely that the next two in the list of those with the worst injury records over the last four years, Arsenal and Spurs, will pick up a lot of injuries with their style of play and the technical but fragile players angle.
Newcastle United’s squad has been shrinking year after year if anything, unless that is rectified this summer then United are going to be looking very exposed in terms of potential injury problems, come the start of the season.
2013/14 – Days Lost Through Injury (Compiled by the excellent physioroom.com)
1303 Newcastle United
1161 West Brom
1146 Manchester United
1094 West Ham
1061 Crystal Palace
929 Manchester City
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