Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had already confirmed that the likes of Mikel Arteta would miss the game whilst Bacary Sagna, Andre Santos and Jack Wilshere were amongst their long term injured.
Arsenal are a team often beset by injuries and every season their fans can imagine what if so and so hadn’t been injured, you can sympathise with them but in the same breath we too can often look back at the injuries we suffer and shake our heads.
This season is no different and as we try to keep up with Man City, worryingly it seems like injuries could derail our title hopes.
This year has been awful in terms of players missing. It has been a mishmash of long term injuries to players like Vidic, Cleverley, Owen and Fletcher, as well as injuries picked up that have continually wrecked our plans like those suffered by Ferdinand, Jones, Young, Smalling, Hernandez etc.
Against Arsenal we saw further injuries to Nani, who is said to have damaged a metatarsal and left the stadium in a protective boot, as well as damaged ankle ligaments for Phil Jones who wast stretchered off early in the first half. In the same game it was reported that Carrick and Rooney both picked up knocks but for the good of the team played on.
Currently we are reported as having 9 first team players out :
There is no chance of seeing Vidic and Fletcher back this season, Ferdinand’s injury history means he is unreliable whilst the likes of Anderson, Cleverley, Young and Owen have already missed chunks of the season.
Man United have managed to cope so far with much shuffling including the use of Michael Carrick as a center back as well as the employment of Smalling, Jones and Antonio Valencia at right back but it appears injuries are contriving to slow our title challenge down.
We appeared to be building up a head of steam with some good wins following back to back losses at the turn of the year so for further injuries to rear their head is a blow.
We knew the season would be tough missing our best defender in Nemanja Vidic but further injuries on top of that when we still have tough trips to Stamford Bridge, White Heart Lane and The Etihad as well as a visit from Liverpool means that we are really up against it and knowing our luck there are more to come.
The likes of Cleverley and Young should be back soon and Jones’ ankle injury may not be as bad as initially feared so we wait with baited breath.
Whilst Man City are resting at the weekend, we go to Anfield on Saturday for a 4th round FA Cup tie and whilst the game offers respite from the league, given the context in which it will be played, it threatens to be fiercely competitive.
I won’t hold my breath that another one of our players doesn’t pick up a knock or injury.
Man City’s spending and the size of their squad was always going to be tough to over come in our attempts to retain the title, these injuries are making the task all the more arduous.