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Football News: Manchester United injury comparison last 2 seasons

Manchester United injury comparison last 2 seasons

A lot has been made about Manchester United's start to the season, pundits and the media have stoked many debates about the manager and whether he is good enough. However, I think it's fairly obvious that the real issue that for me has to take the majority of the blame for poor start has to be the injuries.

I decided to look into how our injuries compare this season to last season. First, here is a table of the number of matches missed by players for English Premier League teams last season (2022/23) due to injury:

1. Liverpool - 162
2. Chelsea - 124
3. Newcastle United - 122
4. Nottingham Forest - 120
5. Bournemouth - 116
6. Wolves - 108
7. Manchester United - 106
8. Leeds United - 104
9. Leicester City - 103
10. Crystal Palace - 97
11. Everton - 97
12. Brentford - 94
13. Southampton - 85
14. Arsenal - 79
15. Tottenham - 78
16. Fulham - 70
17. Aston Villa - 63
18. West Ham United - 63
19. Manchester City - 49
20. Brighton - 44

If we use this as a baseline for how many injuries you'd typically get across a season. This is measured in matches missed due to injury rather than individual injuries. Which is probably a better metric as it highlights the impact rather than merely the number of injuries. Number of injuries brings issues as they would equate a player missing 6 months as equal to a player missing one week. If you want to work out how impactful the injuries have been, you need to see how many games the manager has had his potential options restricted for by those injuries.

Moving on to this season, and baring in mind we are 8 games (6 EPL games, 1 UCL game and 1 EFL cup game) into the season. The current number of matches missed by Manchester United players stands at 66 due to injury.

Put that into context THIS season. We have already had more injuries than 4 EPL teams had in the entirety of last season. Now that also only takes into consideration for injuries. Factor in that EtH thought he was going to have Greenwood this season, Antony having a leave of absence and the issue with Sancho making him unavailable. Those three have missed 15 games between them this season, further reducing the managers options.

Frankly, that is ridiculous and its actually a miracle that the only games we have lost are games that you would expect to be very tough games even if we had a full and healthy squad to pick from (Arsenal away, Spurs away, Bayern away and an in form Brighton side) .

Those injuries alone, I think are a more than fair enough explanation for a poor run of form. Add into that the dark cloud of uncertainty caused by the ongoing sale malarkey, the difficult transfer window and the need to sell players and the restrictions that imposed on the club, the media fallout of the Greenwood debacle and to a lesser extent Antony, along with the second media storm around the Sancho stupidity. All these things together will have made it very difficult to keep the players focused and on task, even if they were all fit and firing. But add into that the constant chopping and changing of players due to injuries, and the need that brings to having to adjust the tactics and style of play the team can use is it really any wonder we have struggled for form and results this season.

Even now it's two back available and another two out injured (Mount, Varane back, Martinez and Regulion out) . How do we really expect the manager to compete when he is always having to do so with one hand tied behind his back. This issue with injuries this season is being further exasperated by our past poor recruitment and squad building. Our Frankenstein squad of players with miss matched styles and skill sets makes it particularly difficult to deal with injuries as the player coming in will more than likely have a very different skillset and as such won't suit playing in the same way as the player they are replacing.

People talk about playing a consistent style, but to do that you need to consistently play players who both suit that style and can play to the required level.

Written by Shappy September 29 2023 21:05:40


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