Our concern that Newcastle seemed to pick up lots of injuries once Alan Pardew arrived last December, has been backed up by web-site Physioroom.com
Ben Arfa – out from early October with broken leg
The web-site is useful on checking on the players Newcastle have injured and when they are due to return, although they are not always up to date and the site lists the current injuries each club has.
It currently shows Newcatsle have Perch, Williamson, Harper, Kadar and Ben Arfa out, although young Kadar is now fully fit.
At the end of the season they also list the number of player days a club has had through injuries to players, and in that list, Newcastle have just been pipped by local rivals Sunderland.
Out of their official 25-man squad, Newcastle players were missing for a total of 1643 days.
In the 2006-2007 season with Roeder in charge Newcastle were top with 2019 player days lost.
In the season before that in 2005-2006 Newcastle were second, with 1743 player days lost, and again behind table toppers Sunderland.
Physioroom.com’s Stuart Mills commented on Newcastle’s injuries last season:
“Newcastle have really suffered with long-term injuries to important players this term.”
“I imagine after the upheaval in the early part of the season they will be very satisfied with what has been achieved.”
“It is hard for the big four to cope with this level of injuries, however for the rest of the league, with smaller squads, it is very tricky.”
Newcastle fans will remember when Newcastle were nearly always top of the Premier League Injury table every week through the season.
The club seemed to get so many injuries from around 2004 through 2007 when Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder were managers, and the lack of Newcastle’s best players through injury arguably cost both managers their jobs.
Graeme Souness insisted that the training be as though the lads were playing a game, and while that;s OK – it did lead to a lot of injuries during training.
And Souness often pressed players to come back before they were really ready, and that added to the malaise.
Last season was not helped by Dan Gosling being injured almost the whole season, and Ben Arfa being out from early October – so there’s a lot of player days racked up just by those two players.
To be fair to Pardew, both those players had their injuries long before Alan arrived on Tyneside,
Leon Best was another player who was out for most of the season, although when he did play he was a revelation for Newcastle, scoring 6 goals in 11 appearances for the side.
Hopefully, the problem with Leon’s ankle has now been fixed by the surgery he had in April, and we hope Leon can keep improving next season
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce will point to the number of injuries to try to keep his job on Wearside, but the terrible slump since January was almost frightening.
Sunderland eventually pulled out a couple of wins to secure their PL safety, and of course ended above Newcastle in the league table, when they smashed a woeful West Ham side 3-0 at Upton Park and Newcastle threw away a 3 goal lead at home to West Brom. 🙁
But to try to end on a positive note, we understand Alan Pardew will cut out the hand-to-hand combat training next season – so that should help. 😀