Many Premier League (PL) teams are struggling with injuries.
The BBC published an article titled “Why are PL injuries at an all-time high?” on Tuesday. According to Ben Deanery, founder and data analyst of Premier Injuries, the PL has suffered 196 injuries in the first three months of the season, an average of 9.8 injuries per team.
Newcastle United is tied with Manchester United for the most injuries with 14. After Newcastle’s loss to Bournemouth, Kieran Trippier got into an argument with a fan. “How many injuries have we got?” he asked the fan three times, addressing the current situation. Newcastle and Man United aren’t the only teams groaning under the weight of injuries.
Deenery said there is an impact from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be the first World Cup to be held in winter. Historically, the World Cup has been held after the end of the season and before the start of a new season in European leagues. However, due to the high temperatures in Qatar, they chose to hold it in the winter, so last season the PL suspended the league and took a World Cup break.
“On the surface, it seemed like it was business as usual to resume the season after the World Cup, but the reality is that we’re still feeling the effects of the World Cup. There was even talk of players saving their bodies to protect themselves ahead of the World Cup.”
He also pointed to the increased length of matches in the PL. Starting this season, the PL stiffly penalized delay of game offenses and applied all delayed time as extra time. As a result, 100-minute matches have become commonplace in the PL. There’s another reason for this: the longer matches are harder on players’ hamstrings. Hamstring injuries accounted for the highest percentage of injuries this season with 53. The 53 hamstring injuries represented a 55% increase over the previous four-season average. The previous high was 40 in the 2020-21 season.
The PL plays a lot of games in late December and early January. This is often referred to as the Boxing Day period. Playing so many games in such a short period of time is bound to take its toll on players. There have been 196 injuries in the PL so far, and we haven’t even started Boxing Day yet. The situation is likely to get worse for each team once Boxing Day arrives.