Today someone gave me a list of the Celtic players who have been out injured this season, along with the number of games they’ve been out, with the percentages for additional shock value.
That list is pretty horrendous.
I’m going to assume that it’s genuine, the product of someone with more time on his or her hands than I could muster. If so, it’s a sterling piece of research but one that raises worrying questions about whether there are serious problems in the way we train or prepare for games.
This isn’t the first time such a suggestion has been mooted.
In fact, a couple of years ago our injury got so severe that people started questioning whether or not it was something wrong with Lennoxtown itself.
No-one could recall such a large number of players out for long periods of time.
That particular crisis passed, but niggling questions have remained ever since.
Certain players have chronic issues, we already know that. Derk Boerrighter has been injured so often he’s rumoured to have a bed at the training ground with a personalised nameplate on it. Others have had dreadful luck, or are simply at the point where their bodies have been battered so much things are going wrong. Charlie Mulgrew’s injury problems are well known; he’s had a dreadful couple of years. Scott Brown too has had an up and down time of it. Big Lustig has effectively been playing injured for a while now as well, and I wish to God he wouldn’t because he’s potentially creating a world of pain for himself somewhere down the line.
More worrying are the injuries to guys like Scott Allan, Saidy Janko and, especially, Simunovic.
That one must have had Ronny with his head in his hands.
Is there something wrong at Celtic, in terms of the way players train?
One of the criticisms of the team this season is that sometimes they just don’t look fit. A lot of fans have identified that as one of the key reasons we can no longer muster a late rally when we’re behind; the players don’t seem able to sustain themselves over 90 minutes. Many times this season we’ve had great first halfs only to come out at the interval looking lacklustre and slow.
I am not a medical expert. Perhaps this number of injuries – and that horrible figure at the bottom, of 25% time out this season – is normal for a football club?
Maybe these “stats” are a mish-mash of truth and fiction, painting a distorted picture.
But the injuries to key players this year have been very real, and very bad for the club.
Added to that this notion that we sometimes struggle to see out games … and it poses questions which need to be answered.
Is it a training issue? Is it something wrong with the medical team?
Or is this just an appalling run of bad luck?
Fortunes can hinge on stuff like this.
I hope someone at Celtic is looking into it.