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COLUMNIST KEVIN SPARKE

Luck? Do Me a Favour...

By Kevin Sparke :  17/02/2010 :  Comments (45) :

After the announcement that Felliani is going to be out for ‘about six months’ I sat at my PC and wondered ‘How much bad luck can one football team have?’

We’re jinxed, have a spell cast over us, have bad karma, are a walking bunch of Jonahs.

You think not? Consider this sequence of injuries.

November 2008: 21 goals was Yakubu’s previous season’s tally; he’d been going through one of his periodic lean spells this season (And I mean lean in terms of goals — not waistline!) He’s only managed 3 so far, but things are slowly coming back together, he’s looking like the player of 2007/2008 sharp and dangerous — he goes down like a heap of shit, 12 months out of the game

Feb 2009: The team have been unbeaten since November 2008 and playing some nice football. Then our most influential player Arteta goes down like a heap of shit, — cruciate ligament injury, 11 months out the game.

April 2009: We’re grinding out results built on stalwart resolute defending, a cup final is on the horizon. Then our most influential player and captain elect goes down like a heap of shit — cruciate ligament injury, 10 months and counting out the game.

September 2009: We’ve started the season in a piss poor fashion; raw new players who have not bedded in; the ghost of Lescott disrupting the team spirit which is rumoured to be envied throughout the game; the only upside is the form of Pienaar; our most influential player who is beginning to look very dangerous — bang on knee, goes down like a heap of shit, 6 weeks out the game

February 2010: We’ve put together a good run of results; in flashes the team are playing like the Everton of old; attractive passing football mixed with intelligent defence orchestrated from deep in midfield. Then a stupid rash tackle he really had no business attempting — our most influential player goes down like a... etc, 6 months out the game...

Now, all teams get injuries; they are part of the game, but this is ridiculous; the Gods of football really don’t like us. Which leads me to a theory...

I can imagine Zeus, Wotan, Jupiter and Osiris sitting on Mount Olympus with their Liverpool shirts on, passing around the Carlsberg and smugly planning whatever other shite will shortly be coming in our direction.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair — but this run of injuries is getting ridiculous!

Reader Comments

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David Hallwood
1   Posted 17/02/2010 at 23:02:33

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I’m still trying to decide is God RS and making sure we wont eclipse his creation, or is the devil RS and doing all he can to fuck us over, I really must consult a priest
Andy Paolacci
2   Posted 17/02/2010 at 23:34:09

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Hibbert’s fault..
Nick Dommett
3   Posted 18/02/2010 at 00:09:50

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Surely with the terrible luck we’ve had, what with Osman being out for large parts of the season also...
Neil Farrell
4   Posted 18/02/2010 at 00:10:26

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Osman’s fault
Shaun Sparke
5   Posted 18/02/2010 at 00:29:15

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Kevin, you really must leave that single malt alone this time of night! It is making you more paranoid than the turkey who keeps getting invited over for Christmas dinner!

We have been following Everton long enough to know that this kind of thing happens to us on regular intervals, we have sort of got used to it by now. When these things happen I tend to just shrug my shoulders look up at the sky and wave my fist at those Greek gods who actually sent down a greek messenger to do the dirty work for them this time.
Timothy Sebastian
6   Posted 18/02/2010 at 01:09:24

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I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like this in over 35 yrs of supporting Everton. To lose a key player with a serious injury once a year is bad, but understandable. But to lose so many key players, in rapid succession, and the most influencial ones at that....this is really bad karma. Maybe as soon as one of our players becomes influential, let’s wrap him up in cotton wool and keep him on the subs bench.....ala that Italian job across the park!
Christopher McCullough
7   Posted 18/02/2010 at 01:17:47

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Kevin, continuing your mythological theme...it seems to me that while those other god gobshites are drinking carlsberg it’s easy to imagine Sysiphus, the Greek God condemned to push a rock up a hill just to see the bastard role back down again continuously for all eternity, wearing an Everton shirt. Back at Goodison though at least we have a decent squad now to (sort of) cope with these fucking curses.
Spragg Johnson
8   Posted 18/02/2010 at 03:50:57

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It is ridiculous ... is it the training regime? I can’t think of any other club that has ever had a season like this ... Howard, Baines and Heitinga seem to be the only ones likely to be available week to week.

Last season we had ZERO forwards available for weeks on end too.

Shambles!

Shows that Moyes is indeed exceptional at turning a pigs ear into a reasonably attractive silk purse I guess.

COYB

Again - shows
David Ellis
9   Posted 18/02/2010 at 05:43:21

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This is not luck.

This is a key part of our star player retention policy.

Rumours that a player may be off in the summer??? No problem. Snap his achilles tendon and all the offers will go away for at least 18 months.

You can see Pienaar fully understands this hence his recent comments that he is happy to stay at Goodison.... He knows that he will be next unless he stays out of the rumour mill.
Derek Thomas
10   Posted 18/02/2010 at 05:49:32

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Newtons 1st Law (?) For every action (rs selling soul to himself ) The is an equel and opposite reaction.

Also, I think one of some other buggers laws...the law of conservation of energy, things have got to balance out, whole religions have been about it, ying and yang, karma ( instant or otherwise ).

Juat as some people always ’seem’ lucky, always pick the winner with the pin in the national, put a couple of bets on in the casino and their number comes up, literally, pub friut machines. I might as well just get my money and throw it down the grid.

There is a school of thought that, just as you can breed for speed, stamina etc etc you ’should ’ be able to breed for luck... Google ’ Teela Brown ’ and see what comes up.

So I fully support this theory and want to know.... Mr Murphy, what have I / we ever done to upset you you bastard???
Bob McEvoy
11   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:26:59

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Kevin, We've been cursed since day one:

Champions1891; lose ground in 1892
1915: WW1 1939: WW2;
1970 best team ever that should have dominated for 5 years just imploded what with Catterick sick, Bally’s debts and Harvey’s eye;
1985 Heysel;1987 team gets pissed off with no Euro footy and disintegrate.

Don’t even start on Clive Thomas, Hansen’s hand, Poll etc etc...

We need to find John Houlding’s grave and drive a stake where his chest cavity would have been; that should do the trick.

Phew, time for a lie down.

Trevor Lynes
12   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:27:49

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It really is very apparent at EFC that injuries really expose the paucity of our squad... our bench has been like a creche at certain points and there are other premier sides who have lots of injuries too, but they usually have at least two decent squad players for every position to compensate for injuries and suspensions.

We never go into the transfer market when we are doing well and each time it seems we are on the verge of real improvement it comes back to bite us.

It is a well known fact that good teams buy when they are at the top so that they can stay there and not just be one hit wonders like us.

Even back in the days of EFC league success we tended to rest on our laurels and often a league title was followed by a mass exodus and free fall... this is the EFC roller coaster and brinkmanship is our norm !!

Kevin Sparke
13   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:30:55

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Shaun, you know quite well I can’t afford single malt on my meagre wage - unlike yourself - soon to be ’Dr’ Sparke I have to earn my money by actually doing some teaching every now and again...

You’re right though, as the ald fella says ’If we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all’

Some argue these runs even themselves out - If thats the case we’re owed at least 5 injury free seasons... and about 50 penalties.
Matthew Tait
14   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:43:44

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Certainly we have had a bad run of injuries to key players, no denying that. But if we had a bigger, better squad, this stuff wouldn’t matter.

Other sides have been getting injuries to key players for long periods too, but Everton probably have the smallest 1st team squad of any of the clubs regularly in the top half of the division — which means that not only do we miss our injured players more, but we are probably overplaying our top players which may be contributing to them getting injured in the first place.
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:56:10

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This is like a T-Bone Walker ditty...
Graham Holliday
16   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:49:14

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Trevor, I’m not sure there are many positions we don’t have a decent back-up player - the problem seems to have been we have had so many players injured, the back-up was already being used elsewhere! This doesn’t seem to be as big a problem now, hence being able to name a bench with the likes of Rodwell, Bily, Vaugh on it despite injuries, suspensions and ineligibilities.

Squad depth? Try this for size:

GK: Howard (Nash)
RB: Neville (Hibbert, Coleman)
LB: Baines (?)
CB: Heitinga (Yobo)
CB: Jagielka (Distin, Senderos)
CM: Fellaini (Rodwell)
CM: Arteta (Osman)
RM: Donovan (Gosling)
LM: Pienaar (Bilyaletdinov)
AM/CF: Cahill (Vaughan)
CF: Saha (Yakubu, Anichebe)

Only once sufficient of those have been broken do we have to look at fielding Duffy, Baxter, Wallace, Agard et al.

Not bad in my eyes, we’ve just had really tough luck!

I wonder sometimes if it is something to do with the training regime that we get so many injuries... I suspect that we field close to the same team game-in, game-out plays it’s part... but I do think predominantly, we have just suffered really bad luck over the last couple of years!
Stephen Ryan
17   Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:59:24

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Even our great teams in the 80’s were jinked. Heath, Bracewell and Snodin all had long England careers ahead of them when they each received career threatening injuries which they never fully recovered from. Also, Southall’s injury during the 85/6 season prevented us from winning the League and Cup double.
Steve Guy
18   Posted 18/02/2010 at 10:28:52

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My name is Earl :-)
Alan Clarke
19   Posted 18/02/2010 at 11:04:41

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Our small squad means our players are overused. Up until Jagielka’s and Arteta’s injuries they’d played in pretty much every game last season. Add to that Jagielka playing for England and you’ve got players playing on tired muscles. Moyes also likes to play a style of game where players are forever running. We defend from the front and press all over the pitch. Each player has to do a massive amount of work during a game. We demand it of them also.

Tired muscles mean poor proprioception (balance reactions) and this means more force through the ligaments instead of the muscles and tendons, which can’t react quick enough. You can’t account for bad tackles causing ligament injuries but you do increase the liklehood of these types of injuries by playing too many games.

Our luck would change with a bigger squad but that’s unlikely to happen. I know we’d like to win every game but if Moyes continues to operate with such a small squad he should definitely start to prioritise his competitions and rest his best players appropriately.
Gary Creaney
20   Posted 18/02/2010 at 12:26:22

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In 10 years I can only remember Frank Lampard getting injured for a handful of weeks. He plays every game - much more than our players as Chelsea regularly compete at the business end of competitions. He runs from box to box the entire game and never gets substituted.

Training regimes - bullshit!!
Playing too many games - bullshit!!
Working too hard during games - bullshit!!
Freak accidents/ bad luck - check!!

There will come a time when our injury curse will dry up completely and players will suffer only minor injuries i.e normality will set in.
Otherwise we’re just going to delve deeper into what Frank Lampard eats and drinks and how many times he has sex in a week.
David Alexander
21   Posted 18/02/2010 at 12:42:01

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Dont blame the gods blame referees.

we are one of the cleanest teams in the division have been for a few years. The dogs of war are long gone but the reputation with referees remains intact which I feel leeds to our players not getting enough protection in tackles, evidence:

Anichebe, Nevill, peinaar, Fellaini all crocked, all fouls.
Trevor Lynes
22   Posted 18/02/2010 at 14:50:53

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Mr David... clean team we were not ! Big Dunc made up for at least three and we used to have a bad record for cards and suspensions not too long ago.... dont' bitch so much as many top players elsewhere have suffered similar injuries.

As I have said before, our lack of movement in the transfer market has meant we are a very small squad and this means that when we are having a lot of injuries we suffer!!

We include our many loan signings as squad members but realistically they are not because we do not own their contracts... ALL top teams buy when they are doing well so it does not affect them so much when they lose top players.

The players we have really missed include Jags, Arteta and now Fellaini. Some of the other absentees are fringe players.... we let quite a few go eg; Johnson, Lescott etc etc.. really our squad size has not changed as we have always been a small squad.

Nick Entwistle
23   Posted 18/02/2010 at 15:34:37

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Just add Vaughn to all your lists, past and indeed the future ones too.
Stewart Littler
24   Posted 18/02/2010 at 15:23:01

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Trevor, Graham has blasted your argument out of the water. You said "usually have at least two decent squad players for every position to compensate for injuries and suspensions", and forgive me, but I can only see one position where he does not list two (LB) and we have Neville or Distin more than capable of filling in there. We ’suffered’ when the list of missing players was between 8 & 13, and I can think of no team who would not. He lists 24 players, now this may not be the most in the league, but no way is it near the least. In any case, the new system of 25 plus youths comes in next season, which makes us 1 short.

Alan, I agree with your point re resting players. It is something quite new to Moyes, and he certainly needs to master it. But I can’t agree with your point re ligaments snapping just because muscles are tired. I don’t like the term luck, I simply look at it as Shit Happens. Look at Felli’s challenge with the Greek. Both players made poor attempts to win a 50-50, as happens so often, one ended up with a rather harsh IMO 3 game ban, and the other with a far harsher early end to his season. Is it right? Nope, life scarcely is.

What it does though is make me even prouder to be an Evertonian. We have not had a fully fit squad since basically the beginning of last season, and have suffered 5 injuries resulting in 6-12 months out as well as 3 or 4 more 3-6 monthers in that time. 5th and a cup final last season. Who knows this time? A win on Saturday lunchtime puts us 7 behind 4th going into the weekend’s fixtures. I want better, course I do. I think we can achieve better with one or two tweaks here and there. Let’s start on Saturday.
Mark Stone
25   Posted 18/02/2010 at 16:39:02

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I doubt it’s got anything to do with the training regime, most of them have been impact injuries.

Sorry Alan but that’s incorrect. Firstly, the muscle itself doesn’t get ’tired’. In fact, at no point during a football match or training session will anywhere near all of the available motor units be recruited. The local fatigue you feel at the muscle is likely due either to the inability of the body to replenish sufficient ATP (Pcr and CHO depletion) to fuel the required contraction, limited calcium released into the cell (or calcium leaking from the cell) or a reduction in neural drive to the muscle (downregulation of motor unit recruitment).
Secondly ligaments cannot and do not produce force.
A decline in proprioception is indeed a risk factor for ligament injury, but the cause of proprioceptive decline is more likely to come from central fatigue processes than ’muscle fatigue’. It could be argued that some type of of neuromuscular training (as is prevelant in recovery from ligament injury) could reduce the incidence of ligament injury, but reduced matches or improved muscle endurance won’t change a thing. IMHO.
Keith Glazzard
26   Posted 18/02/2010 at 17:30:26

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I take David Alexander’s view.

Back at Anfield, Carragher should have been at least yellowed, what, two minutes? The end of that failing on the day gave the the home team the advantage when Fellaini was stretchered off.

I believe that LFC will do anything they can to harm us.

Ground share? Only if they are facing bankruptcy.

I remember them losing games when we were in danger of relegation - funnily enough, against other relegation candidates.

I have been involved in and seen enough football for 50 years to know that injury can be deliberately inflicted. I’m not saying that the no-mark Greek knew that he was doing that. But ’the dressing room’ went out willing to kill for the cause.
Andy Crooks
27   Posted 18/02/2010 at 18:47:06

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Best,Charlton,Ball,Moore.Labone,Young,Jimmy Johnston, and many ,many more.What’s the common link? Well,they all played in an era where players had lumps kicked out of them with little protection form referees.Also,they played without the constant injuries we get today.Why?
Alan Clarke
28   Posted 18/02/2010 at 19:00:17

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Mark, I’m very sorry I haven’t written it in full scientific terms but I am actually right. Muscles do become tired or fatigued. If overworked and tired the muscles will work anaerobically as opposed to aerobically. A lack of oxygen to the muscles will stop them contracting either concentrically or eccentrically properly. This will lead to muscles becoming fatigued. Balance reactions are therefore slower. It explains why I can’t run further than 4 miles, my legs get tired and achey and I can’t breathe quick enough to get enough oxygen into my body.

You’re right ligaments do not produce force, they resist it. I’m sure you already know both ligaments and tendons contain structures designed to maintain balance and resist forces. If muscles are fatigued, they are not working properly to withstand the forces of twisting and turning during a game. This means more force goes through the ligaments. You therefore are increasing the risk of ligament damage playing on ’tired’ legs. There are players like Lampard who just seem to keep going and don’t get injured. He may just be made that way but playing 2 games a week all season will increase the risk of injury.

If anyone wants to test this out - time yourself balancing on 1 leg with your eyes shut. Go for a 5 mile run and as soon as you get back repeat the 1 leg standing with your eyes shut. Your legs will hurt and your balance will be all over the place.
Keith Glazzard
29   Posted 18/02/2010 at 19:15:52

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Andy - not the same kinds of lumps.

In those days a tackle was a block - from the front. Anyone that didn’t do it that way was known as a dirty player. Kendall, for example, was never anything like that. Strongest man on the field, and the cleanest.

But dirty tacklers came into the game - remember Fitzpatrick at United? - and the refs here had no idea what to do about them. So eventually the ’tackle from behind’ (but I got the ball ref) was imported from Europe as a proper foul.

And the refs here still don’t know what to do. They must come up through brutal park football. Hard but fair, the English game? Bollox. Shit like LFC are perfectly capable of sending assassins out to do a job.

The days you are talking about didn’t include deliberately inflicted injury. This happens today. And instead of a criminal prosecution, they get a three match suspension.
Keith Glazzard
30   Posted 18/02/2010 at 19:40:55

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I didn’t start off to think about this, but the ’get Fellaini’ idea must have been part of their game plan. The ’get Pienaar’ was obvious from 90 seconds.

Some no-mark serves 3 games.

The RS have injured us.

But we’re better than that, and them.
Mick Wrende
31   Posted 18/02/2010 at 19:45:13

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Mark Stone - I have never read so much scientific twaddle - which pseudo medical website have you copied that from? Ok you have described how a muscle works but that is all. Allan Clarke who I suspect may be medically qualified actually makes some very good points.

There is no doubt that overuse of muscle fibres makes them more prone to strains, microtears and full blown tears. Which chemical reaction it is does not matter. Many muscle injuries occur in the last 20 minutes of a game which relates to fatigue — Cahill being a perfect example of this on Tuesday. To say it is due to reduction of neural drive to the muscle is just senseless jibber jabber. If you run a mile your muscles are tired — that is simple common sense. If you rest your muscle recovers.. Are you honestly suggesting that if you played a match everyday that your muscles wouldnt get tired. Even my granny would know that.
Allan Clarke is also quite right about proprioception. In Arteta's and Jagielka's injuries the cruciate ligament tore from contact with the ground — if their proprioception had been more senstitive then maybe that wouldn't have happened. I suspect no attention is paid to that at everton — interesting that Arteta did not entrust his recovery to the Everton physios.
Are you honestly saying that overuse injuries in muscles don't occur — get real. Why on earth do you think teams rotate players?

Mike Green
32   Posted 18/02/2010 at 19:52:57

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Isn’t it pretty much the same for everyone?.

Over the past couple of seasons — probably for less time but similar importance - Arsenal will have bemoaned the loss of Van Persie and Fabregas, Liverpool Torres and Gerrard, Man Utd Vidic and Hargreaves, Chelsea Cech and Cole, Spurs have had some too, not that I care...... Villa will shake their heads at Barry leaving; Liverpool, Alonso; Man Utd, Ronaldo....

That's football I’m afraid. Shit happens — it just seems worse when it's our own as it's only then we feel the pain. We might have had it a bit worse than most but then someone's got to pull the short straw. It's how you deal with it that counts.
Martin Berry
33   Posted 18/02/2010 at 22:18:51

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Kev I think your kid’s hit it on the head but it’s probably the asda blended Scotch whisky!! Stay on the beer mate or have a nice glass of Jacobs Creek Shiraz. Cabernet.
Mark Rankin
34   Posted 18/02/2010 at 23:19:59

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Just been for a 5 mile run on one leg with my eyes closed, what was the next bit?
Mike McLean
35   Posted 19/02/2010 at 07:25:13

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Keith, I do indeed remember Fitzpatrick. A bastard.

But would you agree that Johnnie Giles was in the modern tradition of lousy ankle kicks? And he was firmly of the 60’s era.
Mark Stone
36   Posted 19/02/2010 at 11:35:25

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Mick I didn’t copy it from anywhere, and I’m more than qualified to comment on it. I have (and continue to) researched widely in, and have published empirical findings in peer reviewed journals on causes of fatigue. I’ve also worked in a consultancy capacity for Premier League football teams. Your granny will be wrong by the way. The muscles themselves don’t really get ’tired’ - it’s our ability to fuel the contractions in those muscles that becomes impaired - the causes of which I’ve mentioned. And ligaments CANNOT AND DO NOT produce force.

"If overworked and tired the muscles will work anaerobically as opposed to aerobically. A lack of oxygen to the muscles will stop them contracting either concentrically or eccentrically properly. This will lead to muscles becoming fatigued."

Sorry Alan, completely wrong. Muscles don’t work aerobically till they are tired, then start working anaerobically. Muscles work anaerobically when the force of contraction required is greater than that which can be achieved through a purely aerobic pathway, so in simple terms it’s pretty much the other way round. We can work aerobically almost indefinately using lipids as an energy source — but aerobic energy resources can not produce powerful contractions. I don’t want to give a lesson here, but I’m right and you’re wrong so I’m going to — other readers may wish to switch off.

If I go and sprint 100 m now I’ll be working predominatly anaerobically immediately (ATP will be depleted within about 2 secs and PCr stores to replenish that ATP will almost be depleted at the end of the race). If I try and maintain that pace I’ll slow down because I run out of PCr and then replenish ATP both anaerobically and aerobically with CHO (which isn’t as quick). Eventually this will also run out (with pacing I’ll probably reserve a small anaerobic component — but thats digressing) so I can no longer replenish ATP quickly enough to produce the same strength of contraction — so of course I slow down. I’m, now working (in simple terms) purely aerobically. My ability to get O2 to the working muscles at these low (aerobic) intensities won’t really be challenged because I’m predominatly replenishing ATP from lipids which I have in huge reserve (I’ve been running for about 2 hours now), and from which I can replenish huge amounts of ATP per molecule. Of course I can’t produce run fast because I can’t produce powerful contractions - so if I try and run fast I’ll feel fatigued.

A better argument for you may have been that towards the final 15-20 mins of a football game ANAEROBIC stores are depleted so they can no longer produce the force required for powerful contractions, so they are fatigued. Of course I may have argued that the players are continuously replenishing their CHO stores throughout the game - and that central downregulation of motor unit recruitment (i.e. the brain won’t let me recruit as many motor units from the working muscle) is responsible for the sensation of fatgue.

I’m not saying that playing to often doesn’t lead to greater fatigue — of course it does (because it takes time to fully replensih your anaerobic resources) but your understanding of the mechanics of this, and how it may be related to to ligament injury are way off the mark.
Mark Stone
37   Posted 19/02/2010 at 12:40:52

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"If anyone wants to test this out - time yourself balancing on 1 leg with your eyes shut. Go for a 5 mile run and as soon as you get back repeat the 1 leg standing with your eyes shut. Your legs will hurt and your balance will be all over the place"

Yes quite correct. But also try this. Do a general (not local) fatiguing exercise that doesn’t involve the legs (i.e. arm ergometry until volitional exhaustion) and then try it. Your balance will be just as bad.
Danny Mann
38   Posted 19/02/2010 at 12:54:47

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All part of being an Evertonian folks, with the glass at half empty. Even the wonderous position of 4th place that we achieved quite recently was done with a negative goals against ratio!!

All good character building stuff though, not like the red shite’s lily livered fans, who whinge if they lose just one game.

Alan Clarke
39   Posted 19/02/2010 at 13:12:56

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Mark, are you saying then that muscles don’t become fatigued? At the beginning of a gym session how come I can leg press 100kg but after 2 sets of 15 I cannot press more than 70kg? Why then when I stand up are my legs shaky and I feel like I’ll fall over?

You’re obviously well versed in how muscles contract and how ATP is generated , stored and used by the body but you’ve failed really to comment on how balance is affected by tiredness. Whether it’s to do with ATP stores, aerobic respiration or anaerobic respiration, the fact is if your muscles are overused they will not contract in the same way as if they are fresh. You cannot deny that muscles don’t control joint position and therefore balance?

If you look at joint stability as a whole, you rely very much on your ligaments and muscles RESISTING (not producing) force. A tired muscle will take longer to react and therefore the load is passed on to the ligaments. It may only be milliseconds but that loss of time between the fatigued muscle contracting and the ligament experiencing the increased force is enough for it to snap.

In Jagielka and Arteta’s cases they both played in nearly every game up until their injuries. I very much suspect their fatigued muscles could not react quick enough to stop the force being passed on to their cruciate ligaments and hence they snapped.

What Wrende is talking about when mentioning his granny is basically you are more at risk of injury when tired. I think everyone accepts that.
Alan Clarke
40   Posted 19/02/2010 at 13:33:54

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You might also want to look specifically at the function and role of the hamstrings, quads and gracillis in knee stability, how they protect the cruciate ligament and the demands these muscles experience through a typical game of football. If these muscles don’t do their job properly, the cruciate ligament is at risk.
Paddy Francis
41   Posted 19/02/2010 at 13:37:14

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Moyes wouldn’t know what to do if he had a full team to choose from.

Look at the Derby — 11 vs 10 for an hour, most of our top players available and he bricked it.

He prefers this "backs against the wall", "we need bodies" carry on. Then we can’t accuse him of being negative or lacking ambition because he knows he’s got the ready made excuse — "Felliani’s out"/"Arteta’s out" — he loves it!
Mark Stone
42   Posted 19/02/2010 at 13:45:42

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"Mark, are you saying then that muscles don’t become fatigued? At the beginning of a gym session how come I can leg press 100kg but after 2 sets of 15 I cannot press more than 70kg? Why then when I stand up are my legs shaky and I feel like I’ll fall over?"

Because you’ve depleted the local PCr stores which are required replenish ATP at a fast enough rate to generate the contractile force required to push 100kg. Load your muscles with creatine - you may be able to lift one or two more. This isn’t because your muscles are less ’tired’ - it’s because you have more PCr. Also (In my opinion - and I have time aligned EEG and iEMG data to demonstrate it), noticing that your body is running low an anaerobic energetic resources, your brain reduces neural drive to the muscle meaning that you can’t produce as much force because (in simple terms) less of the muscle is working.

Run at your anaerobic threshold for as long as you can without any exogenour CHO, how far do you get? Then it again with exogenous CHO and how far do you get?

Is the difference because your muscles were less ’tired’ on the latter trial than they were in the first trial? Or is it because you can keep ’feeding’ the muscle with anaerobic resources which enable you to produce the necessary force?

I’m not saying that the incidence of injuries is not more when fatigued, I’m saying that this is due to central than peripheral fatigue processes.

"You might also want to look specifically at the function and role of the hamstrings, quads and gracillis in knee stability, how they protect the cruciate ligament and the demands these muscles experience through a typical game of football. If these muscles don’t do their job properly, the cruciate ligament is at risk."

This is an entirely different kettle of fish. I’m acutely aware of the demands on these muscles during a game of football, as such I am also aware of the extent to which muscle damage which can be experienced during eccentric exercise (e.g a game of football), and to what extent and how eccentric muscle damage can impair proprioception.

Of cause eccentric muscle damage is divorced from fatigue. If you are suggesting playing games too regularly leaves insufficient time for motor units to recover from eccentric muscle damage then I would be inclined to agree with you. But that’s not what you said, is it? You were talking about fatigue (tiredness) not damage, weren’t you?

Proprioception is certainly impaired by eccentric muscle damage. But this is entrely divorced from the role that ’tiredness’ plays in changes in in proprioception - as you suggested.
Kevin Sparke
43   Posted 19/02/2010 at 14:45:55

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Blimey!

@Mark Stone/Alan Clarke ... Keep it up fellas - I’ve learned more about muscle function and fatigue here in a few posts than half a dozen boring text books.

Only on Toffeeweb - fantastic!
Mark Stone
44   Posted 19/02/2010 at 15:05:49

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"I’ve learned more about muscle function and fatigue here in a few posts than half a dozen boring text books"

Incidently, I’m writing one, on central fatigue. It’s boss.
Phil Roberts
45   Posted 19/02/2010 at 17:17:43

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Notice that Mark Stone and Alan Clarke have stopped posting on this one. Presume they have fatigue in the fingers.

As for us - RS and the Devil is the pact. It will all come right in the end. Roll on Armageddon.

2004-5, we had 9 players with over 30 matches, 10 if you count Gravesen replaced by Arteta. So there were times when we had no significant injuries. And some people were never prone to injury — Bernie Wright, Brett Angel, Gareth Farrelly.

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