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MANCHESTER United have taken a lot of criticism in recent weeks, with many people giving them the unwanted accolade of being the poorest title winning side for many years.
However new injury statistics have been released that reveal the Red Devils may deserve a lot more credit than they have received.
United suffered the third most injuries of any club this season, having players out on 52 separate occasions. This was only beaten by Tottenham (61) and Arsenal (58).
Despite suffering so many injuries, their medical team were able to keep the average time out per player down to 21.75 days, the second lowest in the league behind West Brom (18.78).
The analysis carried out by PhysioRoom.com, who collate the injury database for the Premier League, showed that Sunderland suffered the most, having players miss a total of 2001 days throughout the season. Blackpool and Bolton had the least injuries (20 each) with West Brom’s cumulative figure the lowest at 432 days.
The most notable figure arose from looking at each team’s key players. West Ham suffered with this having them absent for a total of 292 days.
Of the other relegated teams Birmingham had top players missing for 243 days and were suffering the most amount of injuries in the final weeks of the season, whilst Blackpool only suffered this fate for 16 days.
In West Ham and Birmingham’s case, this may well have played a key part in their relegations, experts claim.
Stuart Mills from PhysioRoom.com said: “This has been a phenomenal season with twists and turns right up to the death.
“When we break down the statistics at the end of the season we always see some clear factors that have influenced the table as well as some surprises.
“Man Utd have done extremely well to push on despite their injury list, although a bigger squad always helps.
“When you look at the players West Ham have had out, you realise what a tough task they were up against.”
The full injury table is available to view at www.physioroom.com
Club No. of injuries
Tottenham Hotspur 61
Manchester United 52
Aston Villa 46
Newcastle United 40
Blackburn Rovers 39
Manchester City 38
Birmingham City 35
Wolverhampton Wanderers 34
West Ham United 32
Stoke City 28
West Bromwich Albion 23
Wigan Athletic 22
Bolton Wanderers 20
Club No. of days off
Newcastle United 1643
Tottenham Hotspur 1528
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1162
Manchester United 1131
West Ham United 1093
Bolton Wanderers 1071
Blackburn Rovers 1042
Aston Villa 1027
Birmingham City 960
Stoke City 922
Manchester City 895
Wigan Athletic 556
West Bromwich Albion 432