Injuries are a part of life for every team in every league at every level of every pyramid of the game, and they're never an excuse. Aston Villa's season hasn't been significantly thrown off the rails due to injury just yet, but sometimes it becomes worth pointing out for no other reason than the sheer novelty of things. Villa's definitely reached that point.
Through nine league games, Aston Villa has had to make a substitution on five occasions. Let's reminisce, shall we?
- Matchday One vs. Arsenal, Ciaran Clark on for Nathan Baker in the 17th minute.
- Matchday Two vs. Chelsea, Ciaran Clark on for Jores Okore in the 43rd minute.
- Matchday Four vs. Newcastle, Ciaran Clark on for Jores Okore in the 30th minute.
- Matchday Five vs. Norwich City, Libor Kozak on for Christian Benteke in the 28th minute.
- Matchday Nine vs. Everton, Ciaran Clark on for Antonio Luna in the 45th minute.
Of those five injuries, four of them have been to defenders, and making changes along the back line (especially early in the game) is one of the last things any manager wants to do. Ciaran Clark is due a great deal of credit for stepping in and performing admirably on all four occasions, and that quality of defensive depth is a luxury Villa hasn't really had in recent years.
Still, this is all a bit crazy. Given the varied nature of the injuries it's clear that there's nothing more to this than luck and happenstance, and the smart money would expect things to even out over the course of the season. This nothing predictive about this trend, nor is there any real analysis to be done. It's just a thing that's happened. And man, it would be really, really nice if it could stop happening pretty much any time now.