Tony Cottee column: The injuries are mounting up, but we have good players waiting to come in

“I wish Ricardo well, as it’s a lonely place to be when you’re injured”

I do wish Ricardo Vaz Te well in the recovery from his injury. It’s going to be a long three months for him.

I missed a few six-week periods in my career with knee injuries and once with a virus, but I was never out for longer than that – though six weeks was long enough.

It’s a very lonely place to be when you are injured.

You have to do a lot of rehabilitation on your own, then when you come back – especially as Ricardo might find with a shoulder injury – you’re a bit nervous of doing any damage again.


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The injuries are starting to mount up for Sam Allardyce now, but there are good players waiting to come in.

We have the likes of Gary O’Neil, Yossi Benayoun and Matt Taylor to step in, with bags of Premier League experience behind them and a chance to stake their claim against Southampton.

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Arsenal was always going to be a bonus game for us. If you get three points happy days, even if you get one point, on paper, even that’s probably not expected.

So, in the context of the season, the outcome is not too damaging.

Although we lost there are plenty of positives we can take.

We took the lead, we could have gone on to score again and we didn’t get battered, so it’s not as if anyone’s confidence should now be suffering.

We have the international break now and I’ve experienced this period from both sides of the coin.

It’s great if you are chosen to go and link-up with England and you get a little wrapped up in what’s going on there. It’s certainly not a break. But, with the number of different nationalities around Premier League clubs nowadays some training grounds can be left deserted and a little bit lonely.

There are players though who will use that as a spur.

Mark Noble, for example, who has had a great start to the season, will look at the players going away and he will think ‘I want some of that’ knowing the type of character that he is.

I have sympathy for players like Mo Diame and Guy Demel who have long trips ahead of them.

It takes a lot out of you. I did a couple of long trips away with England and anyone who has been on holiday on a long-haul flight knows how tiring it is.

We’re then expecting these players to arrive home on Thursday and be fighting fit for Saturday.

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