Injuries Mount With Alexis Set To Play For Chile

It’s that time of year. The shops have taken down the Halloween costumes masks and are busy pulping pumpkins to make thousands of gallons of soup whilst the turkey sandwiches creep onto the shelves. And some of them genuinely do look like they walked onto the shelves; nothing freshly made could have packaging so rotted.

And then it hits you. It’s been there all the while, you just never noticed: transfer talk jumps out of the back pages with a hearty, “HAH!” and is in your face. We haven’t even got to the end of November; get it back into the loft for the next five weeks where it belongs.

There are far more important matters to attend to between now and January, such as a dozen or so matches. Yes, you know football. I understand that transfer gossip is the bread and butter of the back pages but honestly, give it a rest. Alexis is 2/1 to join Manchester United? I doubt it; he’s not even 2/1 to be fit again this year.

The Chileans are pushing the player to the limit. Photos of him training tell an entirely different story to the one they put out in their initial press briefing. I don’t care if its low-grade, high-grade or weapons-grade; when a player has suffered a hamstring injury, playing him isn’t going to let the problem heal.

It’s at this point two things should happen. Firstly, the clubs should have the power to recall players in these situations. There’s no argument that he is injured, the Chileans reported it. However, Wenger complained at the weekend that Arsenal hadn’t been given the MRI scan results so couldn’t assess the injury. Given they pay his wages, Arsenal should be given everything relating to the injury as a matter of professional courtesy. Even unprofessional courtesy.

Secondly, Alexis should be withdrawing himself from the squad and getting a plane back pronto for treatment. A week or so at the club is going to do him more good that pushing himself for his country.

I understand that it’s an honour for him and he is proud to represent his country, particularly given his background. However, his obligation is to his club. Whether he likes it or not; they pay his wages and give him the high-profile that makes him handsomely rewarded.

I’m sure he’s concerned about how he might be perceived in his homeland. It isn’t much of a stretch to think that some will claim the opposite to me: ‘country comes first’, will be the answer.

Well, no it doesn’t because his country isn’t playing Manchester United at 12.30 on Saturday.

And things are getting a little out of hand as well. Hector Bellerin is out; nobody is sure how long for either. His ankle knack involves ligaments and that’s never a good thing. Carl Jenkinson, the eager beaver, will be sure to try his hardest to prove people wrong. And he might well do; he’s going to be determined to put the nightmare of the 8 – 2 behind him.

More disappointingly, Santi Cazorla is missing, still not fit from his Achilles tendon injury. We have options but none of them give them same dynamism which. with Alexis out, will be sorely missed.

Look, we know that at some point injuries happen. This Alexis situation is something that is avoidable and you have to wonder what version of the truth he’s being told. One that suits the national team but he’s an experienced enough player to know that hamstring injuries don’t miraculously clear up by Tuesday.

Chile face Uruguay, sitting in fifth place which means they face Papua New Guinea or some other Oceania nation who won’t provide much of a test. The danger to them is Argentina are sixth so you appreciate the urgency of their situation. And they don’t care; their next match is in March. Even by Arsenal standards, we’d expect Alexis to be fit by then.

If Alexis was the only absence, it wouldn’t be as much of an injury but if he is missing, it means a reshuffle in the team. I suspect that Aaron Ramsey will come in on the right and Theo Walcott shift to the left. Unless Ramsey comes into the middle to add a bit more drive going forwards, keeping Iwobi in the starting XI. With the added bonus of keeping the Dynamite Brothers and their explosive temperaments out of trouble.

It’s a long week ahead with plenty of matches to raise concern levels a notch or two higher with all eyes on South America tomorrow night, I’m sure.

’til Tomorrow.

58 thoughts on “Injuries Mount With Alexis Set To Play For Chile

  1. If Alexis is seriously injured, and if he plays for Chile on Tuesday , and if he seriously aggravates the injury, wev’ve probably seen the last of him in an Arsenal shirt as, if the papers are to be belived, contract talks have broken down and Man City are sniffing around.

    Yogi you speak of loyalty, it seems with the vast majority of players these days the only loyalty they have is to their own bank balance.

  2. It seems you are talking to yourself Orson, but don’t worry as I always read your comments with interest. I find your opinions often match mine on so many aspects of Arsenallia.

    As an example, I think Mesut Ozil will be going soon. Do you aggree?

  3. Morning
    I agree with Orse – if Sanchez is crocked,he’ll be out til Christmas and then off to Citeh in January.
    My loyalty to my club says ‘fuck him’-if he wants to go then go……as good as he is.We had this with loads of players over the years.
    The ones that stick in my throats were Vieira,Henry and van Persie……Sanchez may well end up on that list.
    Sulk over ?

  4. Good piece Yogi!

    Here’s the thing, its not just Sanchez that they are rushing back but Vidal as well and the Bayern people have spoken about it too! They said:

    “Bayern Munich are very worried about Arturo Vidal’s health,” Rummenigge told German outlet Bild, as translated by Tony Mogan of the International Business Times. “We urge the Chilean Football Association to deal with the situation responsibly and sensibly. It should be a given that the player’s health is a top priority.”

    I think there is just something that most of us and most of the European players don’t and wouldn’t be able to understand about playing for your country when you are from South America. I do think that Sanchez should be rested, makes no sense to play him against Uruguay, especially from the start, given Vargas is scoring goals for fun for Chile.

    Bellerin is the other MAJOR worry because like it or not, Jenks isn’t that good of an actual defender. Sure he can whip in some lovely crosses, but defensively, he isn’t that good and the Bellerin, while not the finished product defensively, has saved our asses on numerous occasions not just with his pace but also with him simply being near the right place. The other thing is that Bellerin and Theo have a very good understanding of each other and well Theo and Jenks don’t. Personally, I’d rather move Mustafi to RB and play one of Gabriel or Holding as a partner to Kos.

  5. Jonny,

    Probably on a March somewhere. Protesting about something,seems to be the in thing now.. Talking of protests, yogi it’s been a while since we had a decent petition about anything. Know of any going I could sign..

  6. C,

    Morning C
    I think Mustafi at RB would be a disaster-he’s not much quicker than BFG-he’d be left for dust(like when Son of Tottingham left him at the halfway line last week).

  7. Dukey,

    Well he can’t be in the jungle at Calais……..the little situation at City airport for black lives matter is sorted……..who knows?I’m sure he’ll turn up……unless he gets arrested…

  8. C,

    I’d only be happy with him there if Theo came back to help out…A LOT !….but if Rambo’s on the right with Mustafi at RB we’re royally fucked.

  9. Morning YW well we knew this about Sanchez from day dot he will play through pain for both club and country.
    It’s part of what makes him him. The blaim should lie with the Chilean management team if he plays and worsens said injury.
    I would play jenks, the boy is desperate to do well and I think will prove to be an able deputy for Bellarin.

    ——— Giroud
    ——Iwobi, Ozil, Theo
    — Coquelin, Ramsey
    Monreal, Kos, Mustafi, Jenks
    ——– Cech

  10. These contract negotiations will determine if we are really in a new era or not. Obviously Sanchez and ooozil hold the cards now and are asking for top dollar, we should now be able to match what any other club can offer them, unless we don’t want to. I am confident that this time the club will give in and meet their demands.

  11. C,

    Well, they do deserve a title. We finally have two players that would get in the invincibles. But they won’t get the recognition unless they win a serious trophy or two.

  12. Dukey,

    Tend to agree, so I wonder if both are looking to see what happens this campaign and potentially this summer. They need to at least lift the title once . O could you imagine the joy that it would bring?!?!

  13. Great post Yogi

    I wish there was an easy answer to the club vs. country issue. I understand the issue for both sides. The international manager has just as much if not more pressure to win as the club manager and the international manager has far less time and fewer games. Just like the club manager he has to use his impact players in high leverage games. All that said the clubs pay the players wages and they should be able to have some input when the country is trying to play an injured player. The problem is the club and international managers have competing agenda’s and that will never change. The one thing that should definitely change is the international friendlies should be limited.

    Regarding the possibility of Ozil and Sanchez leaving, I think money will be the final decision point. Ozil is 28 and Alexis is 27 so if they sign 4 year deals it will probably be the last time that either has the leverage to demand a really big contract. Football is big business for the clubs so why should it be different for the players? Which of us would stick with our current job if we could go somewhere else and do the same job but get paid more. Unless there is an issue with family or some other reason to stay then most of us would take the bigger paycheck if we had a chance.

  14. John Cross seems to think that Ozil will sign in the coming weeks, but says that Sanchez might be more of a problem.

  15. If for some reason Arsene feels he can only afford to pay one or the other then I would certainly prioritize the guy who scorers the goals. That skill is in much shorter supply in our squad and it’s much harder to buy good ones to replace Alexis if we lost him.

  16. Anna Stickold:
    It seems you are talking to yourself Orson, but don’t worry as I always read your comments with interest.I find your opinions often match mine on so many aspects of Arsenallia.

    As an example, I think Mesut Ozil will be going soon.Do you aggree?

    Anna, or can I call you Orse? I suspect it might be hard to separate you, one from t’other, and as you say – “It seems you are talking to yourself Orson”, because no one else ever reads and agrees with the Orse’s rear, except for the cart, when it is not ahead of him – which of course most are, so why should the cart be any different.

    Just a thought. 🙂

  17. C:
    HAHAHHA

    G’Day to you, C, but why are you laughing? 🙂

    I suspect that Sanchez’s agent is looking for a last payday, and is pushing him to ask for ridiculous sums of money.

    The fact is that if Sanchez ran his contract out, he would be 29 y.o. and frankly he is unlikely to get one of the big clubs to spend a lot on the salary of a man of that age.

    Agents are the bane of football, and to hell with them I say – if there is any doubt about him signing a new contract – we should get rid of him this summer, and invest in a younger man with a goal scoring future in front of him — Aubameyang, maybe?

  18. HenryB,

    Good day to you too!

    I was laughing at Bill’s comment.

    I think its a tough situation because the ONLY way Sanchez gets sold is if there is somebody already on their way in, otherwise there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to meet his financial wants; I mean that was part of the reason their was a move to teh Emirates. Here is the other thing, if he wants to be paid like Ozil, then pay him because Giroud will be 31 at he start of next season and lets be honest, should be sold this summer. So if the choice is between paying Sanchez handsomely or selling hi, well get teh contract done.

    Aubameyang, well if that happened…..though it should have happened a prior to his move to Dortmund!

  19. C:

    Obviously the ideal situation is to have great creators and great scorers. However, after watching the team this decade and especially last season, even you would have to accept the idea that having the scorers is the most critical component. That of course assumes that the objective of your attacking strategy is to score plenty of goals.

  20. Bill,

    Ofcourse but the goal should be keeping both, Ozil is just as important to this team as Sanchez. The other thing this past decade has taught us is that we need more than one top quality player regardless of whether or not we have the goal scorer, see the season RvP went crazy and we still finished 4th!

  21. Bill,

    Surely the objective is not simply to score goals – fun tho’ that would be – but to win.

    If we scored a miserly 38 goals at the rate of one per game – and did not concede any – so the we won the Premiership, that would suit most of us very well indeed.

    OK, that’s an extreme example, because the intrinsic ‘other side’ of scoring goals is the number we concede. Scoring a fabulous 150 goals in a season sounds terrific by what you see as an objective – but if that was coupled with conceding 200 goals and winning bugger all – that would not be interesting to anyone.

    Do you see what I am getting at? Football is all about balance – a good defence is as important as scoring goals, therefore a creative player to help make the chances for the attack is just as important as a defensive midfielder to help the defense restrict goals – and behind them all is the need for an excellent goalkeeper – and finally an excellent manager to pull all the strands of the team together and formulate the tactics necessary to help the guys win.

    Balance – that is the key – not to select one aspect over any other.

  22. C

    I agree. Clearly the goal should be to keep both players and I agree that we need as many world class players as we can get.

    The year RVP went crazy we finished 3rd, not that it matters much. The RVP season we scored the most goals and had the most effective attacking team of this decade. The problem for that team was they conceded the most goals of any Arsenal team since before George Graham. It took about 8-9 years during the early Emirates era but Arsene has finally figuring out that defense actually matters. Better late then never.

  23. Henry.

    Fair enough. Solid defense and not conceding goals is just as critical if not more critical then attack. Every great team is built on a solid defense. Clearly all facets of the game are important and the best teams are balanced. That is a no brainer.

    Debating whether goal scoring trumps creativity or vice versa is nothing more then interesting blog fodder and there have certainly been a lot of keystrokes devoted to topic over the years.

  24. Bill,

    Maybe we can bring you around to the fact that having a creative player is just as important as having a goal scorer! Maybe it will take 8-9 years I suppose. 😉

    See Henry’s post, pretty much sums it all up.

  25. C

    I don’t agree with your comment at 4:05. Obviously this is a not a debate that we can have an iron clad definitive answer because its subjective. However, I would suggest that after watching the team during this decade the preponderance of the evidence supports my theory.

  26. I suppose you have both told me, C and Bill, that many years have been spent commenting on this footballing matter, or the other, and it has made for good chatting fun …… and long may it be so.

    You both have pretty much figured out by now, I suppose, that when I am not being jocularly mischievous, I am rather more pragmatic about football issues – and not nearly as much fun as you two! 😀

    Don’t tell the others — but I have lost the odd girlfriend or two – with their kiss off being something along the lines — “I really like you, and thought we might hook up – but you are too boringly analytical, so when I say I like you ……. I like you, and that’s that. Good bye!”

    Oh, boy! Whipping your weiner out at that stage does not work — so don’t even go there! 😀

  27. HenryB,

    Hahaha, though depending on the night and the girlfriend, whipping your weiner out could at least shut her up for a bit.

    Mischievous, you, never would have thought that. 😉

  28. C,

    The danger is … well have you ever had a womanly, female, feminine person banging the door closed on the way out — no place to be dangling a weiner! 😀

  29. C

    To me the thing that makes no sense is we all saw how badly we needed another scorer last season and in truth we have needed better forwards since RVP left. We have one of the most expensively assembled group of midfielders in the world but other then Alexis the forwards we have brought in for these great midfielders to pass the ball to has been very underwhelming and inexpensive. Chamakh, Gervinho, Podolski, Giroud.

    We all saw how desperately we needed another scorer last season but we spend big money on another midfielder to reinforce a position that was already very strong and instead of buying a really good forward we promote a U21 central midfielder to starting forward and make a half hearted attempt to buy Vardy and then finally take a punt on another inexpensive player in Lukas. I just don’t understand the thought process.

  30. Bill,

    Well that’s interesting when you consider that in the past decade we have had RvP and a goal scoring motivated Adebayor and have 0 titles to show for it. Balance, say what you want but for all of Henry’s exploits in that Invincibles team, teh creative players were just as important. Matter of fact, Spain dominated Europe lead by creative players with a goal scoring CF, Bayern, actually, I can’t think of a single team that has won something without a key creative force. Hell even those Chelsea teams had the likes of Joe Cole pulling the strings in midfield with Lampard.

  31. Bill,

    Now that is something we can agree on, the thought process behind the striker search. I think there have been attempts, see Suarez, then Higuain 2X, but something has always gone wrong. To my mind its why the current situation is actually pretty critical, re-sign Ozil and Sanchez and with Giroud being 31, might be time to allow him to finish his career back in France or find a cozy home in Italy.; then bring in another quality goal scorer.

    To be fair to Arsene though, when he bought Gervinho and Giroud, they were both coming off sensational years but something did translate to Arsenal. Podolski, well he scored goals, problem was Arsene wanted him to defend more.

  32. We’ve heard a lot from both Wenger and Gazidis about how we are a big club and can compete with the other big boys when it comes to transfer fees and wages. The situations with Alexis and Ozil will test that theory to destruction.

    We’ll soon see how big a club we are and whether or not we can hang on to our best players.

    I suspect that the chance to play for either of the Manchester clubs won’t necessarily be enough to tempt either player away if the wages are equal. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona may be a different kettle of fish.

  33. Anna, thank you for the nice comments, it’s always pleasant to find a like minded person. Take no notice of that Henry fellow, trying to infer that you are merely a figment of my imagination, he’s seldom right about anything.

  34. I see from this evening’s papers that the spectre of Old Red Nose stills hangs over the National side, Rooney has pulled out of tomorrow’s friendly with a “slight knock”. More likely a blast from the Ferguson hairdrier.

  35. C
    I can’t think of a single team that has won something without a key creative force.

    Most of Fergies teams were were focused on having a excellent defense and strike force.
    There were exeptions and he did try a few creative mids (Veron springs to mind) but they didn’t really thrive.
    Some of his most successful teams were built around strong wing play and creativity from out wide.

  36. Pistol Fish,

    If you even look at Fergie’s teams, he still had the likes of Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Berbatov that all were central parts to the creativity, it wasn’t just lump it forward. The point I was getting at though is the fact that unless you have The Real Ronaldo “El Fenomeno”; most of the best strikers and finishers throughout the history of futbol have played with a creative force. They simply can’t do it on their own all the time.

    The notion that simply signing Sanchez and then we can find creativity, well it simply doesn’t work like that; because what happens when the defense focuses on them, you need that bit of magic to create a half or full chance for that striker.

  37. C

    No one doubts that balance and creativity are good things and most top teams have some of both. That is a no brainier. There would not be very many posts in the comment section if we talked about things we all agree about

    C: Balance and creativity are good
    Bill: I agree

    Not much more to say about that.

    The fact that we both agree that balance is good does not mean that having scorers and creators are equally important to an effective attack or that one might be more influential in terms of scoring goals and getting results then the other. No?

    I think the reason that we missed on Suarez and Higuain was because arsene has built his strategic model around passing and midfield creativity and he was willing to take no for an answer on those scorers whereas he was not going to miss out on Ozil no matter how much it cost. I disagree with that mindset the financial and tactical focus of your attacking players is built around midfield creativity and passing and building your forward line in an afterthought. If anything the focus should be opposite just as we have seen Barca and Real Madrid and Bayern doing in this decade. I hope that makes sense.

  38. Bill,

    Be careful with the Barca, they were first under Cruyff and then the players from his Dream Team, the orginators of having a brilliant midfield full of passing and moving. Even in this decade, remember Xavi, Inesta and Busquets changed the way people played with their tiki taki. Even Messi is a player born of that and plays like that, he just also happens to be a finisher, but that team’s heartbeat was Xavi, Inesta and Busquets. Madrid, they bought the most expensive playmakers and midfielders: Di Maria, Kaka(65m), Xabi Alonso (35m), Ozil(18m), Khederia (14m), Kroos (30m), Casmero, Modric(30m), Isco (30m), Kovacic(31m), James Rodriguez (75m), Illarramendi (32m); Madrid have spent more than any other team on their midfield BY FAR in the past decade and yes they have had Ronaldo and Benzema to finish, but if you watch them play, their midfield dictates EVERYTHING and Higuain, Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema get touches in and around the box so they can just be finishers.

  39. C
    Of that lost only scholes really stands out a a creative mid.
    Gigs, Bekham and Berbatov were wingers and CF (Berbatov)
    Such is why I said most of his creativity came from the wing. In David Bekhams case from crosses.
    I agree wholeheartedly with what your saying and if pressed to choose between Ozil and Sanchez I’d take Ozil.
    But only if we replaced Sanchez with some one like Reus or PEA

  40. Pistol Fish,

    Agree, they were from other places but all were creative.

    I also agree between the two I would keep Ozil and then buy one of those 2 or even have a go at some of the other talented strikers / wingers like the lad Dembele from Celtic!

  41. C

    Football goes in phases and eventually the defense will catch up to a change of style but having the best goal scoring forwards always work. Barca popularized tippy tappy around 2009 – 2011 and built the team around their midfield and it worked for them because they always had great finishers for those midfielders to set up. However, can anyone doubt that Barca have moved the focus of their attacking strategy and financial power to their forwards?

    Good point regarding Madrid and their spending. They go after at least one high prices player who is the current flavor of the month but several of those creative players have not been very influential and they try someone new almost every year. Their team is still centered on Ronaldo and Bale and to a lesser extent this year on Benzema.

    Ozil is a great individual player and I am not knocking him or blaming him because he has not had great forwards to pass the ball to, however, you only have to look at the league tables to recognize that for whatever reason we have not been a lot better as a team at scoring goals since he arrived. I have no way to prove it but I really think we would have scored more goals and been a more effective team if we had landed Suarez or even Higuain instead. To me that is the bottom line.

  42. Orson Kaert,

    I can’t often comment, very restricted access to the internet here. Watching football on television is also difficult, some others prefer things like Strictly and that stupid bake off programme.

  43. Bill,

    Barca still dominate possession and their midfield is one of the best in Europe make no mistake my friend. The difference is, as you say, they have upgraded their attack but watching a Barca match, Inesta and Busquests along with one of Denis Suarez, Raktik or the other lad still dictate the match. They still play that tiki taki, but when they turn it on and decide to go from 5mph to 100mph, press down and don’t let up.

    Madrid, they are a different beast.

    The problem isn’t nor will it ever be Ozil, the problem is we need to upgrade our CF position but even with just Sanchez and Theo banging in goals, Ozil has been at the heartbeat of everything that is our attack, take him out and we are a side teams might not fear. Giroud has done well, but he was bought as a plan B, and Arsene has time and time again tried to upgrade but failed. I think, as much as the money, Ozil and Sanchez want upgrades as well. It started with Xhaka who oozes class from that DM position (though he plays both pivots) and I think thr CF position not only is but has to be next. Unlike most I think Perez will be a very good addition (reports in Spain say he is fit and on his way back just have to get him match fit) oj the LW which will give us anothet goal scorer but still allow us to play the style that suits both Sanchez qnd Ozil as well as having us challenging thus far in the season. I’m not nor have I ever disagreed with you on bringing in another goal scorer, our difference is in our view of just how pivotal Ozil is. Yes he might be a brilliant individual player, but he is also a brilliant team player. No way the likes of Mourinho, Low, Arsene and even Pep talk about(in Pep’s case) and hand the keys of the attack to him (all the rest) and say, “go create and be the world’s best #10 and we will supply you with finishers” if he wasn’t that important. There is a reason why outside of CF, a playmaker like Ozil or Mata or Silva or the rest are the next top earners and draw the biggest transfer fees.

  44. The original sexy Frenchman Pires has spoke:

    “Something has clicked,” he told Arsenal Player. “What’s happened in the head is like a click because he’s scored a lot of goals. This is a difference between the last season with Mesut Ozil and now because he’s thinking just for himself and sometimes when you are in front of the target it is very important to score a goal.

    “Mesut Ozil has very good qualities, he can normally score a minimum of 12 goals during the Premier League so in my time the maestro was Dennis Bergkamp, and now it is Mesut Ozil. I love them both because they play very good football but they play for the team. Not for himself, they play for the team. This point is very important for the future and of course for Arsenal.”

  45. the chile fa and coach are really morons….do you believe they have the audacity to declare that sanchex, vidal and bravo who are all carrying one injury or the other will start against uruguay…am really furious and angry

  46. captain senderos,

    Anger will get you nowhere, grip your left wrist with your right hand, breathe in slowly counting from one to five, hold your breath while counting from one to five, exhale slowly counting from one to five. Repeat twenty-five times.

    Continue until you feel calmer.

    Soon the world will appear a nicer place as your anger dissipates. Those Chilian football administrators are nice people really.

  47. Jonnygunner,

    I agree with RvP

    That was the worst defection of all

    Finally fit and scoring. Leaves to win title. Sadly can we blame him?

    Vieira and Henry had done quite enough and deserved a retirement fund.

    Which brings us to our 2 genuine stars at the club. Ozil will stay I think and Alexis 50:50 but surely not January window

    I think unlikely

    It seems we are getting nervous about OT. Maybe ‘Rambo to the Rescue’ is the headline with a 1-1 equaliser. I fear the result most likely.

  48. Arsetralian,

    Morning-I just remember Vieira’s antics with Real Madrid…on/off for a couple of seasons or more.Then Cesc came in and Paddy was told where the door was-and he was our captain…..as were the rest of them I believe?

Comments are closed.