Alexis Walks!

The surgeons are stood down, Alexis left the pitch intact and Juan Antonio Pizzi was true to his word; he placed the emphasis on the player’s fitness and substituted him early. With six minutes to go. Thanks for thinking of his condition, Juan; cheers, buddy.

Being Alexis, he looked suitably miffed at being hooked but was caught by a photographer as he walked around the edge of the pitch:

alexis-sanchez

That’s the look of a man pulling a sickie and getting caught on the TV cameras at Cheltenham. So we wait to see if playing for his country has exacerbated the problem – it couldn’t make it any better so it’s damage limitation – enough to rule him out of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.

On the off-chance that it hasn’t, here’s his brace from last night with a helping hand from the Uruguayan goalkeeper on the first goal. Well, he’d liked to have got a hand to it…

At which point we poke our heads above the parapet and peer onto the continent where there was almost an outbreak of sanity among the international coaches. Almost. It’s a shame Joachim Löw didn’t extend the rest he gave Mesut Özil to Shkodran Mustafi but no, he made the centre back play ninety minutes in a goalless draw with Italy.

However, there are no reports of him suffering an injury so that’s half the centre of Saturday’s defence OK to play. The other half, Laurent Koscielny, seemed fit enough when he left the pitch at half-time, not re-emerging for the second period so Didier Deschamps went up in my estimation. Olivier Giroud’s latest barren spell stretched to three matches when he went half an hour without scoring  in the goalless draw with Ivory Coast.

Theo Walcott came on for the injured Adam Lallana as England went into a 2 – 0 lead over Spain which was nice. And then they blew it, conceding twice in the last five minutes. Theo got an hour or so and did fairly well whilst Nacho Monreal didn’t play so that’s three-quarters of the back four fit for the weekend.

It seemed so typically England to lose two late goals to the Spanish reserves, with the equaliser a very familiar looking goal. Eerily reminiscent of the Belletti goal in Paris. The result didn’t do Gareth Southgate’s job prospects any harm, certainly not in the media’s eyes anyway. Given that the FA have a very shallow gene pool to choose from, it’s hard to see him not being offered the job permanently.

But most importantly, last night meant we bid farewell until next year to the international breaks which have so rudely interrupted the season. Don’t let the door slam into your arse on the way out.

’til Tomorrow.

30 thoughts on “Alexis Walks!

  1. Good morning Yogi, thanks for the updates, so it looks as though Alexis will return in one piece at least. Lets hope he doesn’t trip over on the Heathrow travelator.

  2. Alexis is good to go! Belief just got stronger, morale is lifted! Let’s do justice to Mourinho finally. First time poster by the way

  3. I’m sadden by no mention of Campbell scoring a goal last night or no mention of Costa Rica putting the USA to the sword, it was the perfect opportunity for you to poke fun at: Klinnsman a former Spud, Trump a present day Hitler, and the USA soccer team (they aren’t good enough to be called a futbol team).

    😉 😉

  4. Sanchez is good to go for Manure, so basically the only loss was Bellerin, who nobody seems to really know the degree of the injury or how long it will keep him out.

  5. Present day hitler! Bit harsh. Anyway lets not talk politics, we’d get jonny on slagging someone off! Seriously where is jonny? Come on jonny you can come back we know you’re a good guy and didn’t mean to upset 51% of the aclf population..

  6. Great post yogi

    It looks like the Chilean manager made the right decision for his own club and country. Big win for them. Hopefully alexis’ injury was not exacerbated by playing.

    USA USA USA we’re miserable and lost 4-0 to Costa Rica. Joel Campbell got 2 late goals after the result was pretty much sealed. We have a baseline shortage of talent and you combine that with a lack of energy and basically not caring very much and you are bound to get a bad result.

  7. C

    He’s gone, mate. Kaput, vamos, scramsky, offski. I don’t think I’ve commented on his Costa Rica performances before and now I’m not thinking about whether he’s fit for Saturday, so no, I don’t take much interest in him.

    Soz and all that…

  8. YW,

    I see, fair enough since you didn’t comment on Chambers performance either. On the other hand, since you won’t I figured I might make mention of it nyself.

    He is fit for the weekend, just incase part of you did want to know.

  9. Bill,

    You think the writing is on the wall for Klinnsmam after the loss to Mexico and then the dismantlijg of the USA by that Costa Rican side?

  10. C

    He is probably going to lose his job. He has very little attacking talent to work with and you can’t score many goals without talent. His only option is to try and keep a lot of clean sheets and nick a goal here and there. You can be competitive that way even without a lot of talent but it takes full blooded energy, concentration and commitment. When you lose the mental edge on the defensive end you are hosed.

  11. Bill,

    Tend to agree with most though I think he has more attacking talent than you may think, at least for CONCACAF. Pulsic is a regular at Dortmund(I know he is only a boy but is 2nd in the Bundeliga in assists), Wood is a good striker-ish player. Altidore and for me even Bradley are a bit overrated and while both are good pieces, think both haven’t done enough given their CV’s for American players. Fabian Johnson and Chandler are regulars too for decent Bundesliga sides. Think Klinnsman just doesn’t get the best, and your right, the energy level was pathetic.

  12. Keep talking about the US team and Klinsmann, it deflects attention away from the suicidal defending by England last night.

    I thought at times our defenders were playing the “Mannequin Challenge”

  13. C

    We talk about this all the time and it really applies to the USA. They have no one that is a legitimate threat to score a goal in any game. You need at least 1 and preferably 2 players who can be your match winners. We have a few nice players who could be decent complimentary pieces on a good team but no one you would expect to score. It does not help to have someone who is creative and is good at providing assists if there is no one to turn the passes into goals. Until we can come up with a couple of goal scorers we are going to have to accept that defense is our best hope.

  14. Orson Kaert,

    The US has found a way 3X in the last 2 weeks to out due England:

    First Trump, then US losing in the final mins to Mexico and then the Costa Rica match.

    But then again, we all knew that England was shit defensively, they have Cahill, Rose, and the likes of Clyne and Smalling as defenders!

  15. Bill,

    Yea, the USA doesn’t have a goal scorer (though I think Agudelo if given the chance can be that player) but Altidore is a good complimentary striker. Wood, Morris and Demsey are also those players but Morris and Dempsey didn’t play I think and Wood seems to have been told to play and feed Altidore. Well, the problem is, unlike during Arena, they seem to lack the defensive toughness and it doesn’t help that Klinnsman has this notion that the USA should be able to out attack teams with a weak midfield who blood and guts but over the hill or overrated.

  16. C,

    …and Stones, don’t forget Stones. Probably the worst of the lot.

    Gareth Southgate was a cenrtral defender, surely he should be able to communicate at least the basics of playing that position to his chosen back four.

  17. C

    Dempsey has been pretty good over the years but he is not the type of player who can be the leading scorer for a really good team. In order to compete outside of the lower levels of CONCACAF you need someone who can be your leading scorer that you build your attack around but we don’t have anyone like that. Altidore has not worked out. When you don’t have much firepower you compete by working harder and keeping a lot of clean sheets and right now that is not happening

  18. Orson Kaert,

    Lets not forget about Stones. For as much shit as people talk about Luiz, Stones is the exact same, minus the hair! I know most will blame it on Pep, but if you look at the defenders that Pep has had, he has actually valued defenders that are good at defending but have the ability to play from the back. O well.

    Have to admit, England has had some quite decent defender, but most of them coming through now, can’t defend but aren’t good enough to play other positions. Southgate might be communicating to them but maybe its not getting through. I think its why Holding has the make up to be quite good for England if developed properly; hopefully Bouldie is in his ear everyday get his head on straight but early signs are promising.

  19. Bill,

    Your right my friend, the problem becomes when you try to take on the world and haven’t even conquered your own back yard and that is part of the current problem. CONCACAF no longer is ruled by USA like it was and Dempsey was apart of that but as age and injuries have caught up to him, there hasn’t been anybody to take his role as the guy to be counted on to get that goal when your team needs it most. He isn’t the type to build a team around but he can most certainly be that player, at least in CONCACAF to help win you the tournament and there isn’t that player anymore. Maybe Morris and Wood will become that player along with Pulsic but I think the Altidore situation is making things a bit sticky because he has done okay, but seems to be the favorite with their are other options that should be trotted out like the aforementioned Agudelo who has started to show more and more signs of the player that burst onto the scene then tried the jump to Europe when he wasn’t ready.

    Long days ahead for the USA because its not just in the attack but with players like Jermaine Jones, Bradley and Berkmann getting up in age (Bradley is in his prime I suppose but he has quickly fallen from a regular at Roma to a good MLS player rather quickly), there isn’t anybody in midfield to help sure up the defense. The injury to Howard also is a major problem because Guzan is shit and while there are some young and talented GK’s in MLS (some of which are being chased by some midtable Europe sides)none have been able to dislodge him and you see the massive difference he makes.

  20. C

    It would be nice if USA USA USA was a world power but it is what it is. Fortunately CONCACAF is probably the easiest place in the world to qualify and hopefully we can still make it to the World Cup.

  21. What we learnt last night is that the Spaniards can up a gear when they need to.

    2 goals in the last 2 minutes were all they needed to make the score respectable and to show us that when the chips are down and it matters we don’t.

  22. Without doing a lot of research it seems like the 4 players who were critical parts of their team and played a lot of minutes during euro2016 and have been playing almost all of the high leverage minutes this year (Kos, Alexis Ozil and Mustafi, Cech) have all been able to stay healthy.

    If you look at the players who missed one or multiple games due to injury, I don’t think any of us would describe them as being overused. Cazorla, Perez, Walcott, Bellerin, Ramsey, Giroud, Mertesacker, Akpom, Monreal, Le Coq, Iwobe.

    I am definitely not trying make the case that its better to play as many minutes as possible to avoid injury. However, its pretty clear that players get injured without being “overplayed” and the idea that the reason for Arsenal’s chronic injury issues is related to Arsene overplaying our players is probably misguided.

  23. Eric Dier of Spurs says some Spanish guy elbowed him in the face and nobody cared. Get used to it, buddy, you are a Spud.

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