Alexis Decides If He’s Fit For Tomorrow Or Not

It’s D-Day, or S-Day, more aptly. Decision day for Arsène as far as Alexis Sanchez is concerned.

Wenger told the press yesterday that they would assess Alexis this morning over his fitness and consult with the player over his fitness. Yes, that’s consult with a player who even after having a leg amputated would declare himself fit to play. And still be faster and more skilful than any of us.

He’s already given them the answer – “He texted us to tell us he’s in good shape after the game” – so it sounds like it will be a short conversation followed by a long period of contemplation for Arsène. Last season’s experience of losing the player to a hamstring injury for six weeks has rightly taken its toll on Wenger. The note of caution is, I’m sure, heightened by Santi Cazorla’s absence, with the Spaniard missing for the foreseeable future.

Wenger played down the prospect that Sanchez and Chile had played fast and loose with the player’s fitness,

“You have to trust the medical people from Chile.”

Which sounds more like hope than expectation.

“I completely understand that Alexis wanted to play in qualifiers – they’re not friendlies. Chile are not in a fantastic position to qualify for the World Cup and I understand that Alexis is keen to play for his country in such an important game.”

And therein is the inherent conflict between club and country. It’s one-sided at this time of year; there aren’t any internationals until next year so a hamstring won’t affect them. Players who feign injury to pull out of an international squad are suspended for the following league match; perhaps there should be a ban on players appearing for their countries if the FA is reckless and plays an obviously injured player? Never happen.

It’s by no means certain Alexis will play although Wenger was a lot more positive than the “suicidal” comments he made last weekend,

“What I will consider is the risk of injury because he played while recovering from a hamstring injury. I’ll consider the way he feels as well. On that front you depend on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they recover.”

There’s a risk factor involved. Is it better for Alexis to play tomorrow and then miss three weeks, a period where the most difficult game is PSG on Tuesday.

“In the Premier League, the first decisive games are also coming up so you have to pay a price. We lost important players in November for long periods last year.”

After that, he could take three weeks out and return for the trip to Goodison Park in the middle of next month. We ought to be good enough to beat Bournemouth, West Ham and Stoke without him. That presumes we don’t suffer any injury to Olivier Giroud, for instance, when the folly of that notion would be truly exposed.

“After that, [for us] it’s a difficult period in November because it’s the first time when some of the players have played many games. Most of the time it’s a decisive period in the Champions League because it’s game No 5 and, for most of the clubs it’s a very important time in the Champions League.”

The problem is that even if Alexis plays tomorrow, there is no guarantee that we will come back to London with anything other than our tail between our legs. The sub-plots of our record at Old Trafford and Wenger’s against Mourinho have been a regular feature of the back pages this week.

Arsène sought to make light of his appalling history of results against the Portuguese manager’s sides by pointing out that we didn’t always lose. The problem is that one Community Shield victory doesn’t exactly weigh heavily against the Premier League defeats and ritual humiliations.

It’s a vital match, more than anything to slay the thought that Wenger is habitually outwitted by Mourinho. It’s nothing to do with slanging or shoving matches nor is it about shaking hands or not. This is in the Frenchman’s head. As positive as he may try to sound, there’s no doubt that Wenger thinks about these records, no matter how fleetingly.

Arsène could be forgiven for wondering if he was having a flashback. Talking about injuries after an international break, with a big match coming up? Things took on a distinct sepia tone when he spoke of Hector Bellerin’s ankle damage, caused by a challenge in the dying seconds of the north London derby. Another reason to dislike Danny Rose, as if any more were needed.

’til Tomorrow

30 thoughts on “Alexis Decides If He’s Fit For Tomorrow Or Not

  1. Jonnygunner says:

    I hope we can play Sanchez tomorrow and leave him out for PSG if need be…….that rhymes ?

  2. HenryB says:

    I am not sure about this Maureen ‘hoodoo’ over Wenger.

    In Formula 1 terms, Jensen Button and Alonzo became world champions before Red Bull produced the best car by far, and Vettel then went on to win 4 world titles on the trot. Subsequently Louis went on to dominate F1 when Mercedes produced the best car, and he would have won his 3rd on the trot if his car had not exploded when he was on the way to a decisive win.

    Does that mean that Button and Alonzo allowed first Vettel and then Hamilton to wipe the floor with them, or was it simply that each had the best cars at the time they were winning almost every race?

    The same can be said about the sour Mourhino – he had teams where limitless cash had been thrown at buying the best available players, and Wenger was in the throws of not buying the best players – and even selling his best players.

    If they had swapped teams at the salient times, the tables would have been turned and Wenger would have had the jinx on Maureen.

  3. Dukey says:

    Wenger couldn’t even beat Jose if Josephine played the women. It’s a damn curse I tell ya.

  4. C says:

    Giroud really does have 9 lives doesn’t he?!?!

    Danny Rose, haha England’s first choice LB.

  5. C says:

    If I was Arsene, I would use this to get Sanchez to sign….

    Arsene: “You want to play?

    Sanchez:” Boss, I’m fit”

    Arsene: “If I risk playing you then you sign otherwise its Giroud and your on the subs bench for 70 mins helping me zip my coat!”

    Sanchez: “Okay, okay give me the damn contract and I’ll sign”

    Arsene: “Thanks!”

  6. Dukey says:

    Anyway I think we have next to no chance of winning, I’ll eat my hat if we do. We don’t have a cat in hells chance, pigs will fly. Hell could freeze over first, never in a month of Sunday’s.

  7. fabrechenko says:

    i’d prefer we rested sanchez against manure and played him against p.s.g, we have more chances of winning them, i’m usually a very positive person, but i’d rather invest my positivity in the p.s.g game than waste it over a lost course.

  8. -DFS says:

    We need a result – the three points tomorrow, period.

    At some point, excuses and concessions need to stop and a confident campaign embraced otherwise we will be also-rans.

    Our results and form have been erratic in terms of what they should or could have been. Even if we had put a weakened Spurs to the sword, we would nevertheless now be touting a point against Man U would not be bad result. That in my opinion is the crux of the matter.

    We have the strongest squad in years and we should believe we can take three points from a Man U in relative disarray. Yet, not a one of us will truly have confidence in what will happen tomorrow.

    It’s Mourinho and Man U.

    If our team does not have the hunger and desire to best them tomorrow, it’ll end up being a pivot point, an epic black eye which will frame the rest of the campaign. Likewise for Mourinho.

  9. fabrechenko says:

    i remember someone getting slated here for predicting that we’ll take two points from the spurs and manure games, guess those two points are looking a tad too overambitious right now.

  10. Ian says:

    I’m with DFS,

    I want us to lay down a marker and bring our ‘A’ game to Old Trafford. I’m not interested in Arsene’s previous record against Mourinho….this is a new game and one that we can win.

  11. Dukey says:

    I’d love to see Wenger throw Jose under the bus.

  12. Emma Odo says:

    It’s not a season decider but the plague of November injuries is well known to Gooners. Play Alexis with the risk of aggravating a bad hamstring or loose (traditionally) to Maureen? Catch 22 if they ever was one

  13. Spy says:

    £25 million for Ramsey? Hmmm…..
    Snatch their hands off

  14. Spy says:

    Prices of Scotch Whiskey is to double under
    Orwellian laws north of the border, expect coach loads of jocks heading south on booze runs

  15. C says:

    Dukey,

    Well that would certainly help out the #WengerOut brigade….or you think Arsene is smart enough to pin it on Pep?

  16. C says:

    Sancehz said of Ozil:

    “I get on the best with Ozil,” Sanchez said.

    “I enjoy playing with everyone but I get on even better with him.

    “We don’t need to say anything to each other, it just takes a glance.

    “Having a player like Ozil in midfield and doing one-twos with him is fantastic because he is a quality player going forward.

    “He helps me and also makes me improve.”

    Maybe the key to Sanchez signing is getting Ozil to sign.

    Its also good to see reports that Kos is set to sign a new deal.

  17. C says:

    Interesting comments from Arsene that his options at RB are Jenks and Gabriel. Gabriel did play FB at Villarreal and would certainly give us plenty of the defensive duties and is plenty quick with plenty of pace to play FB but attacking wise he isn’t the best. Then you have Jenks who offers us something going forward and whips in a decent ball, problem is, defensively he leaves much to be desired.

    I’d go Gabriel which would also allow Xhaka or Elneny to push forward; or for those wanting Ramsey, it would certainly allow for him to play in that pivot spot next to say Xhaka because Gabriel would be more defensive so we know that we would always have at the least Gabriel, Kos and Mustafi back defensively.

  18. Ras says:

    Bon apres midi tous Le Monde. I have to side with DFS. It is not a season decider but we have to throw down a marker. A statement of intent. A Game B Game C Game it dont matter. We have to do a job on them.

    I can still feel the pain from the defeat against David Moyes side.

  19. HenryB says:

    Bon après midi, Ras. 😀

    I have to side with you siding with -DFS.

  20. Spy says:

    Dukey,

    No, alcohol is the devil, liberal brigade.
    Let’s stop poor people drinking too much

  21. Jonny says:

    Fuck me you lot must think I am thin-skinned. 😀 😀

    Been away to Czech for a few days and not been online much – hate interlull so barely looked in and I’m just catching catching up now.

    I posted an explanation and partial apology (I was TDE) early the next morning but it probably got missed.

    Bob – sorry if it came across as self righteous – my condemnation was actually meant to be towards both sides. Including myself. 😉

    Thank sweet fucking fuckballs the football is back tomorrow.

    Thanks for the ELO. xx

  22. Jonny says:

    Dukester whatever did you do with Positive Dukey’s body?

    Was it all a bit Tyler Durden?

  23. HenryB says:

    Jonny,

    Pleased you have safely returned from your tour of your estates in the Czech Republic! 😀

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