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This week: Sánchez, Ramsey, finances, Mu-Mu, nursery clubs

By Tony Attwood

Alexis Sánchez seems to be ok despite the attack on his legs by M Upson, once of Arsenal, in the Leicester game.  He might still be rested on sunday against Middlesbrough but there’s no long term injury.

Aaron Ramsey however has yet another hamstring injury.  He could be out for anything to the end of this month, to the end of March.  His two previous hamstrings came against Tottenham H and Galatasaray.  Mr Wenger said, “I can’t say it’s not a worry because after a while, the player cannot play with a free mind. He’s not over-played. I don’t know why this is.”

Beyond Arsenal the big news is the vast amount of money Sky and BT have bid to keep live Premier League football on their channels, and already the “cut ticket prices” lobby is on the move.

We all know that the money will all go in higher club wages.  Chelsea and Manchester C will start the run, spending the income before it has arrived, because they can borrow at zero percent interest from their owners.  That will allow them to outbid a faltering PSG who are mindful of their FFP position, Barcelona who can’t sign anyone, and Real Mad who have one eye on the Fifa’s investigation into its youth training system, and the other on the European Commission’s investigation into its land swap with the local council.

So, with player prices forced up, everyone else will have to follow and we will have a period from now on of the anti-Arsenal Arsenal lobby shouting that Arsenal are incapable of signing anyone.

A £10 cut in all ticket prices at Arsenal would make no difference to the sale of tickets (except that it would make it even more of a rush for silver and red members to try and get their allocation) but would cost the club £1,800,000 year – the amount it costs to train and develop five top youth players.

A lot of the approach will be on away fans with the Twenty’s Plenty campaign.   Arsenal’s tickets for away fans are only below that level of league cup games, but I didn’t notice a single newspaper or away supporters talking about it during all the time the policy has been in place.   Nor the fact that with many fans (such as Leicester) it costs less to come to Arsenal for an away game than it does to see their own team at home.  But I am sure such petty detail won’t affect the campaign.

Of course if the FA were more than just a bunch of mindless wimps desperately trying to pay for Wembley they could have a meaningful say in pushing for using the money in the creation of more all-weather and indoor facilities for children and amateur adult teams.  They have a plan to build a few pitches for £150m, but don’t have the money because… it was spent on… Wembley.

Indeed if the UK government really noticed that we are in the midst of an obesity crisis they might get involved as well.  It would in the end save the UK billions in hospital and emergency fees in dealing with the overweight.  They could at the very least stop the FA being dependent on Macdonalds.

At the moment the Premier League puts £12m a year into the Football Foundation (down from £20m, fifteen years ago.) Personally if the choice was between lower ticket prices and more pitches that children and amateur adults could play on, I’d go for the latter.  I’d also extend the scheme for helping with sport in schools which the Premier League is engaged in. The scheme is a good benefit for children, and helps a little bit to patch over the collapsing school system, which is now desperately underfunded.

(The government claims to have maintained spending on schools, but it totally cut the spending on buildings, at a time when the school population is rising faster than ever since the Elementary Education Act of 1870.   Along with the sale of school playing fields ordered by Margaret Thatcher the schools that did not benefit by the previous “Building Schools for the Future” programme are now rotting and collapsing, with many of them still with asbestos in the fabric of the building).

The Premier League could also clarify where it stands on Financial Fair Play.  We were supposed to have details by the end of last year, but still there are none.  In 2013 the clubs agreed to limit the total amount of TV money they can spend on players’ wages to £60 million by 2016, but I am starting to wonder if that rule has been swept aside.

Also from 2016 clubs in the Championship should receive 30% of the value of a “year three” parachute payment (currently £10m), while League One clubs will receive 4.5% of the value and League Two clubs will receive 3%.   That is a slight increase for them, but still leaves the Championship clubs open to the spend-spend-spend policy of QPR operating a desperate attempt to stay in the Premier League and avoid the wrath of the Championship clubs that have abided by their of FFP rules.

Meanwhile we have seen this week the emergence of the Manchester U equivalent of the anti-Arsenal Arsenal (anti Mu Mu I suppose) with even the linguistically eccentric van Gaal expressing concerns about the crowd’s reaction to his regime.   Like the aaa at Arsenal they are a tiny, tiny minority of the people who actually go to games, but still, it is an interesting phenomena to see the negativist movement spreading out from Arsenal to infest other clubs.

VG even said, “I heard the first whistles.  That is a concern because we are playing for the fans. The fans are the most important part of the club.   They keep the club living and that is very important but they also applauded after the match and always in matches there is 90 minutes, not 45.”

Meanwhile, if the natives (of Cornwall) are restless at Manchester U games, they are perhaps scratching their heads at Manchester C where it is said that the club have linked up with St-Etienne in a partnership to help the club bring in a constant stream of top French talent into Manchester C.

We’ve looked before at the way that Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has established lookalike clubs in Australia and the US, and how discussions are continuing in Brazil and South Africa to pick up and use the now abandoned stadia built for the world cups.

Manchester C is restricted from doing the same in Europe by Uefa rules but it can partnership with another club up to an extent.  Given Manchester C’s history with FFP it is likely to push the rules way beyond the limit, and they will then set the lawyers and accountants on the case to fight the regulations that everyone else lives by.

They will do this by making the deal an “academy partnership” which will allow Manchester C to have first pick of the French club’s players, and give St-Etienne the chance to take Manchester C’s younger players on loan.   This move will thus by and large make St-Etienne a nursery club for Manchester C.   The Academy Manager of Manchester C is Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal don’t have such a deal, although there has long been a positive association with Lorient.  In the current team Koscielny and Coquelin both spent time at Lorient.  Gilles Sunu and Joel Campbell were also there.

However the Arsenal Lorient relationship has never been formalised and came about because of the similarity of philosophy between Christian Gourcuff when he was at Lorient and Arsene Wenger.  (Gourcuff subsequently went on to manage Algeria but the mutual respect is still there between the clubs).

So there we have it thus far.   Here’s the table.

Pos Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Chelsea 25 18 5 2 34 59
2 Manchester C 25 15 7 3 26 52
3 Manchester U 25 13 8 4 19 47
4 Southampton 25 14 4 7 21 46
5 Arsenal 25 13 6 6 19 45
6 Tiny Totts 25 13 4 8 5 43
7 Liverpool 25 12 6 7 7 42

Anniversary of the day (and a reminder that we don’t just do the happy events)

  • 12 February 1977: Man C 1 Arsenal 0. This fourth game without a win was also the start of seven consecutive defeats in the league – the worst ever run of defeats, beating the six “achieved” under both Chapman and Knighton, and worse than anything in the relegation year on 1912/13.  The manager was Terry Neill.

42 comments to This week: Sánchez, Ramsey, finances, Mu-Mu, nursery clubs

  • WalterBroeckx

    Lets hope the injury from Alexis Sanchez is only a knock. He sure wasn’t looking comfortable after that challenge till he came off.
    As for Ramsey its clear it wasn’t from being overplayed so far this season. And having been put on the bench for the match against Leicester was in fact giving him a rest.

    I would have loved to have Oxlade-Chamberlain fit by now but lets not rush him back and give him time to recover completely. He has been carrying a few injuries this season and has struggled a bit. But his work rate would have been great to have around now.

    Just remembered….will Jack be ready to play already???? Or would that be too soon?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter,

    I think Jack was due back for full squad training this last Monday, playing at the weekend is probably too soon, but he might make the beach. Serge Gnabry played 60 odd minutes for the U21s on Monday, again probably too soon for him to be back in the squad. I wouldn’t expect to see too much change for Sunday, in terms of the quality of the side we will be facing, I would probably rate first in the Championship over bottom of the Premier League so we will need to put out a full strength squad or very close to it. Probably Szcz in goal and Gibbs at right back as starters with Bielik, Gabriel and Akpom on the Beach able to come on if we have a comfortable lead (now there’s a thought – Arsenal with a comfortable lead!)

    COYG

  • nicky

    Arsene’s comment that Ramsey “cannot play with a free mind” due to his previous hamstring injuries, only goes to emphasise the enormous gap between the professional game and the amateur or pub version.
    Like top class racehorses, professional footballers are so highly tuned that the slightest untoward movement can adversely affect them.
    I mean…whoever heard of a pub player being declared unfit to play AFTER THE PRE-MATCH WARM-UP.

  • Tony Attwood: you are in sparkling form just now and it is good to see you still caring so much. Do you ever get called on by any of the newspapers to provide an article or a view? I notice that some other blogsters do, but have also noticed they tend to be critical of the current regime. Funny that. As Inspector Morse would say, it all depends on how much you believe in coincidence.
    In your previous piece about Type III Match Fixing you suggest that other clubs who might benefit from a particular side doing badly could approach a few referees. It seems to me you could also have a situation where a significant, but minority, shareholder wished to destabilise things in an attempt to drive away the enthusiasm of the principal owner of the club. Or if, for example, widespread betting on football was encouraged, then it would be of benefit to the bookmakers to know that the wheel had an extra zero.
    That the bookies are able to advertise on the programme that pays billions to secure the rights to the match seems scandalous. That adverts for loan companies and PPP compensation are also present merely pointing to the true cost to many of gambling. I wonder how much a half-time advert in a prime match costs? Someone would know. I don’t.

  • Usama

    About the Man City’s partnership with St Etienne, since Man City are owned by the Etihad group, they are starting similar business structure as the one they have under Etihad Airways.

    What Etihad Airways has done is that are slowly slowly increasing their owning stakes in airlines which have downsized/are in loss/have very small operating capital. This enables them to own that specific airline when the percentage of stakes owned has a certain level.

    “In December 2011, Etihad announced it had taken a 29.21% stake in Air Berlin,[10] Europe’s sixth largest airline, and James Hogan was appointed Vice Chairman. It followed this up with minority stakes in other airlines—Air Seychelles (40%),[11] Aer Lingus (2.987%),[12] Virgin Australia (10%).[13] On August 1, 2013, the President of the company, James Hogan, signed a deal with Aleksandar Vučić, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, in Belgrade, giving Etihad a 49% stake in the Serbian national carrier Jat Airways/Air Serbia.[14] The Serbian Government retained 51% of the shares. The new company is named Air Serbia.[15]

    At the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Etihad announced that it was acquiring a 33.3% stake in the Swiss carrier Darwin Airline. Darwin was rebranded as Etihad Regional from March 2014.[citation needed]

    On August 1, 2014, Etihad agreed to take a 49% stake in the Italian flag carrier Alitalia for an estimated €560 million. The deal was closed on August 8, 2014.[16] On 1 January 2015, Alitalia-CAI formally passed its operations to Alitalia-SAI, a new entity owned 49% by Etihad and 51% by the Alitalia-CAI shareholders”

    As we can see this may sound similar to what Man City have done in Sydney FC in Austailian League and New York FC in MLS.

  • Usama

    In the case of football what Man City are trying to do is to find an alternative to FFP

  • Usama

    As we saw with what they did with the Messed up transfer of Frank Lampard. From the start of the season they said he signed for New York FC, later on it was found he never even signed a contract with New York FC.

  • Forever – thank you for your kind comment. As a freelance writer I have written articles and series for a number of national papers, but not for a few years. I can’t imagine anyone inviting me, not particularly because of my pro-Wengerian stance but largely because Untold has become the focal point of criticism of football journalism – the Football Betrayed article irritated a bit, I understand.

    Also no journalist ever can forgive another writer outing him/her when he/she takes a press release and writes it as their own (eg Telegraph with PGMO hand outs, and the Guardian with the FA’s explanation as to why Sport England had removed their funding – the “it rained a lot” story).

    But you do find my work in the papers occasionally, as for example when the Telegraph took my analysis of why England do so badly in world cups (the one that highlighted coaching numbers as the key indicator) and ran it as their own in August 2013.

    But to their credit Talk Sport despite my regularly calling them Talk Spout, they did ask me to be the central voice in their two hour history of Arsenal programme. It went out at 10pm so no one heard it, but I enjoyed making that.

  • finsbury

    Initially to my surprise Johnny Vaughen (one of his co-hosts to be exact) has also promoted the work by Untold on his talksport radio show, last season especially.

  • john

    Talk Sprout seems quite a polite term compared to the more commonly used alternative.

  • jambug

    nicky

    “Like top class racehorses, professional footballers are so highly tuned that the slightest untoward movement can adversely affect them.”

    Agree entirely. I wrote something similar a few months ago, but my focus was more on the issue of player tiredness and management of there bodies.

    If Paul Nichols (for those that may not know, PN is currently the top National Hunt (jumps) Trainer in the UK) wants his best horses ready for the Cheltenham festival (biggest meeting in the NH Calendar) you don’t run them every week from September through till March do you?

    Of course you COULD, and that’s the sort of nonsense spouted by that idiot Robbie Savage.

    But I know how many winners he’d have compared to the trainers who’d managed there horses season on an individual, horse by horse basis.

    AS you suggest Nicky, the management of a professional footballers body is a science, as it is with Horses.

    Just ask Martin Pipe, who, like Wenger, revolutionised his sport with science based methods of how to train horses back in the 80’s, and totally dominated his sport for over a decade, until the others caught up.

    Ring any bells.

  • What more can be said about the injury situation at arsenal , , ,

    Its turned into an outrageously huge elephant sitting there , literally defecating on the carpet..

    Look at Ozils injury record before coming to arsenal and after, its terrifying.

    Wenger says he just doesn’t understand it yet we seem in a perpetual state of playing catch up with our injuries..

    There just seems like too many occasions when i have thought please rest this or that player in the smaller games yet Arsene doesnt do this much anymore, he even quipped about how it was impossible to drop Sanchez, now look, half way through the season and he is picking up muscular injuries, due to fatigue. He has played more football this season than ever before at a high level and that should have been managed…

    Again we have to wait for our key players to be fit only to find by the time that they are the other players in their place are injured because they are playing more than they are used too, so the key players are brought back and given too many minutes too soon, out of necessity. They dont recover properly , AND THE CYCLE continues…

    The World cup didnt help much this year but still

    There has to be a reason arsenal are constantly getting hamstrung by injuries… The evidence says clearly we have a problem yet the only thing that we hear about from Arsene is that it is bad luck or simply unexplainable…

  • Walter

    Madetolove, Alexis did the same whenin Italy. Playing every match almost. Maybe the difference being tthat refs in Italy in general don’t allow the kicking we see every match against him and other Arsenal players

  • Va Cong

    Exactly Walter, I am suprised Alexis still has 2 legs and what matches have you been watch madetolove? Even my Spurs, liverpool manchester united friends can see this!

  • Gord

    Some news about referee assignments in Italy.

    http://www.football-italia.net/62549/nicchi-%E2%80%98referee-draws-nonsense%E2%80%99

    It sounds like Ivanvic “headbutted” someone about the same as Giroud did. Will he get a ban? Or did Moaninho’s actions stop that from happening?

    Headbutt? Biting?

    http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/vine-did-the-branislav-ivanovic-try-to-bite-evertons-james-mccarthy-30985926.html

    Maybe Ivanovic caught rabies from Saurez?

    Still no news I can find about Giroud’s yellow.

  • Walter

    Sanchez played on average in italy 37.7 games a season over the three years

    over the same time period he played at Barca 47 times a season on average, the majority from the subs bench, so minutes were very little or certainly much reduced

    in his first season at arsenal he has played 32 times, that is by the beginning of feb, and by played I mean started every game, and often not subbed off.

    We are roughly 60% through the season , if we extrapolate that then we can approximate that if fit for an entire season at the rate he is playing he will have completed around 60 games for us, and that is from starting as well

    so id say that sanchez had played more, in a rougher league than he is used to and that should have been managed,, hopefully he is ok

    Its not just Sanchez, we see it with players ALL the time at arsenal, , i mean look at Ramsey the first half of last season, , played every game , spent the second half of the season injured

    We just need to get back to baseline with our injuries hopefully a restful summer followed by proper rotation the season after and we can avoid this perennial catch up we have to play

  • Yes arsenal get treated rough ive never denied it, but what i know and a lot can see is that its not the main reason for our failures, its lack of rotation and out dated training and recovery methods imo, other than that wenger is an amazing manager, he just needs to leave the fitness of the players to the experts and utilize his squad to its maximum potential

    ALL the more reason to properly rotate and rest your players, sanchez sisnt need to play every game, wenger chose that, wenger sent him out into games where he knew he’d be kicked

  • jambug

    MadeToLoveMagic @ 3:16

    “but what i know and a lot can see is that its not the main reason for our failures, its lack of rotation and out dated training and recovery methods imo”

    In one sentence you not only contradict yourself but make some rather presumptuous assertions. You say:

    “..what I Know..”

    Then almost immediately back track to:

    “…..imo…..”

    So what is it?

    Do you know these things you’re saying as fact? If so I want to know how, or is it as you later say just ‘your opinion?

    You also say:

    “…and a lot can see….”

    Can they? Who are this ‘lot’ that agree with you? I don’t see many on here do you? So where are all this ‘lot’ that can see what you see?

    You also say:

    “…main reason for our failures,…”

    What failures are these to which you refer? As far as I can see, given the financial restrictions under which Wenger works, and the financial doping under which others work, I am not sure to which ‘failures’ you refer. Perhaps you can enlighten me on those as well.

    3 lines of contradictory, presumptuous, misguided nonsense.

  • Josif

    One big important data about St Etienne, one of the most successful French clubs, shouldn’t be omitted from any analysis: it’s a club for which Michel Platini had played for between 1979 and 1982.

    Alexis Sánchez had played in Serie A before Barcelona but it’s a league with much lower intensity comparing to Spain or England. A lot of veterans and low-caliber players have been playing there since Calciopoli and falling down of milk-rich clubs Lazio and Parma, not to mention that mid-week games were rarity for the Chilean.

  • Gord

    Hmmm, still in moderation.

    Maybe Tony is out buying a wig? 🙂

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31439814

    John-Joe O’Toole Day

  • jambug

    Josif

    To my mind, the concerted, premeditated assault upon Sanchez is one of the most overtly orchestrated acts of thuggery I have had the misfortune to witness.

    There was a similar campaign waged against Reyes, and we all witnessed how that ended.

    I must admit I was a bit disappointed that Reyes didn’t handle it a little better, but lets be honest, why should he have to? His treatment, and lack of protection from Referees was a disgrace, as is what is happening to Sanchez.

    Luckily for us it seems that Sanchez is made of tougher stuff than Reyes, well lets hope so anyway, but again I say, why?

    Why should he have to put up with this constant physical assault upon his person?

    Why should he risk a career threatening injury every time he enters a football field?

    Disgraceful. Shameful. Just 2 of the more printable words to describe what’s going on.

  • REally Jambug??

    all you’ve got is petty semantics?

    but if you want me to reply to that i will,

    Sorry for using I know and imo in the same sentence, shame you couldnt address the point whatsoever.

    “All lot can see” are the people I chat to on a constant basis about arsenal , friends, family , bloggers fans etc. Yes its a perspective, but I unlike some on here like to analyse all directions of an argument.

    “failure” is a subjective word , have the last 10 years been a failure compared to the first of wenger , yes , but as we know there are many other factors….

    When i refer to failure i refer to the constant mismanagement of our fitness. That you can not deny and was the theme of my post.

    If you feel like responding to the points i make next time that would be great

  • So people on here think that the reason we get so many injuries is because we are not protected by the refs, seemingly people would have you believe more than any other team. The “other side” think that its all wengers rotation and approach to training

    Has anyone considered that it could a combined effect of both?

  • goonersince72

    Impact injuries like the one suffered by Alexis Sanchez from a studs up tackle will continue until refereeing changes. Don’t see this happening as long as Wenger is with the club. I’m not advocating his departure, just pointing out that a lot of what is considered ‘anti-Arsenal bias’ by the refs and the league
    is Wenger bias. That’s when it began. Those supporters old enough to remember the club before Arsene probably remember the hue and cry when this Frenchman, of all things, took over one of the old, staid First Division clubs. The criticism was relentless. His ‘continental’ style, his training methods, etc. were just roasted. We accept managers from outside Great Britain now (I think). If we bring in SAF things might change, otherwise expect the same.
    Muscle pulls & strains are more related to training/rest than rotation. How many times a season do Ronaldo, Messi, or Robben sit? They play 60+ games a year, every year. On the money front, read today that MU has 380 MILLION POUND DEBT and LVG is asking for even more transfer money after the obscene amount they spent last summer. So much for FPP. Don’t start me on Chelsea or City. They can’t be penalized monetarily, the owners just give the club more money. This is the world our club lives in. All things considered, I think we’re alright; building a really talented squad.

  • nicky

    @Jambug,
    Your 4.24 to Josif was a blunt indictment of the dark side of professional football.
    A few days ago I read on one of the downmarket sites, a report that Sanchez had asked to return to Barcelona in the Summer.
    It made me smile at what I thought was a poor attempt to fantasise news but now I’m not so sure.
    Thugs like Keane and the Neville brothers have thankfully gone but others remain.
    Until we have a breed of honest, courageous referees, aided with video means and an appeals system, the Reyes and now Sanchez type of GBH will continue.

  • AL

    I honestly am dying to know how some people come to their conclusions. Anyone who has seen the brutal punishment that has been dished Sanchez’s way is amazed the guy can still walk. In almost every game he’s played this season he’s been targeted. Including the game against Leicester. And noone has been sent off for these bad tackles, not one person. Just a yellow or two, not more. And then you hear
    someone blame the manager?!

  • AL

    And what is 32 games to a professional player? It’s nothing. If he’s going to start breaking down after only 32 games then there’s something wrong with him. If he’d played 50 or more then maybe. You can look across the league and find many players who have played the same number of games as Sanchez in this same physical league without any problems at all. Like goonersince72 pointed out, the likes of Messi and Co play over 60 games a season with no issues at all.

  • Gord

    Paper out of Australia. An athlete was training on an inclined treadmill, all instrumented up and being filmed, when the athlete suffered a hamstring strain.

    http://www.eccentricalab.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Biomechanical-response-to-hamstring-muscle-strain-injury1.pdf

    It doesn’t happen very often (instrumented failures).

  • Menace

    MadeToLove – Your opinion is valid but unfortunately wrong. Arsenal players get injured because they get kicked by opponents with impunity. The PGMO Referees are cheating bastards & allow this to happen in almost every match. Don’t go looking for player management when it is so obvious where injuries occur.

    The ‘other side’ can kiss my Arse as wenger knows more than all of them put together. I cannot accept argument that says a broken leg is because of poor diet when some Shawcross tackle clearly breaks the leg.

  • Gord

    Another paper out of Australia. Two teams playing Australian Rules Football monitored for 1 season for posterior thigh injuries, explicitly ignoring contact injuries.

    http://www.udel.edu/PT/PT%20Clinical%20Services/journalclub/sojc/04_05/oct04/verrall.pdf

    Perhaps someone can find the study which considers the contact injuries?

    Tom has talked about the tendency to assign injuries only to games. This paper talks about it over-reporting injruies compared to previous studies, and notes that it is reporting all injuries, not just game time injuries.

  • jambug

    MadeToLoveMagic

    “but what i know and a lot can see is that its not the main reason for our failures, its lack of rotation and out dated training and recovery methods imo”

    But you state the above as a fact, then of an opinion.

    If it’s a fact I asked you to provide proof. YOU HAVEN’T.

    If it’s an opinion, well then it’s just that, YOUR opinion. It might also be the opinion of every blog you read or friend you speak to. We’ll just have to take your word on that wont we. That is certainly not the opinion of myself, most on this blog, or my friends and Family. You’ll just have to take MY word on that.

    But back to the point.

    YOU said “I KNOW…….. its lack of rotation and out dated training and recovery methods.

    I ask again, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?

    Simple question, requires a simple answer.

    I’m not trying to say I know, but I see with my own eyes the constant kicking we get, week in week out, and that’s what I consider to be THE major contributing factor. There may or may not be other contributing factors, but unlike you I wouldn’t be presumptuous enough to say I KNOW what it is, and neither do you.

    Unless of course you can show me evidence to the contrary.

  • Saint

    Tony lets hope that some of the extra money filters down to the fans,some of us who are already paying £1200 a season for their season ticket.Its stated that players earn enough and none of that money should go to improved wages,i second that and also that should extend to managers who also are earning a fortune as well.Why can’t we get back to rewarding good performances ??

  • Josif

    @jambug

    Whilst I agree with you regarding thugs (Upson is just a symptom of a disease) and Alexis (let’s not forget Mike Riley’s favourite Gary Cahill who probably has to kill someone before getting a red card), Alexis has played a lot of matches this season indeed.

    I tend to take all factors in consideration:

    1) Alexis is a target of nasty fouls from the opponents – Cahill, Upson, that toothless creature from Stoke that would have lived out of pick-pocketing if he hadn’t been a footballer; Alexis is a skillful dribbler (if I remember well, he was second only to Messi in terms of successful dribbles per game) and lumberjacks from EPL, nurtured by FA’s lets-keep-our-football-tradition-clear-from-foreign-flair-racism, can’t stop him without a foul,

    2) Alexis has played a lot of games this season at high intensity (let’s not forget he has played four games during World Cup as well) but then again, Robin van Prick had played 29 full league games in a row in 2011-12 plus FA Cup and a few Champions’ League matches and didn’t suffer a single injury; now, RvP’s and Alexis’ styles of play are different as the Chilean goes at full speed from the first to the last second,

    3) Alexis kept playing despite injury in at least one occasion instead of asking for substitution; now, I understand that he is a passionate lad that loves football and bleeds for Arsenal on the pitch but it was irresponsible at both him and Arsenal – Mesut Özil did the same thing last spring against Bayern (he wrote on his FB-page that he had felt pain in his hamstring in second minute of the game but kept playing until the half-time) and we lost him for the toughest league matches,

    but I still can’t give a conclusion how much have each one of this factors contributed in Alexis’ injury simply because I don’t have enough medical knowledge.

    Now, when it comes to the story about Alexis Sánchez leaving Arsenal, I think they are crap just like every story about us looking for a new goalkeeper or Özil’s possible departure anywhere. The Chilean is loved at Arsenal, he knows that Arsene Wenger has managed to turn Thierry Henry and Robin van Prick from wingers to world-class strikers and that leaving Arsenal for Barcelona – where they have Neymar, Messi, Suarez and Pedro – would be a really stupid thing to do (he can ask Petit, Overmars, Vermaelen, Song, Henry and Hleb if he doesn’t believe me).

  • finsbury

    Perhaps. MTLM is another self-declared Expert in PR campaigns and the dreaded Redzone™ Itself?

    Bit like the certified yet unfortunately unemployed Dutch physio who has again been attacking AFC (PR Experts!)

    Alas the contrast with his lack of comments on the obvious Walcott-Falcao rehab comparison (similar injuries at the same time) which even a dunderhead like me can make tells us all we need to know.

    Of course I’m sure MTLM is aware of that comparison, having been so sincerely concerened by this topic he would undoubtedly given the matter some of his highly considerate thoughts. 😉

  • Gord

    The Economist has a short article on the TV rights sale. Not a lot of new information there.

    http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21643141-premier-league-becomes-even-richer-lucrative-game

  • Gord

    Oops, points to Jack’s Mum for letting him know.

  • Gord

    Alex Lwobi may have an international to play (soon).

    http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/sport/abroad/197824-arsenal-states-condition-for-alex-iwobi-s-release

    Note, that isn’t the UK Guardian newspaper.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Tony,

    Can you please provide the link to that TalkSprout program of yours.

  • François

    @MadeToLoveMagic
    haha, ‘have the last 10 years been a failure compared to the first of wenger , yes’ and still Wenger got the manager of the decade award.
    Go figure

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsene-wenger-voted-world-coach-of-the-decade

  • Saint

    Menace
    You keep going on like most on here about all our injuries caused by being ASSAULTED on the field of play and not getting protection from most of the referees that are cheating.Why are they cheating???Who is telling them to cheat???There must be a leader of this group.And do you think this group of cheats extends into europe and we will be cheated by european referees???Is it a worldwide conspiracy???And who is the leader???Maybe sepp blatter has got it in for arsenal.I would like to hear your answer.