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October 2016
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Sanchez, why we hate international football (complete with horrific pictures)

By Walter Broeckx

Yes we and certainly I hate international football. Not just for FIFA or Uefa but for the fact that over the last 12 years or so it has cost Arsenal a few trophies.

Time and time again we see our players being taken away to play for their country and more than once we get a player back on crutches and being out for several weeks or months.  Robin Van Persie was probably the worst case we have witnessed over the years but many others like Vermaelen were maltreated when away on international duty.

Last season Alexis got a muscular injury. Overplayed they said. And Wenger was blamed.

Now let us get the facts correct. Alexis is working for Arsenal. So Arsenal is the team he should play for. Not for any other team. But as the crooks of  Uefa and FIFA have decided that when a country calls on a player the team has to release them.

But the fact is that a team is counting on their players to be able to play for their club. And when a player is injured they can’t play. When a player gets injured playing for their clubs one could call it the risk of the job. I think most clubs will have an Insurance to cover costs when a player gets a long injury.

So when Ramsey broke his leg playing for Arsenal I had no complaints about him getting injured. He was on Arsenal duty. I do have complaints of course about the fact that the PGMO representative on the day was letting things get out of hand and thus the Stoke players went in like madman and a serious injury was an accident waiting to happen.

But because the injury happened playing for Arsenal he is a hero for me. Mind you I rather don’t have such heroes like Eduardo, Sagna (twice), Ramsey, Diaby…..

But when a player comes back from international football completely wrecked…. then I get pissed off. Then I get really angry. Then I curse and swear against Uefa and FIFA and all those FA’s who dare to take our players away.

Returning back to Alexis last season. Overplayed. Then the real question is: by whom?

Was it Wenger who organised a Copa America in a time when players should get rest after a long and hard season in the PL? NO. It wasn’t Wenger. Because let us be clear about it when players get overplayed this is not because their club demands too much. No it is because the calendar has to fit in all kinds of international matches during the season causing disruption and lots of travelling from left to right, East to West  and back.

It is Uefa and FIFA who organise tournaments and if they could they would do so each and every year during the summer period when players should be able to have a rest. Now the resting period is shoved down the throats of the clubs and they have to miss their players during the preseason leading to far less than optimal preseason conditions for the players who played in tournaments.

A result is that the players struggle to get completely match fit, train even harder, over train, get little niggles and finally get injured.

People then blame Wenger but as I said if they could only leave the players alone during the summer and let the Arsenal staff work on their fitness from the start…just imagine that scenario… could it be that we would get a significant reduction of injuries? I somehow think it would.

Last weekend Alexis played the Copa America. He played in the final. Chile – for whom he plays – won the final against Argentina. So far so good. Excellent for Alexis. But then we know he had to be taken off in the extra time. With an injury. Oops suddenly it isn’t that good anymore.

Was it a serious injury? We don’t know yet. But what we do know is that Alexis posted a few pictures of his foot. And of the tackle that caused the injury. Disgusting pictures. But we will show them to give you an idea.


A picture is worth ten thousand words, as the saying goes.

A terrible tackle (look at the bending of his ankle… ouch…) and then look at the result. A completely bruised and swollen ankle.

So here we have it the season hasn’t started yet but we have our first injury. How long it will take for him to recover remains to be seen. But this injury even when healed might be the prelude to the next injury.

Knowing Alexis a bit he will be keen to return as soon as possible. Force his body a bit and that might be the cause of more trouble.

And of course Wenger will get the blame when Alexis gets injured during the season.

But just imagine… just imagine that there was no Copa America this summer. Just imagine that Alexis would have been on holiday in his home town. Sit on the beach, play a bit with the kids, do some walking with his dogs.

Just imagine Alexis having a complete rest of 5-6 weeks? Okay knowing him he probably would have been running around on his own but that is not a problem. It is playing matches and getting kicked like he did that is the problem.

These pictures show why I hate international football. It’s bad enough we lose too many players because of poor refereeing standards who allow that our players getting kicked left and right. But to have already one player out before the first training session because of some stupid international tournament…. the my blood starts boiling.

Where is the players Union? Where are they? They should be banging on the table of FIFA and Uefa and tell them this madness has to stop and they can get a good rest between each season and that all the players should be able to start at the same time with their preparations.

That would mean no more international football but looking at the pictures of Alexis ankle…… who cares?!

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14 comments to Sanchez, why we hate international football (complete with horrific pictures)

  • Leon

    “Where is the players Union? Where are they? They should be banging on the table of FIFA and Uefa and tell them this madness has to stop and they can get a good rest between each season and that all the players should be able to start at the same time with their preparations”

    The players unions support their members in all football related activities and will never normally advise not playing in the international competitions that they love so much. Do you think this is the union’s function?
    Also worth noting that all footballers have the same leave entitlements as other workers: four weeks a year. This is obviously taken out of season and our players will get theirs when they return from Euro 2016 & Copa America. Sanchez is currently in New York and not due back for another three weeks. He could voluntarily return of course, nobody is forcing him to enjoy his well earned holiday.

  • Nonny

    like you said, the picture tells all the story. Ouch!!!

  • para

    The fact that the cause of these injuries are not properly punished only allows more of them, at both Int and club level.

    I stand with Walter on this one, but of course it is the players who want to play international games for their own personal glory, and the better they are for club, the more chance of them being taken for international games.

    The club has no real option than to let them play. A bad deal for club.

  • Gord

    It’s hard to imagine that the tackle shown in the one image, was an attempt to play the ball. To me, it looks like the tackle was intended to injure.

    Even if CONMEBOL (?) or FIFA were to launch a disciplinary proceeding based on the incident, what would happen? Player in question might get a 1 match ban. Okay, arrange a friendly against some really weak team to serve the ban against. Player now eligible for the next important game. To me, it would seem that bans against national teams in this kind of circumstance have to be two fold. Perhaps the player is banned, as well as the number of allowed substitutes for games being reduced?

    On the UEFA front, it seems that anyone who has installed the UEFA Euro 2016 “app” has a problem. There is one or more security bugs in that app. TheRegister ( has a current thread on this for more information.

    If nothing else, it leaks passwords. It’s important to fix this.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    On a 2nd thought, I think the Boss should consider accepting the the England football manager’s job if the FA offered it to him. But on caretaker basis until he has rundown his current contract deal with Arsenal, then he’ll decide if to take the job on permanent basis or not.

    Being an efficient and hard work man who never falls sick as the Boss is, I think he can do the 2 jobs of being the Arsenal manager and the England caretaker manager together at the same time. Can’t he?

    England next games will be to play some friendly matches in readiness of starting to play their qualifier games for the 2018 World Cup coming up in Russia.

    The Boss can become the unique manager ever to have ran 2 top football jobs at the same time. Subject to Arsenal bosses agreeing to such a dual job by the Boss, I think he can even be conducting the England training regimes at London Colney differently or simultaneously with those of the Gunners which could be beneficiary to both the 3Lions and the Gunners as they share their experiences together. So the Boss should not tell the FA he won’t accept their offer to become the next England boss but accept it on caretaker basis for now.

    And believe me, if the Boss takes the job, England will qualify for the World Cup and breaks the jinx of the England long run of not getting pass the 1st round of the competition since Italian ’90.

    Oga Tony, it’ll be better to reorganise Fifa, Uefa and the rest of the Fifa’s confederations to make them corruptlees rather than to have them banned. Ban them to create another new football authority bodies to replace them? Many many people in the World are earning their daily breads and sustenances as being the staffs of these football bodies across the World. And it will become pathetic if those thousands of staff are rendered redundant. Besides, having these football authority bodies around help to regulate the game to make it lawful and orderly.

    Alexis will recover in time to start preseason training for Arsenal by God’s grace. And we pray all the remaining Gunners left in the Euro’16 will return to Arsenal strong and healthy ahead of the incoming season campaign.

  • bushido

    double thumbs up once again for this very informative article from Walter. that’s why website like UA is very important for some of Arsenal supporter. (UA) is holding no punch and back it up with proof of what’s wrong in football to the real world, keep up the good work’ Tony and the UA gang. this article is another remainder to some fans who like to runnin their mouth and keep blaming AW and Arsenal medical staff when they clearly don’t know what exactly the roots of the problem in the 1st place. other football club had this same problem and for sure Arsenal medical team do the best they can to provide the best treatment for the player and avoid the long term injuries. but as we know in this real world ‘shit happen’ and it’s clearly not gonna be easy especially for Arsenal players who we all know(provide with many proof) have little protection from the bias PGMOL. but we got to believe’ no matter how biassed and unfair the match officials is toward Arsenal football club, when the players had been nurtured for couple of years by the manager who never blame the players and always defend them plus when they got a fighter like Alexis among them, when they feel the love and start to fight for the manager and the club, Arsenal gonna have a helluva team.

  • Menace

    Terrible tackle considering the weight on Alexis’ foot. Should have been a red card or should be a ban if the card was not correct.

    The good thing is that the blood circulation has made the injury blue showing that natural healing is already in action. Get better soon Alexis.

  • Tom

    Before you give yourself a coronary perhaps you should talk to one or two professional players and they would tell you that representing their country might be considered the highest honor, especially at a Copa or Euros and they wouldn’t miss it for the World.

    The injury Alexis sustained is unfortunate but it may actually be a good thing for him and Arsenal, seeing as it’s difficult for him or Arsene Wenger to give him time off because of fatigue alone.

    As long as nothing is broken , the swelling should go down in a week’s time and the bruises in another two to three weeks.

    Take a deep breath and relax.

  • Al

    I’m not making this up, as I was reading Walter’s post I could ‘hear’ certain commentators trying to tell Walter well this is part of the job, it’s his country bla bla bla,…and lo and behold, just exactly as I expected! 🙂 I am sure if Walter wrote an article tomorrow about te earth beinground they’ll be countering his thoughts by arguing it may be flat, in the comments section. Some people never disappoint.

  • Josif

    Whilst I share Walter’s thought about the international football, I don’t think banning players from playing for their respective countries would have a positive effect. Alexis seems to be especially motivated to play for his country, same goes for Ramsey, Mesut, never mind Koscielny and Giroud who had a rough path to France Best XI.

  • Pat

    You can’t blame a player for wanting to play for their country. I’ve just watched the end of the Wales victory over Belgium and those players were very happy and so was the crowd. And so was I, to be honest, although I’m not Welsh. It’s nice for people to have some happiness and it seemed to be harmless.

    Sanchez too will have loved playing for his country and getting the Golden Ball as well. I agree it is a horrible tackle, a typical tackle inflicted on a brilliant player by a lesser player, and we’ve seen plenty of those at Arsenal.

    Tougher refereeing all round would lessen the number of these tackles. Of course I agree with Walter in hoping fervently that Sanchez is not seriously hurt and will soon recover.

    However, I think hoping to ban international competitions is a forlorn hope for any number of reasons.

  • Rantetta

    Tell it, Walter.

    SAA…. No.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hope you are right Tom, but that looks nasty, despite the players comments on Twitter. But hopefully it will give him some time to sign a new deal for Arsenal.
    I suspect an opportunity for someone else for the first few weeks of the season.
    Alexis clearly loves his country and playing for it, maybe he should bemore like the England players, and not give a shot. Not my words, those of the media!

  • austinpaul

    Dat tackle pix is horrific!my worry is d crooked ‘knee’,I hope d impact on d ankle didn’t transfer to d knee! Both-ankle nd knee shuld be RX 2geda.get well quick Alexis,ua strongly made nd pls get full rest for next 3 wks! Shallom!!!