Reasons to be cheerful are slipping away like snow in spring

By Tony Attwood

With enough Americans voting for a man who doesn’t believe climate change is happening, and that his political opponent should be put in prison, it would be nice to have a bit of positive news from Arsenal just to keep us going, but as you’ve probably heard Alexis Sánchez has been injured in Chile.

The most frightening thing (in the football world, which by and large pales into insignificance this morning, but I need something to distract my mind, although its hardly a positive distraction) is that Alexis is still in Chile.

The statement from Chile’s equivalent of the Football Association (and I admit I know nothing of them, apart from the fact that like the FA they associate themselves with Fifa) is enough to make me stay under the bedclothes: “The medical team of the Chilean national team can confirm Alexis Sánchez has a low-grade muscle tear. The player will stay in Santiago, under treatment and evaluation, ahead of Chile’s match against Uruguay.”

Which could well mean that they will deem him ok to play Uruguay next Tuesday.

Here’s the current league table for South America…


10 6 3 1 23 9 14 21
10 6 2 2 21 7 14 20
10 5 2 3 18 14 4 17
10 5 2 3 15 12 3 17
10 5 1 4 18 16 2 16
10 4 4 2 11 9 2 16
10 4 3 3 10 12 -2 15
10 3 2 5 14 17 -3 11
10 1 1 8 9 26 -17 4
10 0 2 8 9 26 -17 2

All teams play each other home and away and then the top four nations qualify directly to the finals. The fifth-placed team plays the winner of the Oceania region for a fifth place.

So the temptation for Chile would be to follow the car thief route.  They steal your car, smash it up, hand it back and say, “get it ready for next time”.

It’s not been a good couple of weeks for Alexis, who as we mentioned recently has been cited in a tax fraud case in Spain following his time in Barcelona.  As I pointed out, it may not be as serious as the Neymar case as it looks on the surface more like a case of not declaring a bank account in another part of the EU.  This is in contrast to Neymar, his parents and two of Barcelona’s executives who, the Spanish High Court has just said, should stand trial for alleged corruption.

This all dates back to the transfer from Santos to Barcelona of Neymar and there are serious allegations about whether Barçelona concealed a contract to poach the player in 2011.  It is the sort of thing which in England, as we saw yesterday, the FA turn a blind eye to, let the High Court have its say and then do absolutely nothing.  Sweet FA as is commonly said, but I can’t spell out otherwise one of the news gathering corporations won’t carry my ramblings any more.

The Spanish court has said Neymar’s father and mother should also be tried on a corruption charge along with the club’s chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell and the club itself for corruption and fraud.

So we see the twin evils of modern football.  The corrupt and illegal practices of Barcelona, which emerge in the form of everything from child trafficking to corruption and fraud, and the way in which our player can be wrecked doing his international “duty” – a misuse of the word, if there ever was one.

Back in England The FA has failed to make any comment on the issue of Sammy Lee and its employment of him, which we considered yesterday.   It’s argument is that “court proceedings are not yet complete.”   That is the most feeble point that could be made from a totally feeble and hopeless operation, existing only because the media won’t deal with them as they would any other failed and corrupt organisation.   The only issue in the case unfinished is the exact amount of money Mr McGill is awarded in damages.

So is there any good news at all?

Well there is one.  There is no sign at all that Héctor Bellerin has been involved in any sordid activities normally associated with Barcelona and so there is no criminal case on the horizon against him.  His agent Albert Botines has suggested that Hector will sign a new contract extension on his current contract which has three years still to run.


The only downsides to the Bellerin case is that on the one hand Barcelona will undoubtedly start the DNA tactics in the near future, and start offering him a tax free income and on the other hand Spain will soon start picking him, so there is the extended risk of injuries.

The agent said, “Héctor is very happy at Arsenal. This would be the fourth time he has signed a new contract at the club and it is clear he has made good progress.”

Meanwhile newspaper columnists anxious to supply negativity to Arsenal’s cause are still, even now, saying that Bellerin is about to move back to Barcelona with Manchester City there to pick up the options if Barcelona fail because of the distraction of their court cases.

It is reported that Bellerin earns £40,000-a-week contract, and that this will go up to £100,000 a week.

Mr Wenger has described Héctor Bellerin as a “true Arsenal player.”

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

How Tottenham’s 451 fouls can equal no red cards at all.

As another FA corruption story breaks it is clear the FA and Fifa deserve each other. But we don’t deserve either of them.

Why Arsenal Is Nigeria’s Favourite Football Team

Fifa and the poppy debacle: the poppy just like Fifa is a “political act”.

The Telegraph advised Tottenham to kick Arsenal, but an elbow was as effective

Arsenal – Tottenham 1-1: If you can’t win it, make sure you don’t lose it

From the Arsenal History Society  

The Arsenal History Society publishes numerous series of articles exploring different aspects of Arsenal’s history.   You can find an index to all the series to date on the Society’s web site.

Most recent post from the Arsenal in the 30s series:  October 1935: Ok but not good enough

18 Replies to “Reasons to be cheerful are slipping away like snow in spring”

  1. Hi Tony,

    well, Brexit was just a harbringer of things to come, it seems.
    Next will be Le Pen in France.
    And if you ask me, this is not a good time to be a woman or of father with daughters…..

    It sure looks to me that the age of dis-information and outright lies that become facts has now definitely been born.

    Compared to that, the attitude of the FA, Barcelona, FIFA is just in sync with the way society at large behaves : lies, cover-ups, power grabs, lack of respect and decency, ‘I want it all and right f…. now’ attitude.

    Panem and circences it was in old Rome…Panem and circences it is still today. Alexis and all his teammates and colleagues are just a modern day re-incarnation of the gladiators.

    Thing is, how do I explain to my daughter that whe should be honest, decent, when visibly this is NOT the recipe for success ?
    How do you teach kids to play fair and straight, respect the opponent and the referee ?

    Guess we can only do what is within our reach and keep on doing it against all odds.

  2. I hope the Bellerin rumour about him signing a new contract are real.
    Let’s hang on to that till it is on

  3. Now comes the reality of how many lies & damned lies were spouted by the new encumbent in the White House.

  4. First of all, let me congratulate the Republican Party Presidential flag bearer, Mr Donald Trump on his overwhelming victory over his rival Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Mrs Hillary Clinton in the just concluded US Presidential election today.

    I wish Mr Trump a peaceful tenure as President of the USA. So that he will enjoy working through his 4 years tenure. Peace is the essential ingredient required for a successful tenure for any politician. President George Bush did not enjoy his 2 terms mandate as President of the US as his 2 tenures were bedeviled by Bin Laden attack in New York, war with the Talibans in Afghanistan, the Iraq war against Saddam Hussein and economic recession that followed. Which President Obama successfully dealt with them to a logical conclusion. Credit to him.

    Secretary Clinton should take solace in the fact that she contested this Presidential election. Although she didn’t win, but she has fulfilled her long standing ambition to contest for the office of the President of the United State of America. She was a First Lady for 8 years, a Senator, Secretary of State and the Leader of her party and their national Presidential contestant. These are big posts she can be proud to have held in her lifetime.

    After watching him in our last Spurs game at the Ems where he had an underwelming performance for Arsenal, I suspected Sanchez was fatigued before he played that match. He didn’t appear to be helping himself with his, I must play stance at Arsenal and for the Chile’s national team.

    We’ve heard how Chris Smalling and Shaw told Jose Mourinho that they can’t play the Swansea game because they are suffering with pains. If it was Sanchez, he would still have played despite suffering with pains or he’s fatigued. Not taking a week training session and a game rest could result to becoming jaded and thus venerable to picking injury.

    Any Gunner who needed a rest, should not pretend he didn’t. But should say it loud and clear to Le Prof. For, Le Prof will definitely give him a rest and not risk him. So that the Gunner will not over streched himself in a match to start picking up injury like Sanchez has done now.

  5. @Tom,
    He meant “the new incumbent” but no matter. Trump will only last 4 years, during which time the US permanent civil service AND the military will ensure he does as little damage as possible… America and to the Free World. 😉

  6. The Canadian Immigration website couldn’t handle the traffic of people looking to now move to Canada (and crashed), and the KKK came out in support of Trump.

    It’s hard to imagine how the civil service and military can contain all of this.

    Is this result going to effect the operations of teams with USA owners? Is this result going to effect the possible NFL games played at the new spud stadium?

    Is Chile keeping an apparently injured Alexis in camp, going to have any effect on Wales and Ramsey in the future (well, if Chile can do it, Wales can do it).

  7. Looks like Alexis is coming back injured, he obviously wants to stay there and play even though injured. Does he not realise he will scupper Arsenal’s chances this season? He needs a good talking to really by Arsenal to take care of himself when injured.

    For me it does not matter(i dont give a sxxx) who is in the white house, the policies and agenda usually stays the same.

    So expect to see more racist agendas hit the field and more decimation of rights, all the while convincing us that “it’s in our best interest” and conducive to world peace, whatever that is.

  8. @Gord,
    You may have opened a can of worms.
    Trump may require the Kroenkes to relinquish their interest in Arsenal FC and re-invest closer to home.
    Yippeee…… 😉

  9. ain’t you confusing Neymar with Messi? although i guess both are culpable
    as for Bellerin, the rumor is he has been withdrawn from Spain U-21 squad, no clear reason
    i imagine both Alexis and Bellerin have suffered minor injuries enough to keep them out of internationals, but ready for the next PL game

  10. Nicky – thanks for correcting my spelling. Tom – now I know how to confuse you!

    Amazing how voters can be malicious, humorous, innocent, intelligent & all things else in a democracy.

    This is one roller coaster that is going to entertain.

  11. Thanks Brickfields.

    There is an Internet Project designed to get pictures of north, east, west and south of every place on land where integer latitude and integer longitude cross called the Digital Confluence Project. Much of the Canada/USA border is very close to 49 degrees north latitude. I did (visited and took pictures) 4 of the points associated with Alberta. Long before 9/11. In places there is a ramshackle fence, in other places there is no fence at all. USA attitudes what they are, I would not do those points today. I’ve no desire to get shot by some gun happy person.

  12. Hopefully Alexis has decided to stay in the comparative warmth of Chile to aid the recovery of his muscle injury, rather than being forced to remain there in hope of playing for them during this inter-lull.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *