Alexis played for 84 minutes for Chile last night while Man U face their own problems

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw, senior adviser to the clinically ill, University Hospital of the North Circular Road.

As expected, Alexis Sánchez played for Chile last night.   And indeed was rather successful as Chile beat Uruguay 3-1 in a World Cup qualifying match.

Following his hamstring injury which he picked up training for Chile before the first match, Alexis played with his thigh heavily strapped.  But that did not stop him scoring twice in 16 minutes in the second half.  He went off on 84 minutes.   Quite what shape that now leaves him in we won’t know until he gets back to England.

In Chile’s game Edinson Cavani scored first for Uruguay after 14 minutes and Eduardo Vargas equalised with a header just before half time.

Alexis Sánchez then put Chile (the reigning Copa América champions) ahead from the edge of the penalty area on 60 minutes and then shortly after scored a second.  Part of his reason for wanting to play this game is that this took Alexis to 36 goals, which is one short of the record for the country currently held by Marcelo Salas.

Meanwhile, although I suggested yesterday that Manchester United had just an average run of injuries at the moment the Telegraph is telling us this morning that they could have seven players unavailable for Saturday’s game including, so they say, the “entire first choice defence”.   Given the way the Man U defence has been playing, this could give them a significant advantage against Arsenal.

Here’s the list of problems the Telegraph has foreseen.

  • Eric Bailly: injured until Christmas with knee ligament problems.  Mr M has asked questions about the man’s level of commitment.
  • Chris Smalling: injured and has had his bravery questioned by the all-seeing manager.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic: suspended but Mr Mo has still demanded that he play.
  • Wayne Rooney: doubtful (although that might be a description of his style of play rather than his injury status).  He got a swollen knee on working out with England.
  • Marouane Fellaini: calf injury
  • Antonio Valencia: doubtful due to broken right arm
  • Luke Shaw: doubtful but training.   Mr M is waiting for the opportunity to abuse the medical staff on this one and could make Shaw run around a lot saying “it is only a broken leg”.

As expected even before he moved to the far north Mr M has ordered a complete and no holds barred review of Manchester United’s medical arrangements, and has let it be known that he holds the medical team personally responsible for the level of injuries.

This is obviously extremely worrying for journalists who for the past ten years have been able to fill every bit of blank space on their back pages by writing “Arsenal Injury Crisis” in big letters and then making up some details without any reference to the number of injuries other clubs have.  Changing approach is not what journalists enjoy doing.

It is reported that Mr M has been seen prowling around the corridors of Very Old Trafford (Built 1910) shouting at cardboard cutouts of Eva Carneiro that are strategically placed around the building specifically for “M” (as he now likes to be known) to abuse.

“M” has won three of his last nine Premier League games but this fact is only sparsely reported as every time a journalist mentions the fact it is chopped on the grounds that such a revelation is not in the national interest.

So what will “M” do (other than blame everyone else?)   If there is no Rooney and there is no Ibrahimovic this suggests Rashford will move to the number 9 position from the wing, which means there could actually be an improvement in the Manchesterian performance.

Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Carrick, 35, has admitted this could be his last season at Old Trafford after 10 years at the club. “There’s always a chance of that, isn’t there,” he said. “It is such a great club with great players, you can’t take it for granted and thankfully I’m here this season and playing my part. Hopefully I can play more of a part in the months ahead, strive for success and try to get some sort of silverware, because winning trophies is why we are here.”

Elsewhere on the injury front the website “Just Arsenal” claims that Santi Cazorla is available for the Man U game, but reading the text it seems that this is (by the writer’s own admission) just an assumption.

Santi has an Achilles problem, and these are very difficult to judge in terms of how long they will take to heal – which is why the sites that deal with such matters have left his return date blank.  With the Achilles you simply don’t know.  That’s why it is called the Achilles.  (Actually that isn’t why it is called the Achilles, but I thought I would just see if you were still awake).

Red London, with as much information or non-information as Just Arsenal (but with added click bait that leads into a Sky Bet advert – really does Sky Bet have no morality as to how it advertises?) however reaches the opposite conclusion.

As for the Metro, they ran the headline “Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal to return for Arsenal v Tottenham” just before that game.  Ah well.

Now you know, or not, as the case may be.

8 Replies to “Alexis played for 84 minutes for Chile last night while Man U face their own problems”

  1. Hi Doc,
    I was one of those truly awake throughout your vastly entertaining post.
    I see the self-styled “Massa” remains as obnoxious as ever.
    As for Alexis, I can’t see Arsene risking him against a clearly declining side, the demise of which very few will mourn. 😉

  2. Built since 1910? That’s 106 years by my own calculation. How old was the old Wembley before it was demolished and rebuilt? 100 years? I think by now Old Trafford should be due for demolition on safety ground. But am not a civil or building engineer to correctly adjudged if Old Trafford is no longer safe for holding 75k spectators.

    I think by now we should start showing some regards for Alexis ever willingness to play through injury or pain for Arsenal and Chile. True, if he’s carrying a minor injury, he shouldn’t be allowed to aggravate it by being over patriotic and overzeleous for country and club to the extend of becoming sideline for months.

    Being a top international has made Arsenal to dish out £35m to Barcelona to get him. if he wasn’t an international, would Arsenal have recognized him to the point of to sign him? So Sanchez has to continue playing for Chile to be at the top level of his game internationally and for Arsenal in a vice versa way.

    It has been reported that Sanchez had his thigh strapped as he played in the Uruguay game. But was the strapping precautionary to prevent a likely flaring up of his hamstring? Or to suppress the pain he has from the hamstring injury so that he can play the Uruguay match? No details have emerged.

    Well, when he comes back Le Prof will get the full details on the state of his hamstring. But if it’s negligible, I think Le Prof can start him for the Man Utd game. Even if it comes to his thigh being strapped again, let it be.

    Come what may, Arsenal MUST beat Manchester United on Saturday at their old Trafford den. I believe Arsenal have the big caliber artillery capacity in the Gunners to shell the Red Devils with brimstone and sulphur during the game at Old Trafford to shuntcircuited the Man Utd circuit Jose Mourinho has just fixed at Watford before the international break. This will again put Man U PL campaign this season into serious doubt.

  3. Thanks for the info.
    I wasn’t aware that DisUtd had any ‘first choice’ defenders…
    You live and learn.

  4. We cannot take the game easy because manu will be ready, who ever plays, especially at home.
    Arsenal have to be in top form, which is why Alexis should not start. He will be tired and make some mistakes. If he does start, i will hope that he is really fit to start. The xmas run ins are coming fast and we will need him at full fitness and concentration then.

    We know that manu coach will do everything to get a win, even to playing the “rough” game alongside the double decker.

    So AW, let’s see you out think and out play them on sat.

  5. Doc,

    You forgot to mention that Ralph Fiennes is officially ashamed that his role’s name is the same letter as the one that starts the Manure manager’s name. See Skyfall and Spectre for details.

  6. i don’t think these injuries are setbacks to manure, they beat us with seven defenders on the pitch some time ago, remember? fabio and rafael playing as wingers, and most recently last season(it was so painfull, i actually didnt watch soccer again till the last day of the season). coupled with the fact that we still have the mourindian sign over us. would’nt mind us parking some buses too to get a result.

  7. Billy, thanks for this

    by the way I can explain how the Achilles got its name. When two scotsmen were out walking in the highlands one of them pulled up at some point, clutching at his ankle.
    ‘What’s top with you then?’ asked his mate
    ‘Ach’ the other replied, ‘its these hillies, they’ve done for me Hamish’

    the name stuck.

  8. 1: Knock, knock.
    2: Who’s there?
    1: Achilles.
    2: Achilles who?
    1: Achilles mosquito with a swatter.

    And on mosquitos:
    1: Knock, knock.
    2: Who’s there?
    1: Amos.
    2: Amos who?
    1: A mosquito bit me.

    1: Knock, knock.
    2: Who’s there?
    1: Andy.
    2: Andy who?
    1: And he bit me again.

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