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June 2021

Alexis: good news and sad news, plus threats of imprisonment and TV madness.

By Tony Attwood

So Brazil beat Chile 3-0, Alexis doesn’t seem to have been injured and as a result of other games, Chile are not now playing New Zealand in a two leg world cup play off.  So we get Alexis back for a while.

The sad news is that some other team is likely to benefit from him not being in the world cup, and so for the first time in forever he’ll have a full summer break and be back for the start of the season.

But that’s the way it goes: we’ll just have to wait and see if he is back in time to play against Watford.

Meanwhile I suspect Dutch players will now probably be at a premium since they won’t be going to the world cup and so any who are transferred this summer should (like Alexis) be ready to start the new season on time: a real bonus.

I’ve not picked up much more world cup injury news apart from Sadio Mane suffering a hamstring injury that could keep him out of the game for about six weeks.  One day the clubs will learn that this is an insane and unbalanced relationship they have with their players and Fifa, but for the moment none of them seem to want to act.

Mind you, one or two of the big big money spending clubs could find themselves lacking a fair number of their players next August when football resumes.   Here’s a thought: if key players are missing shouldn’t the clubs reduce the admission price since we are seeing less of what some club chiefs now seem to call “product”.

As for the world cup itself it appears that sales of tickets for world cup finals games to England fans are very poor and speculation is starting as to why.  The way England generally go out of tournaments early on could be a reason, as could the poor performances in recent matches, but I suspect most of all the threats of violence from Russian fans with the police tending to hold back could be a disincentive.

Indeed deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, the co-ordinater of the UK police operation for the World Cup said that Russian supporters pose a genuine threat to visiting fans, and that any fans arrested can  expect to be imprisoned.

In other news it seems we won’t be playing Liverpool on Christmas Eve at 4pm, but it seems very likely we will be playing them at noon or 2pm which will make the journey that little bit harder.   Still it will give us a chance to see the extent of AST’s power since they have suggested fans won’t go.

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The Leicester home game has been proposed as an alternative TV match but Leicester’s rugby team are at home on the same day so that seems unlikely to get the ok.  Getting out of car parks near Leicester’s ground is always a nightmare (in each of the last two season’s its taken nearly an hour to get out of the car park onto the main road) and that is without the rugby team being at home.

And Leicester’s rugby match can’t be moved because that is already scheduled for Christmas Eve TV.  Anyway if you have been to Leicester you’ll know the two grounds are within spitting distance of each other so I can’t see the police allowing both to be at home at once.

Mind you, I’ve travelled on Xmas Eve in the late afternoon and early evening some years, and the motorways have been clear.  I’ve also travelled earlier in the day and although the number of trucks is much reduced and most of the roadworks have gone, there still can be quite a bit of traffic.

It is also said that the Premier League has dropped the idea of running matches on Saturday evenings in the future with kick offs at 7.45pm. Instead they are going to move more games to midweek and have more games on Bank Holidays.  There is also the notion of running more than one game at a time and so having live games on TV up against matches going on elsewhere, as well as also having two live games at once.

However I am not sure this football on Saturday evening debate is dead.  The idea is that Saturday evening is a prime time for people to watch TV and that the audience would decline.  But I am not sure how many people would be torn between X Factor and a Premier League game.  And besides, it is not as if there is only one receiving device in most houses these days.

Indeed if we carry on like this then Untold’s idea of having all games kick off at 3pm on a saturday and be live on TV might not look so unlikely.

Meanwhile the clubs will always say that they don’t like scheduling that inconveniences the fans getting to and from the game, but then will carry on signing contracts that gives the TV companies the right to do anything they want.  It makes the club’s position look rather two faced.

7 comments to Alexis: good news and sad news, plus threats of imprisonment and TV madness.

  • Jax

    Ospina will be off to the World Cup though, and his technical error at an indirect free kick allowed Peru to score and possibly (only possibly!) prevented Sanchez from going to Russia.

  • Mike T

    Broadcasting all games at 3.00pm would devastate football both in the FL and semi professional level. Football at those levels have already been damaged by virtue of CL games being broadcast mid week.
    You are right about Leicester Tony we always park toward the City centre but I have to say the walk back to the car is far from pleasant indeed as you walk past the social club I feel far from safe and the Police don’t seem to have any plans to keep away supporters safe.
    As for Sanchez not having to even consider a WC may well act adversely in terms of club form some would say he needs to play well to get the best deal be that at Arsenal or elsewhere but for me there will be a deal in place way before seasons end.

  • Polo

    Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup is due to Ospina ‘incompetence’ not that Chile lost to Brazil 3-0.

    And Wales failure to qualify is due to Ramsay not playing like Messi.

    Soon the blame will be on AW for both countries failure.

  • Josif

    Ospina was awful for Colombia. I rate him more than most people do but his goalkeeping for Colombia was abysmal as he was at fault for all three goals.

    Kolašinac had a moment on that awful pitch in Sarajevo when he looked like he was either having cramps or something but kept going until the end (was at fault for 4th goal for Belgium with a poor clearance and got a yellow card in the injury time for tackling De Bruyne). He was substituted at the break v Estonia in a pointless game that had only one meaning for Bosnia – a victory would keep us in the second pot for the next qualifiers and we duly obliged without Seo on the pitch.

    Mustafi got injured and there are different reports about the length of his absence. Some say a month, others say three weeks and some even say he won’t play before 2018.

    Koscielny didn’t play for France. Giroud did and became 7th best scorer in the French history. Lacazette didn’t impress v Bulgaria.

    Spain qualified for WC 2018 ahead of Italy which means it is very likely both Bellerin and Nacho will be in “23” for the competition.

    England also qualified and look very dull in the midfield so there is a chance they’ll ask Jack W to fix that eternal issue for them. Danny and Theo (and, who knows, Holding/Chambers) might get a busy summer before a disappointing defeat in Ro16 as well.

    Alexis will have a free summer, mostly because of Ospina’s error last night.

    Mesut will have a busy summer as the German team can’t be imagined without him. We’ll either sell him in January or keep him until June before losing him to the wealthy club (possibly Man United) who can match his wage demands.

    Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland have to play in the play-offs (which means two extra-games in November) despite winning all but one of their games. Sadly, the route to the defeat included an own goal from our ex-player Djourou.

    Elneny will also play in WC for Egypt. They have qualified for the first time since 1990 when they were knocked out in the group stage by England.

  • Agree – Chile’s failure had something to do with not getting enough points in the earlier games and being dependent on beating Brazil away.

  • nicky

    There has been much complaining of late about the power of the TV companies and the way in which they appear to influence fixtures.
    For those fans who pay dearly to attend live games, you have my sincere sympathy.
    However, one cannot escape the fact that TV users throughout the globe, far outweigh those who follow their heroes in the flesh.
    That being the case, I can foresee more power rather than less, accruing to the broadcasters, as time goes by. 😉

  • Josif


    Actually, that’s not quite true. They failed to secure at least play-offs on a goal-difference and they could have got in the play-offs with either a 2:1 defeat or if Peru had lost.

    Chile had 26 points and a goal-difference 26:24 prior to their game against Brazil.

    Peru had 25 points and a GD 26:25. They had been a point and two goals behind Chile.

    Chile were losing 1:0 but the score-line in the Peru match was 0:0 so they were tied with Peru on points and a goal-difference but Chile had beaten Peru in both matches.

    When Colombia took the lead at Peru, Chile were comfortable of going through. When Brazil doubled their lead through Jesus, Chile were still going through – 26:26, 26 points.

    Then, Ospina made his third big mistake in two international games and conceded an equalizer v Peru. Peru were now ahead of Chile on a single goal scored – 27:26, 26 points.

    Chile threw their goalkeeper Bravo in the attack as a single goal for 2:1 would have been enough but they conceded a third goal instead.

    I had a same thought as you did though. One free summer for Alexis and someone else is likely to take the benefit from it. Also, Mane will spend six weeks on the sidelines only to return for the game against…well, Arsenal.