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Alcaraz confident his injury problems are behind him

by | 09/10/2014  Comments (37)  jump

Antolin Alcaraz says he is really happy with his fitness and that he is ready to step into the breach created by John Stones's ankle injury, if called upon.

The former Paraguay international endured a stop-start first year at Everton after following Roberto Martinez to Goodison Park from Wigan Athletic on a free transfer last summer; he now feels he is over his injury issues.

Alcaraz made just seven appearances last season after missing the first 4 months through injury and then struggling to maintain full fitness due to muscle fatigue.

I feel great now, Alcaraz told evertontv. Last year it was really frustrating, but that's in the past and now I'm really happy with how my body is reacting."

The 32-year-old expressed his disappointment for teammate Stones but says that the young defender has a big future ahead of him.

John has done a really great job since I came to the club last season. He has surprised me for someone so young because he is a really talented guy and I think he started this year really strongly."

"We (his teammates) need to make sure he stays positive, try to make him feel better and hope he comes back quickly. It's difficult. I know myself from spending most of last year with the physio and it's not a nice place to be as a player."

Full interview at

Reader Comments (37)

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Tony J Williams
1 Posted 09/10/2014 at 17:29:37
James Stewart
2 Posted 09/10/2014 at 17:33:36
Thanks... but no thanks.
Jay Harris
3 Posted 09/10/2014 at 17:54:19
Alcaraz would get roasted by Villa's speed on the break. Distin is a much better option for the Villa game especially if he wants to prove he deserves to retain his place.
Liam Reilly
4 Posted 09/10/2014 at 18:21:28
Hmmmm... not sure if this is good news or bad news.
John Daley
5 Posted 09/10/2014 at 18:31:35
Alcaraz isn't the defensive disaster some make him out to be. He's a good, composed, centre-half with one glaring weakness: he's got the speed of Sloth Fratelli from the Goonies. His experience and positional sense should counteract that deficiency in most situations, apart from being hit by a swift counter.

Discounting his injury problems, his actual performances on the pitch (with the exception of the Anfield derby) weren't that bad last season. Sure, he scored an unforced own goal against Southampton but, as evidenced by Seamus in the very same game, that can happen to even the best when the pressure's on.

At the very least, he's another option in case of emergency and, given the recent form of our back four, that's not to be sniffed at. If (and I know it's a big 'if') he can stay fit then he could really show his value to the squad over the next few months.

Ian McDowell
6 Posted 09/10/2014 at 18:46:07
Now is the time to prove your the player Roberto claimed you be whilst at Wigan. Big improvement needed.
John Daley
7 Posted 09/10/2014 at 18:47:50
Also, nice to see him publicly offering support for Stones as he sets about his own recovery. I presume this is the first lengthy lay-off John has suffered in his short career thus far, so he must feel like it's a long road back at the moment.
John Pickles
8 Posted 09/10/2014 at 19:15:26
Alcaraz confident his injury problems are behind him

....Yeah, he should be alright at Everton unless he runs into a bit of form. Just don't start playing as well as Barkley, Oviedo, Coleman, McCarthy, Mirallas or Stones if you want to stay fit at this club! If Rom scores a hat-trick he'll probably be out for a season at least!

Aidy Dews
9 Posted 09/10/2014 at 20:53:28
I canÂ’t fault his attitude to be fair. He's been over looked this season and had a young 'un picked ahead of him and now heÂ’s out injured. Does he use it to say itÂ’s his time for a chance? No, instead, he bigs Stones up and says the lads need to be there and be positive for him. Good stuff.

If he gets a chance, good luck to him. Granted heÂ’s not the best defender going but, as a short term fix, he seems to generally do okay for us.

Paul Holden
10 Posted 09/10/2014 at 21:50:50
After watching him at St Mary's last year, it would be better to slot Distin in if he's "not injured" or even Barry. But not this fella, he ain't good enough.
Harold Matthews
11 Posted 09/10/2014 at 22:11:27
Not much pace these days but a good footballer. Can also win headers at set pieces.
Conor McCourt
12 Posted 10/10/2014 at 00:47:52
I agree with you, John. He was excellent last season when mentoring John Stones through his first games at centre back and I thought his performances were very good.

I admit he had a shocker in the derby, as all our defenders did, but against Southampton him and Stones were vilified but Alcaraz was much the better of the two on the day. He cost a goal but kept showing hunger to win the game as did Baines but the rest of the team escaped criticism yet they didn't show any desire or fight. It was one of the worst team performances under Bobby as players like McCarthy, Barkley and Coleman, whose effort you would never question, looked as if they weren't bothered.

Distin is gone and Roberto is right to have taken him out as he's been a liability since pre-season. I don't know how Paul would prefer him over Alcaraz... has he not been watching us this season? Our defence has been transformed since he has come out of the team – and I take no delight in saying that as Sylvan has been great for us over the years but his body has finally caught up with him.

Sam Hoare
13 Posted 10/10/2014 at 02:44:07
I agree with John and Conor. Not that bad a player as some make out. But susceptible to the counter and a turn of pace. As such, he may not be the best option for Villa. That said, Sylvain looks slower this season too.

I would still love to see Browning get a start. He would handle a counter-attack well, I think, with his pace and allegedly being the best one-vs-one defender at the club.

Paul Dark
14 Posted 10/10/2014 at 03:05:22
A real mediocrity. No disrespect to him, but he should never play for us again.
Robert Duncombe
15 Posted 10/10/2014 at 06:01:10
He is good at diving headers though...
Chris Smith
16 Posted 10/10/2014 at 07:42:29
I hope he doesn't play. He defends square on and can easily get done by pace.
Drew Shortis
17 Posted 10/10/2014 at 07:42:28
Antolin has the opportunity to prove himself and I wish him all the best. How often has a bit-part player, written of by many, come in during a crisis and surprised everyone? Time to show what you can do!
Dave Pritchard
18 Posted 10/10/2014 at 08:14:11
This is an Everton player we are talking about. We have injuries. Stones is out and cannot play in the next game so Alcaraz may well come in and play for us. Most people, presumably Everton supporters, on this thread are slating him. Nothing like supporting your team and its players.
James Martin
19 Posted 10/10/2014 at 10:19:44
I like Alcaraz; when he is fit, he's a good player. When he's half-fit and is paired with a half-fit centreback, told to play a high line, away from home against the best counter-attacking side in the league... then no, he doesn't look too good.

I would prefer to see him in than the tragic trio of Distin, Jagielka and Howard.

Brian Furey
20 Posted 10/10/2014 at 12:58:12
Well said, Dave (#15). I canÂ’t see for the life of me why so many want Howard out. To me heÂ’s one of the top 5 keepers in the league and you should all know by now that keepers do have off days like everyone else. Calm down, and support your team through thick and thin.
Mike Childs
21 Posted 10/10/2014 at 13:00:04
Poor Distin destroyed by Twitter wannabes. Just hasn't been the same since that incident. I seem to recall some decent passing a few defensive stops by Antolin Alcaraz last year and a few mistakes as well. Name one player at the club who doesn't have a few mistakes in his CV. If he plays hopefully more of the former.
Sean Patton
22 Posted 10/10/2014 at 13:57:25

Far be it for me to pull you up on your movie reference but Sloth moves pretty fast on the ship near the end. I think Chunk would be the slowest if they had a 100-metre race... well, provided there wasn't a Babe Ruth bar at the finish.

Trevor Lynes
23 Posted 10/10/2014 at 15:00:21
I reckon his best position would be a defensive midfielder as his lack of real pace would not be so detrimental to the team. I actually said the same of Heitinga when his lack of pace was so badly exposed when playing centre back. Heading ability, positional sense and pace is required at centre-back but in midfield it is industry which is required plus passing and timed tackling ability.

I really believe that Antolin is a decent player and is a good rotation option for Barry or McCarthy along with young Besic. The likes of Stones, McCarthy and Besic would benefit from AntolinÂ’s experience.

I would also try Oviedo in the Pienaar role in front of Baines as the lad has bags of pace, is intelligent and has a decent shot on him. I would try: Howard, Coleman Jagielka, Distin and Baines with McCarthy and Alcaraz in defensive midfield. Then Naismith, Osman and Oviedo with Lukaku up front.

Peter Gorman
24 Posted 10/10/2014 at 15:22:17
Fantastic news but still wouldn't play one of the biggest cowards I've ever seen in our shirt.
Andy Crooks
25 Posted 10/10/2014 at 15:35:25
Peter , why do you say that?
Peter Gorman
26 Posted 10/10/2014 at 15:46:55
Anfield last season
Andy Crooks
27 Posted 10/10/2014 at 16:24:29
Phil Walling
28 Posted 10/10/2014 at 16:16:13
I think if Antolin is preferred to Sylvan, we can assume' the breach' is terminal.
Linda Morrison
29 Posted 10/10/2014 at 16:32:04
You never know what Roberto will do these days. After all he is playing our 㿈 million striker as a winger on the right. In my humble opinion the defence works better when we had Stones and another, whether this be Jags, Distin or Alcatraz and I think this is down to age and the speed required for defenders today.

I think it would be a disaster to have Jags with another very much over 30 player. I hope the manager gives the youngster a chance or he will be doing exactly what OFM did-play safe.

We need 3 points against Villa nothing less will do.
The manager needs to do what is best for the team. I don't know what went on between him and Distin but they need to get out of the playground and grow up!

Timothy Blanshard
30 Posted 10/10/2014 at 18:25:18
I wonder how much Wigan would offer now to take him and Kone back?

I really want them both to do a job for us in the VERY near future, but I know I'm not alone in thinking, money down the drain with both of them and hideous bad luck so far.

Steve Pugh
31 Posted 10/10/2014 at 20:06:33
Mike #21, I'd go one step further, show me a player anywhere in the world that doesn't make mistakes.
Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 10/10/2014 at 20:00:34
I’m in the camp that thinks Alcaraz is a good player. He’s very composed on the ball. Two issues with him though:

1. He’s soooooo slow. I should not be able to out-sprint any Everton player and I’d about guarantee I can beat Alcaraz in a foot-race. He’ll have to play very deep or we’ll get roasted.

2. A pet peeve of mine: I’ve seen him, in his limited appearances, fizz a ball up to the Striker / CAM at about 250 mph into the teammate’s feet. He’s done it a few times and frankly a touch of a feather couldn’t control his pass and we concede possession. Has anyone else noticed this? If he can curtail the cannonball pass up the middle on the carpet and play a more simple ball that’d be good advice in my opinion.

Other than that give him a run. If he hits form and recognizes his limitations I think he’ll do fine.

Fingers crossed. Nervy times ahead I think.

Anto Byrne
33 Posted 11/10/2014 at 05:21:52
A fit Alcaraz is not a bad player, perhaps he has a point to prove and will get a few games under his belt. Distin should be on the bench. Unless Coleman is fit then Hibbert is the man and Browning can cover.

Besic has to start – he looked pretty comfortable at Anfield and Old Trafford. Maybe Naismith and Eto’o to start with Rom on the bench to make an impact. Howard’s form has not been good... perhaps the break will freshen him up a bit. If not, let’s have a look at Robles for a few games.

Neil Pickering
34 Posted 11/10/2014 at 10:42:14
Yeah cheers for that Antolin, and thanks for the offer.

DonÂ’t call us weÂ’ll call you though eh?

Mike Childs
35 Posted 11/10/2014 at 19:02:32
RM has gotten some stick about the size of Romo's contract but let's face it that was strictly a Billy K. Purchase. He heard the crowds last year, the kids, the t shirt sales no way was he going to let RM buy anyone else. Just keep praying he's only 21... he's only 21.
Derek Thomas
36 Posted 12/10/2014 at 11:10:13
I don't think Alcarez is too bad when fit and I would back Browning to do a job. But Martinez will go with Distin... unless he has seriously pissed on his chip with Martinez.
Brian Wilkinson
37 Posted 13/10/2014 at 09:16:53
Alcaraz, when fit, is a decent defender, reads the game well and will do a better job this season there than Distin.

We were that screwed for defenders in last year's Anfield Derby that Alcaraz had to have a jab before the game to play through the pain; I'm pretty sure another defender, maybe Jags, also played and also had to have a jab.

Two unfit defenders who cannot run is bad enough, but to then get them defending high up on the pitch was of kamikaze proportions, giving Ratboy and Sturridge the space of Stanley Park behind them.

If I live to be 100, I will never figure out Martinez's way of thinking that night to allow so much space behind our defence.

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