Alexis Will to Win Questioned; Arsène Answers With a Straight Bat

You get the feeling that Thursday night is an inconvenience Arsenal could do without. Eyes are already turned to the weekend’s trip to Manchester City; the ‘new’ Invincibles against a pale shadow of the Invincibles. Every Arsenal team since then has been one, it’s nothing unique to this year’s model.

Focus for the week will shift to Alexis Sanchez. A summer farce of the calibre Brian Rix penned, carried on this weekend with ‘news’ that City will punish Arsenal by not making a £20m bid in January. Punish by not making the bid or take the p*ss by making it?

Whatever the case, the back pages will ask whether Sanchez will give his all at the Etihad, as if some code will be broken by him playing well. ‘If you are moving to a club, you must play badly’ is an unwritten rule of football; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved its’ existence at Anfield earlier in the season.

Arsène is unperturbed by the prospect:

“I am not concerned because I am not suspicious of the performances or the desire to win of a football player. When you are a player you have a social contract with the rest of the team and I never question that. Once you don’t respect that, it’s difficult to say that you play football.”

A “social contract”? Everything is about contracts with Arsenal at the moment; players’ contracts, the manager’s contract, now a “social contract”.

The only thing we haven’t made is a contract with the devil for the soul of the club. No, wait, we have; that’s the only reason for our toupee-wearing majority shareholder wearing sunglasses indoors. They are the type with mirrored lens on the inside.

I Can’t Find My Feet

Sanchez, according to the manager, is heading toward the peak of his powers, as well as his first summer holiday in four years. Just as he leaves.

“I think he’s coming back stronger physically. He runs after a goal at the moment so he’s a bit frustrated when he doesn’t score. I’m not worried about it. He works hard and it will come back quickly. You can never try too hard.

“At the moment he’s marked well, they double up on him, but he still creates many dangerous situations, he just has not to worry too much. He has always scored and that will come back.”

Sanchez isn’t suffering the Sanogo-esque goal-drought that Wenger makes it sound; “the magic has gone from his little Chilean boots and he won’t score again. What are we to do?!” Two assists and a goal in the last three games raises eyebrows at that kind of thought.

Not for the manager a repeat of the ‘anti-Alexis’ propaganda of last season. Now he “can never try too hard” which is upsetting for the rest of the squad as they looked forward to hearing an ‘Alexis-bashing’ from Le Boss. Or is Mesut Özil now out of favour? I can’t keep up with the mood swings of the dressing room.

We’ll arrive at the Etihad as underdogs, which may be a generous description if we’re honest. We’re not ranked that highly. City are playing well and by a long way, the best football in the Premier League but they started this way last season. Their season went to pot in December but they still managed to beat us which is par for the course, really.

Long to be Sane

The occasion of Aaron Ramsey’s 50th goal for the club reminds us of what is possible. One of those came in the unexpected 2 – 0 win at the Etihad in 2015; the FA Cup semi-final victory was equally surprising in that we overturned Aguero’s goal.

It’s that kind of spirit we need to show, with the willpower of the performance at Stamford Bridge. City will let us play but the genuine concern is our defensive line. If we’re as open as we were in the first half against Swansea or as woeful as Anfield, we have problems.

We know the squad is capable of getting a result, we just don’t want succumb in the way Liverpool did at the Etihad. I fully expect us to be outplayed in the way Chelsea were but getting a result? It’s early in the week so I remain optimistic. Nerves and a sense of foreboding have yet to cast their spell over proceedings.

’til Tomorrow.

26 thoughts on “Alexis Will to Win Questioned; Arsène Answers With a Straight Bat

  1. Spot on YW!
    Optimism is the opium fans must have, I am enthusiastic about the Europa game, City could be a nightmare on the 5th.

  2. Good morning folks, well done Yogi, straight to the point.

    Sanchez. A professional player in the shop window who will be looking for a new club in the summer if not in the new year. It is inconceivable that he’s going to sulk and not put in his best efforts. Any body watching his performance on Saturday could see that he was fully committed. Maybe he’s trying a bit too hard, pushing things a little too far, but give him credit he’s no slacker.

  3. Morning all.
    YW….with the mirrors on the inside…….Robin Williams at the New York Met opera house 1986 😉

  4. Orson Kaert,

    Yup, me too. Read the post, made the comment without refreshing first and you had already gone through the same process. It amazes me sometimes that so many fans fall for the PR stuff that labels players based on the agenda or politics behind the scenes without questioning it. For a club that allegedly prides itself on behaving in a certain way some of the PR shenanigans border on shameful and pathetic.

    Stan will be pissed if we don’t get that £20m/30m for him in January…

  5. andy1886,

    We’ll certainly need the £30 million, apparently Arsenal are offering Nketiah a new five year contract with a wage increase from £2,000 per week to £15,000 per week.

  6. The press around Sanchez ‘presumes’ he has a deal done with City. That surely is not the case. Not sure City even need him – they could easily be outbid for him in Jan, even on a ‘free’ in the summer when a £400,000 per week salary only equates to £20.8 million per year. That’s only £100 mill or so over 5 years. Any top club could easily fund a decent signing on fee on top of that. The return on investment will be a walk in the park on those figures.
    Consequently, we can assume he will play at the top of his game against City next weekend. I just doubt that Arsenal can hold on to him – the club is only second tier at best at the moment and that is not what Sanchez is likely to settle for.

  7. James,

    He may move on a free as far as Arsenal are concerned, but City will have to pay him a whopping great signing on fee as well as an astronomical wage.

  8. Orson Kaert,

    Those were the days 😉

    I do remember decimalisation, just about, but shillings, farthings, and sixpences were well and truly gone by the time I first started work. I earned a whopping £40 a week which went as follows: £20 lodgings in Harlow (where I was an apprentice), £10 repayment on my Honda CB100N (which I needed to get to work) leaving me a grand total of £10 a week for food, insurance, road tax (£8 a year!) and petrol. Even back in 1982 that didn’t go very far….

  9. Orson Kaert,

    I prefer this section of that scene:

    Look. You’ve got it all wrong. You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals!

    Yes, we’re all individuals!

    You’re all different!

    Yes, we are all different!

    I’m not.

  10. Hi Andy,

    Are you saying that the Honda CB100N, even back in 1982 didn’t go very far…. — they are not doing too well in 2017 either — at least for McLaren in F1. 🙂

  11. Great post yogi

    I said this yesterday but we are going to be in trouble unless Sanchez really picks up his production the rest of this season. Our new and improved 3 upfront has more potential then any group of forwards in this decade but so far they have been totally underwhelming as a group. Sanchez Lacazette and Ozil have 7 goals and 3 assists in 10 games. That is not going to get us into 4th place. Lacazette is on pace to score 1 goal every 2 games which is about what you would expect so I don’t think he is going to do much better. Ozil is who is at this point in his career so we can’t really hope for much more then we are getting out of him now. The player who can really get better and provide more production then he has so far this season is Sanchez. If Alexis does not start scoring we will need a lot of clean sheets and more goals from Kolasanic and Ramsey if we hope to finish in 4th.

  12. HenryB,

    Well it did 100mpg which I suspect is a heck of a lot more than the McLaren! Although top speed of 65mph would be slightly down on F1 standards 😜.

  13. Orson.

    I am not sure I buy into the idea that having them playing together is somehow going to make them each individually better. What we hope is that the total will somehow be better then the sum of the parts but I suspect that is propably more of a pipe dream then reality. The player that can potentially give us more production is Sanchez and he does not depend on the players around him. We really need that sort of player who can provide a spark when Özil is invisible and Lacazette is not really making anything happen.

  14. Lacazette has been good and I think 18 league goals would be a good first season and if you watched the last 2 years Özil has given us about what we expected so far. Hope springs eternal but it’s unlikely we will get a lot more production then we have from them.

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