Following an embarrassing 5-1 defeat in Munich, Arsenal’s season is in danger of capitulation if their form continues into the Premier League. And given that it’s only really Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who are performing at the moment, missing out on the top four is a bigger possibility than it has ever been before under Wenger.
The Chilean man is being heavily relied on at the moment with 20 goals and 11 assists in 31 starts across the Premier League and Europe. With that sort of form, you’d expect that one of the Premier League’s best players would be challenging for the title, but instead, Arsenal have been dragged into a fight for the Champions League qualification spots.
Should we feel sorry for Sanchez, though? Is the forward a player that deserves better? No. Back in 2014, Alexis had the chance to join Liverpool who had narrowly missed out on the Premier League title. With Luis Suarez orchestrating his way out of Anfield, the Reds were determined that Barcelona included the Chilean forward as part of the deal. It seems fairly simple… and it was, until Sanchez decided he wanted to live in London. One of the most ridiculous reasons for joining a club ever, and just two years later…
I would rather stay relaxed at home. London can be a stressful place because it’s crowded and it’s a big city.
Alexis Sanchez (2016)
Well then, maybe you should have done your research before you joined. Was the former Udinese star unaware of London’s size and enormous population? Liverpool fans will be hoping that the Chilean thinks about Anfield every time he’s stuck in traffic or swarmed by football supporters of London’s catalogue of clubs across the football league.
Alexis was the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez, but then again, would Brendan Rodgers have been sacked had Liverpool acquired him? If so, the Arsenal attacker would be playing under a manager who he suits perfectly. As well as the necessary defensive improvements, Jurgen Klopp needs a striker who can make something happen from nothing. The addition of Alexis Sanchez to Liverpool would give them an attack only rivalled by Europe’s elite.
— Bazinga Cooper (@iqdefinesyou) February 15, 2017
The former Udinese forward can’t be expected to do it all on his own, but too often, Arsenal are relying on the Chilean as other players go missing. Arsenal Fan TV have been particularly critical of the work rate of some players, especially Mesut Ozil. One solid point they made was in regards to the manager – is Arsene Wenger challenging his players enough? There’s no way Ozil would get away with having such a low work rate under Klopp, although we would love to hear what sort of German insults he would be bombarded with from the touchline.
— KoksNation. (@koksnationn) January 9, 2017
Whilst Liverpool fans can be critical of Alexis Sanchez’s decision, the failed transfer isn’t all down to him. Ian Ayre and the Melwood transfer team made a grave error in their pursuit. Did people really end up caring about Luis Suarez antics at the World Cup? Not really. It’s all been forgotten about now as he joins the 2016 FIFPro team of the year. So effectively, there was no real pressure to sell the Uruguayan. Would fans have preferred Liverpool to wait out the suspension or replace him with Mario Balotelli? Given how Balotelli’s time panned out, the answer is obvious.
Significantly, using a little bit of foresight, Liverpool controlled the deal. The transfer committee should have made it clear to Barcelona that there would be no deal without the inclusion of Alexis Sanchez. No swap? No deal. It all seems so simple, and whilst people can argue “hindsight”, it was obvious that it wouldn’t take people too long to get over Luis Suarez biting nonsense after he started scoring again. There’s countless examples of footballers who have been forgiven for much worse.
Up to 5,000 people are set to march in in Santiago, Chile on March 1st demanding Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for ‘the good of his career’.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) February 17, 2017
It’s ridiculous that 5,000 people are protesting something like this, but is it as ridiculous as opting not to join Liverpool over wanting to live in London? With Jurgen Klopp, the Chilean nationals would have a much better chance of seeing their star win the Premier League title. Never mind though, they can watch him in the Europa league next season instead.
If Sanchez had opted for Merseyside over the English capital, would players like Philippe Coutinho have made his ultimate XI?