There’s no doubting Alexis Sanchez’s quality; he has been one of the top four most outstanding players in the English Premier League this season, without a doubt. It wouldn’t come as a shock if he’s contending for the PFA Award come May. Let’s not also forget that he’s a contender in the race for the Golden Boot award that’s starting to heat up.
Easily the most exciting player to watch in the current Arsenal squad, his energy, passion, drive and determination put him up there and it is clear to see why his attributes have been likened to that of “King Henry XIV”. You see sheer quality when you look at both players but Alexis is still a mile off.
Mr Sanchez has been the driving force in our season thus far, carrying the club almost by himself to where we currently are in various competitions while wanting to play every minute of football for both club and country (even when he’s not one hundred percent fit!) Our attack this season has gone through him for the most part. With a return of 17 goals and 13 assists in all competitions already, last season’s return of 17 goals and 10 assists (excluding his stats for Chile) pales in comparison with respect to time-frame. Interestingly, it was seen as an average season by the Chilean so you can imagine how heavy the weight of expectation on his shoulders is.
Well into the second half of the season, an array of fixtures are lined up in the coming weeks – including the all-important UEFA Champions League tie against Bayern Munich. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must be looking at the Champions League as redemption ground; not only to win the fans over, but rather, feel deserving of a new contract and keeping his prized assets – the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. This is a trophy he has never won.
Coming off a dreadful week, with consecutive loses suffered in the hands of Watford and Chelsea accompanied by Arsenal hopefuls divided in the “Wenger in, Wenger out” drama, Alexis is now at a point where he can run his contract down to the summer of 2018 when it expires, with questions again asked about the team’s mentality.
Perhaps he might seek a move to a club that he feels matches his mentality. The match against Chelsea was perhaps the worst Alexis Sanchez performance I’ve ever seen in an Arsenal shirt. After struggling to pull a couple of strings in the Watford match, his efforts in the Chelsea game were ultimately futile as he was incapable of producing any moment of brilliance. His lackadaisical attitude at the end of the match was enough evidence to prove the weight might be too much for him to bear, failing to applaud the fans after the match.
It cannot be said to be his fault alone; every arsenal player on the pitch didn’t seem to turn up for the match asides Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did well and was perhaps the only positive from the match in which he pulled a few strings in his new position. Still, the signs don’t look good. The weight seems to be dragging Alexis down these days. It’s time for him to respond in a way only Alexis can.