Taxi For Alexis

Originally published on Goonersphere.

The recent news of Alexis Sanchez lambasting his teammates has only intensified the hyperbole surrounding his future at the club. 

He and Mesut Ozil – as well as Arsene Wenger – are all precariously placed as the last knockings of their contracts near. Every press conference then becomes a witch-hunt for details about departures or contract extensions, as news about the team take a firm back seat.

It has irked Arsene Wenger, as repeatdd questions about his star players and his own future are peppered at him as he sits in front of the assembled media, but with the latest news, one of the questions appears to have been answered inadvertently. 

Apparently, Alexis had ‘an angry exchange’ with teammates before the Liverpool loss, which then led to a team member having to be held back as tempers rose to the fore.

The surpirse decision by Wenger to drop Alexis to the bench for the match at Anfield was met with surprise, and the Arsenal boss maintained his reason for the Chilean on the bench, stating it was a tactical call.

The decision went awry, as the first half saw little attacking impetus which meant Liverpool were free to wreak merry hell, and Arsenal were on the backfoot for the majority of the 45 minutes. 

Step forward Alexis in the second half, whose introduction to proceedings saw a vastly different Arsenal to the Chilean-bereft Gunners side of the first half. We came together, we actually posed a threat. 

The trouble is, our side are now built to optimise Alexis, so to construct a side without him would require a period of adaptation. We would need time to play properly without Alexis.

The Chilean is a winner, and every lung-bursting run is two-fold. He firstly wants possession, and badly. Secondly, the reason he wants the ball is so he can do all he can to win the game. 

He is a winner. 

Is this excuse for the manner in which he verbally accosted his teammates? No.

Petr Cech is a winner, as is Ozil. They are both accustomed to glory rather than failure, but if they have an issue with the manner in which we are playing? They would not handle it in the way that Alexis has.

This Alexis issue has the capacity for fracturing the team-spirit which all top clubs require. The team must be one, and it must be prized above all else and certainly above sole concerns. 

Alexis has put his own trauma above the team, which any self-respecting manager cannot allow to be tolerated. If Alexis is not happy to construct his feelings of ire into his performances – or even to tell his comrades in a more eloquent manner – then he is a disruptive influence.

Either way, his future looks to be decided. It spells out an unhappy player who will have no shortage of suitors if he instructs his agent to put his feelers out. 

We want our players to be unhappy with current results and displays. It shows they know this level is far from good enough. 

We just want them to do it in the right way. 

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