Monday 5 December 2016

Alexis Sanchez – The plan….since the summer

Alan Shearer can say and think what he wants – it doesn’t bother me if he thinks Alexis is world class or not and I really doubt it bothers Alexis.

All three goals were just out of this world at the London Stadium against West ham. The third may have had an element of luck with the potential marginal offside decision going our way but what a finish. Faking once in such a tight space and dinking the ball over the keeper was wonderful to watch.

The second goal was a great hit in the only place the keeper couldn’t get too – Alexis was enjoying himself.

The first goal, however, was my favourite goal – the ball was actually with Alexis in the box but ended up going back to Mustafi. The centre back then played the ball forward which Alexis expertly controlled, on the half turn, went past his man, held him at bay and even took an extra touch to get half a yard to get the shot away; which he did and it was a mighty finish.

The Alexis situation has really got me thinking about the summer and what was the plan for him and more about the Jamie Vardy failed bid.

We know that Arsenal went in for Jamie Vardy and we all know that the decision seemed to take about a year to come through but for whatever reason, Jamie Vardy didn’t sign for Arsenal. That gave encouragement to those who enjoy slating Arsenal (rival fans or even our own) to moan and spin the ‘truth’ (I say ‘truth’ because in reality, no one really knew what the trust was) and start the ‘Arsenal can’t even attract Vardy’ stories.

This is my belief what happened – we heard whispers that Vardy wasn’t guaranteed a first team slot like the way he is at Leicester and this was a big reason for him rejecting the move. Looking at it now, it makes total sense.

We also hear whispers that Arsene Wenger had decided at the end of last season that Alexis Sanchez is going to be his striker – he has been searching for ‘that’ striker since losing out on Suarez a few years ago but until now hasn’t managed to find him. What’s even more interesting is that when Brendon Rodgers was on goals on Sunday last season and he admitted that Liverpool had targeted and identified Alexis Sanchez as the closest to Luis Suarez in terms of work rate and the potential to score the goals Suarez did without having to change the style completely.

We also know that Arsene Wenger had a conversation with Theo Walcott which resulted in them agreeing Theo best role is on the right wing and that’s where he will be playing when picked the majority of the time; so conversations were going on!

It seems as if Alexis Sanchez playing centre forward was decided early on and therefore Jamie Vardy was being bought to cover, play wide at times and generally be a player who can complement rather than being ‘the man’.  In the end, Vardy decided he probably wanted to be one of the first names on a team sheet and therefore stayed at Leicester and we got Lucas Perez instead.

The question is why it has taken two seasons for this to happen and in truth, Alexis, prior to this season, was never given a proper chance up front for a run of games but perhaps the search for a striker just wasn’t happening so we looked closer to home.

Regardless of it being a master stroke or had some element of luck, it is working wonders right now and long may it continue – we just need to keep him fit and sign a new contract!

Come on Alexis, make our dreams come true, sign a new deal, win the league and finally shut Alan Shearer up!

Up the Arsenal
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