Arsene Wenger said in the press that Sanchez was jaded both mentally and physically. Maybe he wasn’t throwing shade at the Bournemouth performance, maybe he was throwing… JADE? No?
‘What is surprising there? You want to see that kind of passion. You don’t come down from 3-0 down from 70 minutes without that passion. We wanted to win the game and we didn’t and we’re all frustrated. Mentally and physically Sánchez is a bit jaded. You could see that he is tired. He can have sometimes emotional reactions but face to face he is always very respectful.’
Wenger is right, you want to see players upset. I’m not on board with him being the only one who cares in the squad, but I am absolutely on board with him being one of the players that cares the most about winning and having that DNA running through his make-up.
“The other players care as much as he does, don’t worry,”
“Everybody has his way. There was no celebration in the dressing room; everybody was disappointed that they didn’t win the game. There is no hierarchy of intensity of desire to win at that level. Everybody wants to win.”
I think with the right manager, that mentality can be beaten into players. You have to have a certain level of give a fuck to make it to the top in any sport, but when the trappings of money and fame land, it must be tough to maintain focus. You don’t really need to answer to anyone and you don’t need to fight for survival.
That’s where the best managers come into play, they make millionaires feel like they’re poor, fighting their way out of poverty again. I’m not sure our players have that hunger, or the fear that they need to perform. Top four mediocrity celebrated, socialist wage structure implemented and total stagnation of ideas and vision from a manager not chained to ambitous targets.
We witnessed the collective weak mentality during the second half of last season when the league was ours to blow. We’ve seen it countless times in seasons past. Just in this latest iteration of Wengerball, we don’t have the fight Adams and his boys had, that was then passed onto the 02 and 04 teams. The winning formula isn’t there. When you had Sol Campbell yelling at Paddy for falling asleep, that’s gone. Where’s the 1997 dressing room inquest after a 1-3 loss at home to Blackburn? We’re not talking about a reaction, we’re talking about whether Sanchez sulked with people. Rather than apologizing to the fans, shouldn’t they be coming up with a plan of attack?
It does worry me that Sanchez is jaded physically and mentally and we’re a week into January. I don’t understand why we need to bury our players before we rest them? A few days off against Preston isn’t going to boost the batteries up to normal levels. If we’d managed his fitness better in November and December, maybe we’d have a fitter, more mentally sharp player who could contribute with even more gusto. Also worth noting that we’re rushing Mustafi back into action, Koscielny has played all the games, Monreal has looked off the pace and Bellerin had his worst game in an Arsenal shirt (another perma starter).
Our injury list is pretty bad at the moment. Per, Ozil, Theo, Gibbs, Cazorla, Coq, Perez, Welbz (unavailable) and Debuchy all out. Lucky we’re having these problems in a relatively easy month before the Chelsea game early Feb.
Wenger made mention of the Ozil and Sanchez contract talks. He seems very confident.
“Alexis Sanchez is a committed player who wants to stay. I’m convinced we’ll find an agreement. It has to be in our potential”
“We are not scared to spend the money and we are not scared to show the players we love them, and we want them to earn big money but we have to have a line of conduct.”
Would LOVE to know what the line of conduct is. What’s the cut off? Well, the AST have an answer of sorts. It’s £97m. We have that sitting in the bank for Sanchez and his new deal, or maybe it’s for Wenger and this summer? Or… whisper it, it’s for Wenger’s successor this summer.
That number is chump change, but you could probably find £90m for Chambo, Ramsey and Wilshere alone. Whoever comes in is no doubt going to tear up the squad… and make some much needed changes to the psyche, £100m with the right manager would be a good figure to work with.
In other news, Arsenal have signed Cohen Bramall from Hednesford Town for a whopping £40k. Wenger says he reminds him of a young Ashley Cole. Certainly has the pace and mobility Cole had, big shout from the scouting crew if he has the talent! Looks a bit like a youtube vlogger to me…
I’m glad we’re finally making these sort of signings. We spent too many years snobbishly ignoring what homegrown players can offer if given the chance. A sign that coaching is getting much better in the lower reaches of the football league and a sign that our scouting department is starting to mature and branch out of its one league policy of the post 2004 era.
Right, that’s all I have today, enjoy life and know that I’m back in America on Saturday. Time to switch back into a sterile work persona, time to realise banter is not a mitigating circumstance for everything and time to realise the gut I’ve developed over the last 3 weeks is no longer a sign of masculinity… and that in New York, masculinity is a relic of the past and actually I need to cry more and talk about my feelings to strangers because health insurance gives me access to shrinks, xanax and regular prostate checks.
P.S. PLEASE SHARE YOUR ARTY ARSENAL PICTURES WITH ME WHEN I AM AWAY. It makes me happy to see fan pictures and I don’t have to keep reusing my old ones. Will give FULL credit to anyone who sends them.
peter @ le-grove.co.uk