Return of the Jack: Heroic performance keeps Arsenal in the mix

by & filed under News Review.

via @Arsenal insta

Mustafi pleased to celebrate with Alexis (via @Arsenal insta)

This time last year, we were tearfully licking our wounds after being spanked by Palace in the same fixture. This year, we’re not licking any, instead, we are banging our chests at the rebirth of an Arsenal side that on their day can easily, most certainly, sometimes, win games. Confidence inspiring, right?

I have to say, the starting line up didn’t fill me with excitement. We had Chambers in the back three, Kolasinac and Bellerin as wingbacks, and we’d stuck with Xhaka and Jack in the middle with the standard offering up top. I was wrong to worry. Some of the football in the opening 45 was sublime. The interplay between Xhaka, Jack, Ozil, Lacazette and Sanchez was an absolute joy to watch.

The team were obviously well-informed that they couldn’t roll out of bed for this game, Ozil was particularly forceful with his play, making surging runs and leading like we know he can. The opener came from defence, Lacazette made space and rifled a high shot off from right, Speroni tipped the ball wide where Mustafi was lurking like peak Franny J to slide home from a deliciously cute angle with a first time shot. My word that was a world-class finish!

The second half, wasn’t the formality we’d hoped for. Palace pulled a goal back when Zaha took the easy route to our goal down our sleepy right-hand side, the Ivorian cut the ball back, with Andros T on call to bury his shot back across goal at Cech’s far corner.

We didn’t quite cave, Chambers floated a wonderful ball to Sanchez in the Palace box, the ball was nodded down to Lacazette who couldn’t do anything so unselfishly teed up Sanchez to smash into the far right side of goal.

The goal of the night wasn’t really about the goal, it was about the assist. Jack Wilshere took a very unArsenal route 1 view, launching a 40 yard through ball that was so perfectly weighted, Sanchez walked into it and only had to sweep his foot to claim the goal.

The drama post goal was that half the players went over to celebrate with Sanchez, the other half to Jack. I’m not sure I read too much into it. The ball was so long distance, it would have been a concerted effort for one half of the team to follow Alexis. Secondly, it’s pretty obvious why there weren’t many players who wanted to join a player who has given the ball away more than the Gunnersaurus at a kids party in a local hospital. If you’re a shit behind the scenes, don’t expect people to give a rats arse about your goal.

Palace still had chances, in fact, they scored another in the 88th minute. A late corner that saw 4 of our defenders barely jump as Tomkins and Zaha steamed in at pace. Shoddy keeping as per usual as well.

Anyway, we weathered the storm, picked up a solid three points and we’re within striking distance of the top 4 heading into 2018. Exactly where we need to be when the games start getting easier.

So what did we learn?

Alexis Sanchez can turn it on when he fancies it. He put in his best run of the season, he hustled, he involved others, he was clinical and he suddenly decided that he wanted to be part of the team when he scored his goal. Do I hate him? Not really. I keep reverting back to being a fan in this situation, flummoxed as to why he could be so switched off. Then I’m reminded by people around me that this was entirely predictable. Alexis is thick and he is selfish. He plays for himself. He was never going to drop an RVP/Suarez like final season and he never should have been allowed to stay past May. This 4 month period is on Wenger, and I’m really glad we’ll never see a shite decision like this again with adults joining the football side above the manager.

One player who slinks under the radar for being awful is Hector Bellerin. He put in another average performance, making mistakes and plodding like he’d rather be preening his hair for another council-estate-chic photo shoot in Elephant & Castle. He wanted to leave as well last year, he didn’t win permission, so he’s in a funk. Wenger should drop him for Debuchy, see how he feels about that heading into a World Cup year. Remember, Debuchy isn’t a bad player, he’s just had horrendous injury luck. People I speak to behind the scenes say he has a fantastic attitude and he’s an out and out warrior.

Jack Wilshere was standout. I had my doubts he could recover his confidence and fitness, but I’ve been proved wrong on both counts. Last night he quietly dictated play. He was the most fouled player on the pitch, which is always a worry, but he certainly didn’t shirk the fight. His passing was disciplined and spectacular at times. I also thought his positioning was complimentary to Ozil. He sat deep, timing his runs a lot better than we’ve seen in the past. The big worry is always his fitness, let’s hope the medical team keep an eye on him and don’t let Wenger run him into the ground.

PLUS: Is Gareth Southgate really going to ignore a player like him for the World Cup? Jack or Henderson? Is it really a question when you have players like Alli and Sterling making runs?

I also thought Ozil played with a steely determination. He showed true leadership when more often than not, he’d hide in a tough game. The team felt balanced, dangerous and mostly comfortable.

I think the overarching issue we have is a lack of managerial leadership. There’s one game plan and we roll with it. We don’t change our style depending on how we’re playing. We just keep plugging away. Wenger’s response to maintaining our lead was to bring on Coquelin and change nothing else. When does that ever work? When does he ever stabilize us? It’s just poor management. But hey, that’s our plight.

We’re level on points with Spurs, 6 points off 2nd. In any other season, you’d be pretty excited about tracking that closely to the league leaders. When the CL starts up again, we’ll find our form, and if we keep our best players fit, I am very confident we’ll make top 4 again.

… and that’s what it’s all about (for the time being).

See you in the comments.

 

125 Responses to “Return of the Jack: Heroic performance keeps Arsenal in the mix”

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  1. DM

    Here’s my ideal (yes I know it’s never gonna happen) XI after Jan:

    ——————————-Cech——————————–
    ——Koscielny———-Mustafi———Monreal———
    Bellerin———————————————-Kolasinac
    —————————W Carvalho?—————————
    Mahrez——————Wilshere—————Lemar/Fekir
    —————————–Lacazette——————————

    On Carvalho, I haven’t really seen enough of him to say for sure if he’s the right man, but basically I want someone who will just sit deep and never even attempt to go forward. A total stalwart that is there to aid the defence and play balls out to the front men. Wilshere can do the creative role and with 2 good pacey and tricky wide men, plus the wing backs on the overlap… that should be enough attacking prowess. And Lacazette, because Lacazette.

    But yeah, it won’t happen. Obvs.

    (Or equally happy with a back 4, and put Ramsey or Xhaka next to Wilshere in the middle)

  2. raptora

    Wallace, re the third goal being a cracking one.
    That’s on all of our front line. Alexis usually never makes those runs. Lacazette, from what I’ve seen, either. Walcott’s the only player in our team who has good timing on his runs and tries them consistently. The other one is the so heavily hated Ramsey. Going for a run like the one Alexis did last night is as important as the pass itself. I’m not taking anything out of the great pass that Wilshere did, but this is a pass that almost everyone in our team should be able to make with their eyes closed. Xhaka, Ozil, Alexis, Mustafi, Nacho, Bellerin, Kolasinac, ofc players like Cazorla and Wilshere. Thing is most of our players are: 1. Not making this type of run regularly; 2. I guess most teams are content with sitting deep vs us and hit us on the counter so the space that there was behind CP’s defence in that situation is not that common.

    Anyhow it was one of those days that almost everything that Alexis did was happening the way that he had already planned it. I won’t look for the reasons it did last night and not before and if it will happen again during his time with us. He was the MotM by a mile and if it wasn’t for Ozil’s lack of balls and skills to finish (who, fair play to him, had a very good game) absolute peaches of passes that Alexis was aiming at him, we would have been 3 goals ahead before the break. Since we are already screwed in every possible scenario, hopefully more of the same performances of the two rebels are to follow. For our own sake.

    Some of the fellow posters have been laughing at my opinion that we’ve had a title winning team for number of years now and the only thing stopping us from winning it is Wenger. Not this season, but in the last 3 seasons we’ve had a good enough team to compete for the league. Laughing how this player is bad, this player is horrible. If they got where they are, those players have quality. No one to improve them though. No one to coach them. No one to give them clear instructions. Players like Ramsey, Wilshere, Chambers, Ox, Bellerin, Gibbs, Iwobi, Xhaka, Holding… List goes on. All of them were considered top talents when they bursted onto the scene. All of them have regressed. Then you look at the way that Guardiola is improving every single player in his teams. It’s crazy.

  3. HighburyLegend

    “Heroic” ?? Against Palace ??
    “In the mix ??” For the 4th place of course!!

    Did Sanchez get a pay rise for being on fire last night ?!?

  4. Frankie Coffeecakes

    All over the place as usual, Pedro. Calling Sanchez “thick”is an interesting choice of word. I’d call him a game changer, when he wants to be. As for Jack, you likely have put the whammy on him with your fawning. Solid offensive squad, but a horrendous defensive one at the same time – definitive traits of Wengerball.

  5. HighburyLegend

    “Alexis Sanchez can turn it on when he fancies it. ”
    And I can’t wait to see him doing the same in the ELC final!!
    (if he’s still with us, which is a big “if”)

  6. kelsey

    Your CI think Souness and Henry both put up different opinions on Sanchez and Ozil which ere valid..

    Sell both in January and replace with who, but receive some money or keep them both and hope we get top four and let them go on a free in the Summer.
    IMO I think Ozil will stay and shown after the second goal half the players didn’t congratulate Sanchez and that means he has to go.A major split in the dressing room and as Souness said Arsenal are themselves to blame.

    The defence is another thing,still awful.

    Jack though was a big plus.Please read below.

    5th January 2013 Wenger said:As he prepares to finally offer Theo Walcott close to the £100,000 a week the England international has been seeking for his new contract, Wenger revealed it was he himself who insisted that the gap between the club’s highest-earners and lowest-paid players is narrower than at the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    “We pay well. We pay very well,” Wenger said ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie away to Swansea City. “I’ve spent all my life making sure people who work for us are paid well and I believe if you can do it, you do it.”

    Wenger said that his principle was “to pay something that makes sense and is defendable in front of every single player” adding: “We make exceptions sometimes but they are not maybe so high. If you want to keep making profit you have to respect that.”…… Now arguably our current best players in Sanchez Ozil and Wilshere could all walk for free.3 players who would cost today to replace in excess of £200 million not knowing if any are avaiable.A huge financial loss for the club and massive on the field.Debuchy wants to leave,Mustafi and ospina were meant to leave in the Summer, Giroud now has a dilemma and rumours say Walcott will finally go in January and he’s one 140K a week. Total mismanagement by Wenger but ultimately the brainless Board and Kroenke.Next season all but 4 first teamers are also out of contract.It is unbelieve the incompetence by one of the richest clubs in the world.
    I would also like to add at 3-1 up you don’t take off your main striker and go all defensive with all due respect to Palace..You press forward, but time and time again Wenger does this and we concede,as in the very last game against Liverpool We don’t have the players to play as a unit.Just look how many goals we have conceded this season compared to those above us..

  7. alexanderhenry

    Wilshire was excellent but he still over commits sometimes which is why he gets fouled so much. He needs to show better judgement otherwise he’ll just get injured again.

  8. loyika

    @ Kelsey

    Half the players where at the other side of the pitch and hugged Jack for the pass, were we expecting them to run all the way from the back to where Alexis was to celebrate a goal against CP? Fcuk that!! I wouldn’t.

    There are clear tensions and divisions in the dressing room but doubt there was much in the goal celebration.

    Reminds me of a time when Suarez scored a goal for Liverpool and ran to celebrate only to look back and see no one bothered to run towards him, so it happens.

    If PSG came with money I would sell him, if not then guess he sees out his contract. Would be surprised if Pep went for him in this window, but you never know. Ozil stays as far as I can see. Unless someone drops VVD kind of money for him.

  9. graham62

    OMG @ Pedro.

    “Sanchez is thick and plays for himself” ……………..Not the most respectful communication you’ve ever posted.

    Sanchez may have visibly shown his frustrations, which, in many respects, is understandable, but he is only reacting to a situation that has been created by Mr Despicable.

    As a highlighted earlier today(9:02 previous post) SANCHEZ IS 100% BLAMELESS IN ALL OF THIS, those that feel otherwise, are not putting the club first.

  10. GoonerInNY

    Pedro

    ” I’m really glad we’ll never see a shite decision like this again with adults joining the football side above the manager.”

    I know I am a broken record, but do we have any evidence this is true? There have been symbolic hires in the past (Shad?) that supposedly were done without Wenger’s approval, but we see again and again Wenger keep full power.

    I hope you are right, but I won’t believe it until I see it.

  11. graham62

    If you were in the trenches and you had Sanchez to the left of you and AW to your right, who would you trust to watch your back and lead you forward?

    EASY…………….Right?

  12. kelsey

    When you have a manager who doesn’t know how to buy a good defender or play them as a unit and Steve Bould who appears to do nothing we will never ever progress again as long as AW is there.The goals we concede are schoolboy errors time and time again.We are in a real mess and the ultimate villan is Kroenke.

  13. Wallace

    Pedro

    “The goal of the night wasn’t really about the goal, it was about the assist. Jack Wilshere took a very unArsenal route 1 view, launching a 40 yard through ball that was so perfectly weighted, Sanchez walked into it and only had to sweep his foot to claim the goal.”

    it was a peach of a pass, but you’re seriously underplaying Alexis’ contribution there. it was not an easy finish. he made it look like one.

  14. graham62

    Pedro

    “Can’t we get you on Mastermind Sybil? Next contestant, Sybil Fawlty from Torquay. Specialised subject…….The Bleeding obvious”

    You get the idea.

  15. loyika

    @ Graham

    What are you on about? Arseñe has groomed so many football players with many crediting him for their career paths/success, most recently George Weah who stated that Arsene was one of the reasons he was able to overcome racist behaviour from footie supporters in the early part of his career.

    So ask football players like Henry, Pires, Fabregas, Wilshire, RVP, Kolo Toure and co who they would rather have with them in the trenches?

    Sanchez has been good for Arsenal and he has been clearly compensated financially as well (same as the Manager) but he is just one among several players that have passed through our doors and when he goes he will go with supporter’s blessing but lets not make him out into some kind Arsenal Legend, he ain’t and no where near even coming close to that.

    Let me put your question back to you, Sanchez or Big Tone who would you have besides you in the trenches? I would rather have someone whom even if doesn’t like me or want to be around me will still go all out for me as long as I and him are on the same team, and thats more of how I see Tony, Alexis, well far from it? But thats just me.

  16. steve

    Another meaningless victory in the grand scheme of things. Wenger buys himself some more time so he can continue to make the same mistakes again.

  17. loyika

    Its like asking a Chelsea supporter if they would rather have Hazard or Jose with them in the trenches? How does one answer that question!?

  18. Marko

    So it seems that we are about to do what we always seem to do in the end and reward a player who’s honestly barely contributed anything the last few YEARS on the back of a handful of decent performances the last few WEEKS. This club under this manager will never learn. Missed out on decent money for Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud and Wilshere the last couple years which could have been used to addressed squad issues… cause let’s be honest keeping them around hardly makes us better

  19. graham62

    Loyika

    Sorry, my mind is made up.

    Did I say he is a legend? Why bring “Big Tone” into the equation?

    If Wenger was wearing his ####### trench coat, we’d all be ######!!

  20. Cesc Appeal

    Southampton are apparently interested in Walcott.

    Please just sell him. What a run of free money he has had at Arsenal, but joke is over now.

    At least one of them at the club will be over.

    Difficult territory in January in terms of buys, some good players you can grab on frees, but really you want Sanllehi in and given that a new manager should be brought in at the end of the season, makes buying hard.

  21. loyika

    I brought Big Tone in because it makes more sense to compare players, like if you had made your comparasim like chosing between Alexis and Ozil now that makes sense.

    If you had said GG vs AW, that makes more sense (well to me) but saying whom one would have between a player and a Manager just seems funny. Like i said, ask 90% of the players that have played under Arsene who they would pick to have besides them in a war between Alexis and Arsene and then you would get your answer.

    Besides not trying to change your mind!? Why would I, was just wondering the point behind the question.

    Mentioned the “Leg” thing not at you per say, but to folks in general that are trying to put Sanchez on a pedestal that he clearly is not, interms of his Arsenal career. Class player, definately, but thats about it.

  22. graham62

    Loyika

    Who’s the one being honest in all of this? Sanchez or Wenger?………Your choice.

    By the way, Arsenal are no longer “a team”, they are a DICTATORSHIP!

  23. Emiratesstroller

    Much has been written about Wilshere which is positive.

    However, too much has been frankly sugar coated.

    He is a decent footballer who can periodically produce a great pass as he did
    to Sanchez in yesterday’s game. However, I do have some concerns about his level of performance.

    1. He is bluntly lacking in pace so we have currently three cmf players on our
    books with the same problem. The other two are Xhaka and Elneny.

    2. He makes still reckless tackles and there is therefore a high risk of injury.

    3. He has limited goal scoring potential.

    Arsenal need in my view an upgrade on all our central midfielders if we are
    going to progress in that department.

    My view is that Arsenal need to find a player who is better in the defensive department than our present crop of players. Messrs Wilshire, Ramsey and Xhaka should then compete for the second place in central midfield and bench places.

  24. loyika

    @ Graham

    Henry, Cesc, RVP, and co were honest from way back (despite their love/respect for the Gaffer) so Sanchez ain’t doing anything new.

    Its not as if people don’t know that Arsene’s time has long gone?

  25. loyika

    @ Graham

    Btw, Arsenal stopped being a team when the last of the key “Invincibles” Gilberto Silva was let go.

    Thats like 9/10 years ago Bro.

  26. graham62

    Loyika

    Agreed, Gilberto was the unsung hero.

    Wenger treated him so badly at the end.

    Did you see him play for the legends last year?

    CLASS and what a gentleman.

    Even though he’s 41, I’d take him back now, he’s still that good.

  27. Wallace

    I liked Gilberto but no doubt playing alongside peak Vieira was quite a nice thing to do. once Vieira left and he had to mind Cesc he didn’t look quite so smooth.

  28. galaxygooner

    Pleasssssssse
    Stop trying to big up a win against crystal palace of all teams .
    Jack Wilshere was given too much space .
    Better than el Nieny and the likes but still very much a very average player .
    Against a space denying team or even sit back team , there is absolutely nothing in his tool kit .
    I will still sell him , Theo,el Nieny , Ramsey to fund Alexis contract

  29. loyika

    @ Graham

    Treatment to Giblerto was a total disgrace and was done to please Willie Gallas (whom he took the Captaincy away from Gilberto and handed to Gallas!?)

    Yeah it was Denilson who in the end was picked to play that role….. I think Arsene wanted to make L Diarra the replacement but shafted the Lad as well pandering to Flamini who ended up giving him the middle finger and moving to Milan.

    By the time he wanted to turn back to Diarra, the lad was more like; “Fcuk off” and headed to Real Madrid.

  30. Bob

    Return of the Jack: Heroic performance keeps Arsenal in the mix.

    If wilshere was hero last night what was Sanchez then?

    What if wilshere played as good as zaha what would happen?

  31. Do One Gambon

    “I’ve spent all my life making sure people who work for us are paid well and I believe if you can do it, you do it.”

    Unless of course you sell burgers or merchandise.

  32. Bob

    Wilshere has 6months left on he’s contract
    Has a single big team shown any interest in him?
    He’s only played 4games now give him a pay rise and make him captain?

    Becuse of English media hype English players never make it.

  33. Dissenter

    Pedro,
    You’re so utterly predictable.
    Why are you trying so hard to negate Sanchez’ contributions. The Wilshere pass was great but Walcott and Welbeck would never have scored that goal.

  34. Wenker-wanger

    Aside from the akbs on here, the commenters are making good points of view.
    However,
    The jack Wilshire debate is one that interests me.
    My opinion of him is very favourable. He has a great balance, able to beat players with ease. He has great range of passing skills. Tackling is fearless.
    Jack lacks raw pace and obviously isn’t a force in the air.
    I believe we are lucky to have him and his heart is in our club. Put it another way, jack playing for city would be absolutely awesome.
    Sanchez???
    The guy is now in the shop window and playing to grab the attention of big clubs.
    Its a bit sickening, however Wenger should’ve sold him when it was clear that sanchez wouldn’t play for the shirt. But Wenger thinks he knows best, as the egotist he is.
    Team talented enough to win the title over the past 3 seasons? Yes, no, almost…the Leicester season we could. Last two…No.. But this question really is best answered by stating that whatever the talent potential of the players we have, Wenger will always underperform them. I would extend that statement to say that Wenger will lose us 10 points a season with his poor tactics, lack of leadership, substitutions, team selection etc.
    We are living in a shitfest whilst this walking catastrophe is still manager.

  35. Ishola70

    Emiratesstroller:
    “My view is that Arsenal need to find a player who is better in the defensive department than our present crop of players. Messrs Wilshire, Ramsey and Xhaka should then compete for the second place in central midfield and bench places.”

    On the button. N’Zonzi would be available to buy but Wenger won’t be interested and will just stick with what he has. Like many Arsenal fans even fans that are anti-Wenger , Wenger is fixated on attacking play and what a player can do when on the ball. That’s it. Be damned with any other aspects. Someone on here compared Wenger to Don Quixote. If Wenger is Don Quixote there are plenty of quixotic fans following Arsenal taking their lead from the old man.

    On more pressing matters:

    Why is Chaucer not routinely read in French medieval education departments?

  36. Ishola70

    There we have the problem.

    Wenger’s lack of Chaucer reading.

    If he had read Chaucer we would not see this idealistic pompous stance from him.

    Or maybe he did tried to read him but threw the book down in disgust after perusing a few pages.

  37. Wallace

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/29/alexis-sanchez-frustration-dressing-room-bust-up

    “Alexis Sanchez was at the heart of a dressing-room bust-up after Arsenal’s away win against Burnley last month and the tensions between the Chile striker and some of his team-mates – which have simmered for some time – were laid bare during the club’s victory at Crystal Palace on Thursday night.

    Sánchez was involved in a well-documented confrontation with Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal’s training ground last March, on the eve of the visit to Liverpool – a game for which Sánchez would be dropped – and the divisions in the team were there for all to see in the 3-2 win against Palace.

    Sánchez scored twice but five of his out-field team-mates did not celebrate his first goal with him. The refuseniks were Koscielny, Héctor Bellerín, Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers and Jack Wilshere. Sánchez appeared to gesture in surprise at the lack of celebrations around him. When Sánchez scored his second, Koscielny did not move from his spot inside his own half. The rest of the team did follow Wilshere – who had made the goal – over to the away enclosure where Sánchez was celebrating.”

  38. Wenker-wanger

    If we had a strong manager that had the respect from the players, the divisions in the dressing room wouldn’t happen. Sure players sometimes don’t get on, but a proper leader of men would have not allowed a negative destructive atmosphere to develop.
    Sanchez should’ve been shown the door in may. A big man-manager would’ve said “anyone want to join him”?… Mind you since wenger is pathetic, this scenario would never happen anyway. Wenger kept sanchez on, since losing him once again reinforces the view that great players realise wenger is a failure. Like rvp, cesc before him.

  39. Bob

    If wilshere loves arsenal so much money wont be a issue for him? obviously other big teams are offering him reali big contract but he won’t go becuse he loves arsenal that much.

  40. Bob

    Report:The media claim Jack Wilshere will have to take a pay cut to get a new deal with the Gunners, even though talks haven’t even started

    Why would he take a pay out when other teams are offering alot more money.

  41. Do One Gambon

    Read that guardian article, confirms the rumours around Sanchez for months.

    Tbh I have no idea why some fans give him a free ride. He’s been playing a cunt since November 2016.

    Frankly I would have chinned him months ago the unprofessional fuck wit.

  42. Pierre

    What I like about Pedro’s post is that he is honest and doesn’t suck up to the anti-Wenger obsessives.
    He is not afraid to say if a player plays well or the team plays some decent football.
    I don’t always agree with everything he says but I know that his views are always well balanced which doesn’t always go down well with the obsessives and leaves him open to the stupid flip flop label.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    Keeping hold of Sanchez was always a stupid move, totally incompetent.

    Should have sold him in the summer when people were talking about £50-60 Million for him and possibly player exchanges involved as well.

    Wenger is just too behind in the transfer market, too behind, too lazy, too cowardly and too stubborn.

    I think with Mislintat, Sanllehi and fingers crossed a new manager we are in for a treat this summer coming, because the only way is up. Unless of course Wenger stays in which case it will at least be interesting to watch the internal struggle and the steam engine trying to fight off the electric rail.

  44. graham62

    Wenker-wanger

    It doesn’t take a “great player” to realise Wenger is a failure.

    The celebration fiasco is no big surprise. This was evident last season when Sanchez completely blanked Giroud after scoring.

    The catalyst for it all was the 3-3 draw at Bournmouth back in January, although it had been manifesting for several weeks prior to this.

    From the outside looking in, Sanchez became annoyed with the lack of effort being shown by many of the Arsenal players and wasn’t afraid to promote this behind closed doors.

    On the field of play his frustrations became evident to us all. We can all remember Sanchez gesturing to his fellow players to close down the space and pressurize the opponents(as per his days at Barca) but he soon came to the realisation this was was not the Wenger way and, consequently, not in the mindset of the players.

    With Sanchez and his ‘wear his heart on his sleeve’ attitude, this was always going to be an accident waiting to happen and, for those of us who are desperate for change, it is a sign we all needed to see. At last someone with some balls questioning the boring status quo.

    Kudos to Sanchez, the one and only person at Arsenal Football club who represents the feelings of us all (AKB’s and WOB’s). The guy is not a legend, but, in my opinion, he is definitely a hero.

    Thanks Alexis for giving the club the kick up the backside it needed.

  45. Pierre

    First Comment from bob on Wilshere
    “Has a single big team shown any interest in him?”

    2nd Comment from bob on Wilshere
    “obviously other big teams are offering him really big contract”

    3rd Comment from bob on Wilshere
    “Why would he take a pay cut when other teams are offering a lot more money.”

  46. graham62

    LK he is your classic example of a WENGERIZED player.

    Cloned in Wenger’s image, he is not a leader, not a motivator and not a winner.

    The thing is, he is a really good player, but I can see why he and Sanchez don’t see eye to eye. Chalk and cheese, led, unfortunately, by a puff pastry.

    I’m sure Sanchez won’t lose any sleep because of Koscielny’s ‘no show’ at his goal scoring celebrations.

  47. Marko

    I personally am of the opinion that not a single one of our midfielders are good enough to take us to the next level/get us back to where we were. Not a one. Ramsey and Wilshere are simply not good enough for a side with ambitions of competing for the league and potentially champions league. And Granit Xhaka has been a shocking signing imo. So the idea of giving a new contract to any of said useless players to me is counterproductive to the future of this club. Should be looking at replacing with the likes of Goretska, Danilo Pereira, Tielemens, Diawara, Weigl, Sanson, Cyprien, Fornals. Basically it needs a rebuilding job. Needs a new manager to do it.

  48. mysticleaves

    Marko

    I wonder how these players you called would fare under current Arsene Wenger and his systems. I also wonder how Ramsey and Wilshere will fare under another manager and system. Xhaka was excellent at BM, mind you

  49. mysticleaves

    I strongly believe our starting XI is good enough to atleast challenge constantly for the EPL. The team just need a breath of fresh air, a break from Wenger and his ways. I would rather appoint a new manager before selling anybody from the XI

  50. Gooner63

    Im seriously wondering if Pedro has been recently employed by the Arsenal spin team.

    Jack did not dominate he game against a poor palace midfield, he got dispossessed a number of times, and made one brilliant 40 yd pass.

    In fact he hasnt dominated any game so far this season

    He has been ok in a midfield that tbf is pretty average and not difficult to look better than the rest – but “heroic” – nah sorry – would still sell him

    Plus how can you keep having a go at Alexis – he has no reason to play well for us, but he tries every game – and contributes far more than any other attacking player we have.

    He may cause a few issues in the dressing room (by wanting success) – and if the other players wont celebrate with him, it just shows which players should be leaving – they have all had such an easy ride since RVP left.

    All hail Alexis and F%$K off Wenger Boys

  51. Emiratesstroller

    I attended a Christmas Eve party and this was the reaction from the host who was like myself an Arsenal Supporter and Season Ticket Holder.

    He is for the record someone distinguished in the world of science and education with a major Gong.

    He confirmed that he is no longer going to matches. His dissatisfaction is not so much directed to the club and Wenger, but to football generally.

    He feels that the sport has lost direction and has become too money orientated. That has been of course borne out this season by the financial clout of both
    PSG and Man City.

    Whilst I agree with his view to some extent it does not absolve Arsenal from the poor management and lack of investment in new players this season.

  52. Redtruth

    Marko December 29, 2017 22:28:03
    “I personally am of the opinion that not a single one of our midfielders are good enough to take us to the next level/get us back to where we were.”

    Talk about stating the obvious lol

  53. Bob

    Gooner63
    Be very careful what u say about wilshere on this blog.

    Wilshere is a hero that’s why man city made a £60mil bid for Sanchez and wilshere got zero offers from any club.

  54. Gooner63

    bob

    Some Arsenal fans need to learn that we need to be moving forwards, not sideways or even backwards – when has 5th/6th been acceptable

    Average players = average league positions

    We used to be competing vs United for the title every year – now we are a joke of a club

    If nothing else we should have a manager who can organize a team, who has tactics, who isnt living in 2004

  55. Marko

    Spurs targeting Bordeaux’s Malcolm. 21 years old highly rated and has 18 goals this season. We’ll spend the month trying to hold onto Wilshere.

  56. Colin

    Victory over struggling crystal palace ,wow are we serious here, let’s look at a few of our many lows ,losing to watford,stoke city,the sense of relief getting a draw against Liverpool,Maureen using the same old tried and tested tactics at the Emirates and winning comfortably and finally our level of expectations are at an all time low ,that we cling on to the second coming of JW ,a second rate player who couldn’t get into Bournemouth’s team like he is our savior , the rise an fall of Arsenal Fc and so by us as fans accepting the lowering standards served to us makes us guilty of contributing to our own downfall.peace to you all Wegner out.

  57. Dissenter

    This hysteria around Sanchez is really pathetic.
    99% off the posters here wanted him kept at all cost in the summer w=so what’s the hoopla about.
    His reaction to having his move to city botched at the last minute was totally unpredictable.
    I remember feeling sick every time I read comment after comment urging Arsenal to keep him because he “loves the game so much he won’t down tools” or is a “good boy. Pedro even suggested that he wasn’t smart enough to pitch back.

    This over-reaction to Sanchez’ stinky attitude is the most disgusting stuff I seen on this blog. You all got what you asked for.
    Arsenal PR is definitely behind the smear job that is being run against him in the media. Pedro is doping his best to support the Arsenal PR drive. You all want a sanitized club filled with pliable Wenger robots. .

  58. Bob

    I’m just trying to work out when was wilshere at he’s so called best? Liverpool rejected a £110 mil bid for coutinho arsenal rejected £60mil for Sanchez
    Who made a bid for wilshere?

  59. Colin

    This man claims to love the club,but his values/ego would stand in the way of a player/players who wants to leave to the detriment of the club ,over paid ,over rated and many now are over the hill just like him ,so the club could lose financially,because of his love for his values.wegner out.

  60. E54_

    WallaceDecember 29, 2017    14:30:00

    I liked Gilberto but no doubt playing alongside peak Vieira was quite a nice thing to do. once Vieira left and he had to mind Cesc he didn’t look quite so smooth.
    /
    Wallace man. Sometimes you say the right things.

  61. Bob

    From 2013
    former England striker Trevor Francis reckons the Three Lions current forwards will be delighted to have Wilshere in their side, as he creates so many opportunities.

    Yep so 155 games wilshere has created 16 opportunities that’s so many

  62. Bob

    Dietmar Hamann 2013
    Jack Wilshere is world class? Done nothing in the game yet [Michael] Carrick is a vital part of United won 5 leagues and CL and is not even considered. England media hyped up Wilshere to be world class [but] he’s a talent, no more”.

    Bayern tore an average Arsenal team apart today. Wilshere world class? I don’t think so. People say I’m harsh, but the simple fact is he wouldn’t get into Munich’s team. [Bastien] Schweinsteiger said he [Wilshere] is top class, but what was he meant to say? Schweini showed today who is world class and who isn’t”

  63. Dusty Kart

    Sanchez just wants to win at all costs something our Lilly livered manager has forgotten how to do. what do you expect from him he’s virtually carried the team for the last three years playing with sub standard players who think there on easy street don’t blame him one bit for doing what Henry,RvP, and Fabregas have done thick wouldn’t call him that either!!

  64. Wallace

    agree with mystic (and raptora said the same yesterday) that I’d like to see these players under another manager before I dumped them all. the balance in midfield is not quite right, but Xhaka, Ramsey & Wilshere are all good, talented footballers.

    re Alexis – if he sees out his contract it gives us a far better chance of finishing top 4. that said, if City or PSG offered us 20m+ in January I’d definitely take it.

  65. Wallace

    Red

    prior to his ACL injury he was a very useful player. now he’s lost some of that incredible speed and we’ve got Reiss Nelson coming through. makes no sense to keep him.

  66. Masterstroke

    Pedro, get shot of the palindrome troll and the one who seems to believe that the truth is coloured, then your excellent blog’s comments section might be a pleasure to read.

  67. Emmanuel Nwaneri

    I’m not convinced about Jack honestly. He overcommits himself in tackles; dives in recklessly; does not vary his style of play, but clearly has an eye for a pass. Even if he signs a new contract, I still feel Wenger would not pick him ahead of Ramsey and xhaka. The need to maybe have an English player in the team would likely be the overriding reason.
    On the issue of a divided dressing room, no surprises there.
    Sanchez long realised he ended up with a bunch of average/limited/no ambition losers. Starting from Wenger, all the way down, the club is bereft of ambition.
    I still recollect Sanchez looking bemused from the top of the open bus during the parade for the 2014 FA Cup win. He clearly then didn’t see what the excitement was about over a mere FA Cup. Coming from Barca where only the La Liga title or the Champions League would qualify as success, he surely rent rate something like the FA Cup.
    So surely the rest of the losers he shares the dressing room with, are happy to pick up their hefty pay packets for finishing fourth every season.
    It’s such a sad reflection that having ambition would be frowned upon in a club that seriously intends to challenge for trophies? Poor Alexis

  68. alexanderhenry

    Dissenter

    ‘99% of the posters here wanted him kept at all cost in the summer ‘.

    Not me.

    Wenger and arsenal are facing a shit storm over this, and rightfully so. The attention and criticism will be relentless.

  69. graham62

    EN

    Re: Sanchez

    “It’s such a sad reflection that having ambition would be frowned upon in a club that seriously intends to challenge for trophies. Poor Alexis”

    Exactly, that’s it in a nutshell. The desire to ‘win’ has been sucked out of the club. Sanchez is being used as a scapegoat by those who know no better.

    Arsenal should have let him go, but they didn’t. Credit the guy for keeping going in what must be such an awful atmosphere. Those players who react to Sanchez are doing it out of guilt and shame.

    It pisses me off to hear people grilling Sanchez when the core problem is overlooked. So many losers in the club. Not surprising really when they’ve been educated by the ‘specialist in failure’.

    As I’ve said numerous times before on this blog, we should all be shaking Sanchez’s hand for what he has done.

  70. Wallace

    I love what Alexis brings to the side, and don’t think there’s any way we’ll be able to replace him completely, but no doubt he’s obviously a bit of a dick.

  71. Wallace

    should have taken the money in the summer, but I can understand why we didn’t. everyone who’s talking about the financial aspect of the deal now would have been shitting the bed if we had sold him once we knew Lemar wasn’t up for the move.

  72. Bamford10

    Mourinho complaining about how much money City can spend is rather rich. United have spent a boatload and he still can’t manage to get them to play together well. What a crock of shit he is talking.

  73. Leftsidesanch

    The moment we probably lost Sanchez arguably could have been the summer following his first season. Most clubs would have seen the impact of a player like him early on and tried to renew terms, not Arsenal though. We’d not been in the race all season and the squad deficiencies were unsurprisingly the same as we are witnessing now.

    What does all conquering Wenger decide? to purchase P.Cech on a free transfer and no outfield additions to his squad because he couldn’t find any players better than he already had. What’s then revealed after the transfer window closed? That Welbeck had been carrying an injury – making the decision not to buy even worse.

    Sanchez has been failed by this cretinous wanker for years and the players turning on him shows why we are where we are and why it will get worse.

  74. Leftsidesanch

    *Cech for around £10million – my bad

    point is, players like Sanchez have carried us for the last few years – the fact that these losers want him out speak volumes about their ambition

  75. Bamford10

    Jack Wilshere may look good here or there, but he is crocked. He’ll never be mobile enough to be a great player again, IMO, though I’d love to be proven wrong on this point.

    As for Walcott, he should have been sold years ago.

  76. Pierre

    Dusty kart on sanchez
    ” he’s virtually carried the team for the last three years playing with sub standard players”

    I agree, sanchez has been our most influential player up front and without his contribution the last 3 years we would have looked pretty average up front.
    This season, he hasn’t looked fit or sharp enough and consequently he has lost confidence in himself.
    He has never been a player to choose the easy option on the pitch so he will continue to try and create even if he continually fails, it’s not in his nature to play safe.
    In saying that, it is normal for one player to carry the team.. Players like messi, ronaldo, kane, Coutinho, Henry etc have all carried teams.. The player who is carrying the team, rightly or wrongly, will always receive more criticism when their performance drops.

    I believed that our strike force of lacazette, sanchez and özil would rip it up this season but due to sanchez lack of form, it hasn’t happened yet.
    As I said at half time of the Palace game, I think sanchez is finding his feet again and the goals and assists will return pretty quickly…… the players and crowd will soon welcome him back when they realise how important a player he is.
    Of course, he could quite easily leave in January and he will be very difficult to replace.

  77. graham62

    Re: Lacazette

    Another thing that pisses me off is the negativity shown by some bloggers towards AL.

    There was a moment in the game against Palace the other evening, that should have had all Arsenal supporters getting out of their seats.

    You all remember it. In the 1st half, picking the ball up on the edge of the box, Lacazette turned and twisted in a small area, sending defenders this way and that, before making space for himself and firing just wide. It was brilliant.

    Ok, he is not an Aguero, or a Kane, but I’ve seen enough of this guy over the past four months to categorically state, he is what we need.

    Give him what he needs and he will not only get you goals, he will create them(as has already been proven)

    You can see by his movement that he has desire and a willingness to put in a shift.

    I like him and applaud his commitment and attitude under, what must be, exceptionally difficult circumstances.

    Lay off Lacazette and focus on the clown who dropped him against Liverpool and MC.

  78. Bamford10

    Sanchez has been a pouty, self-absorbed dickhead. While I sympathize with him re his frustrations with Arsenal, Koscielny has just as much will to win as Sanchez does. If Koscielny has turned on Sanchez — which seems to be the case — then I pin all blame on Sanchez for the rift in the team.

  79. graham62

    Pissed off # 3

    How many years more do those of you who quite clearly FEAR CHANGE, want to keep watching the players dropping their heads/looking lost and confused/lacking leadership and a willingness to fight, BUT also a lifeless/gormless manager at pitch side, trying to zip up that ####### SLEEPING BAG!

    NOT ME!!

  80. graham62

    Bamford 10

    Agree to disagree(there’s a first time for everything).

    The problem with LK is that he tends to bottle it when the going gets tough.

    The Wenger affect, or should i say LOVE IN, goes against him.

    I would love him to show more balls when it comes to showing what he really thinks(on and off the pitch).

    I’m sure, deep down, he understands and sympathizes with Sanchez, but because of his love for Wenger, he can’t show it.

  81. graham62

    A LA PIRES/HENRY/PETIT/VIERA(sort of)…………. etc etc etc.

    Non! I shall not say a bad word against Monsieur Wenger.

    Merci beaucoup.

  82. Mark

    I’ve enjoyed the holiday break, haven’t watched the palace game yet, not sure I’ll even bother.
    I’m amazed at how Wenger’s made me feel towards watching games whilst he’s there.
    I’m interested to see if/what we do in the Jan window.

    @Graham

    Totally agree on Laca, I’ve always been a fan, he has great movement, we’re not making or releasing the ball quick enough. He works hard and wins the ball back.

    You’ve got to worry for his confidence with the constant substitutions by Wenger.
    He really has to go.