Arsenal’s player of the week is obviously Alexis Sanchez. A shining diamond in a very bleak season. My other pick was Jack Wilshere, who was superb for England and for some part Arsenal, taking responsibility and always, always, driving forwards. If only the players around could appreciate the effort shown by these two fighters who are, frankly, embarrassing many who wear the red and white. Honestly, what must Alexis be thinking? There he is, the new boy, and he’s come into this team full of hope and promise only to realise that if he doesn’t drag everybody through the swamp, then we won’t get out, we will sink. He is a special player and already he is giving absolutely everything to this club, more than those who have been here for years. It is a disgrace.
It is difficult to sit there and watch the same repetitive and hopeless performances.
Alexis. He scored the opener, and it was brilliant. That’s all you can give to him: praise. It finds him like the way he finds space and trickery from cramped spaces where anything other than a loss of possession seems highly unlikely…but he does it, he finds a way, he wriggles out, he shifts his body, he takes two, then three on, and he scores from an angle that suggests he shouldn’t be able to. But he does it anyway, because he is Alexis Sanchez, and he is a monster of a footballer, in the sense that he is a nightmare for others, but the big friendly beast when he is on your side. Give him the ball, and watch it all unfold. Too many times Arsenal players lacked the thought, desire, or ability, to do it themselves, so instead they constantly looked for Sanchez, and he constantly took the responsibility and forced the issue. Every successful attack seems to stem mostly from Alexis now, and it is both a delight, and a huge worry. And he did not stop, because he does not know how to; and this is what an Arsenal player should be like. Until Theo returns, he is our only fear factor. He battled the entire Hull defence in the closing minutes and squeezed the ball into the path of the grateful Danny Welbeck, who is also a hard worker, I like him, and he finished, possibly saving a football club implosion at the same time. It is an incredible situation to be a fan watching your team play lesser teams and panicking every time they get the ball.
That game was about the desire of Alexis Sanchez and nothing else. There were no other positives. Wilshere’s knee might have exploded, and the way things are, because nothing ever changes, we won’t be seeing him for a while. Perfect for Ramsey to take all the weight of the midfield again, then – this is just me guessing; but it’s gotten to the point of simply accepting bad luck, bad results. I couldn’t cheer when Welbeck drew us level. It was more of a ‘good boy’ nod. What is there to cheer about? We are mediocre. The football is too often bland. There is no footballing vision; it is one big mess. It’s as if Wenger just puts the players out there and hopes something good happens so he doesn’t have to answer questions afterwards. Anyway, another piece of Alexis magic could have seen Arsenal take all three precious, and underserved, points, but Gibbs couldn’t capitalise. At the end, Sanchez must have walked off, thinking: ‘well, at least I tried.’
Also, well done to Joel Campbell who made a genuine difference when he came on for a little bit. Can’t wait to see him on the bench next week.