Player of the Week: Alexis Sanchez

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Nobody was expecting that. Not even the most pessimist Arsenal fan. This is going to be a short post – unless I ramble – because there’s only rations to work with here after that performance.

Arsenal pushed and pushed, ran and ran, but all in vain. An inevitable Fabianski second-coming stopped every shot like Neo and it was carved in from the first few minutes that he was the chosen one and this was ‘one of those games’. I hate those games.

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They’ve been far and few between this season so when they hit it leaves a much bitter taste and lingering sting – worsened by the impending United clash, which if Arsenal’s history is anything to go by will lead into a capitulation and fourth place scramble.

That’s my old pessimistic self surfacing much like the old Arsenal resurfaced on Monday night. It shouldn’t happen though, we can utterly demolish United if we truly want to. Squash that wonky team like a bug.

The Swansea defeat was more deflating because of how dominant and fiery we’ve been at home only to see it fade into dust amidst a boring and fairly straightforward game – straightforward for Swansea that is, really they just sat back and let every shot and pass hit them. When Arsenal focus on the forcing the issue it often backfires. Monday shows that once again. We have to stop panicking.

 

Take Ramsey, for example. He’s so desperate to score he’s forgetting everything else. I’m not knocking that and we need to shoot more as team anyway but there’s a point when it becomes ineffective. It was ineffective on Monday night. You can see how much I’m dragging this post out. I have no idea who stood out from the rest. It was a vanilla affair.

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I thought Sanchez played his part as well as the situation allowed, which wasn’t much. Monreal offered somewhat of a threat down the left as well. I’ll give to the Chilean because I’m bias and he’s just phenomenal to watch every week. It’s like watching a creature that’s been repressed for years finally unleashed – but every week. I’m also decided Arsenal’s player of the year – wink, wink.

On to some thread-bare analysis. Dismal on my behalf but it’s been a long season that’s trudging to a halt only to be reignited come the Fa Cup Final. All that’s been said about this team this season has been said already and repetition keeps wandering into my posts, which is inevitable when concerning football due to the nature of the sport – and the fact that Alexis Sanchez is simply impossible to ignore no matter what he’s doing on the pitch.

He ignited Arsenal’s attack like he has done all season, but this time through he’s own failings, and those around him, nothing paid off. He made good runs and cancelled any errors out through his determination. He had the two best chances of the game and really should have buried them both. But Fabianski was in the way. Standard ex-Arsenal player procedure and performance. The first was everything brilliant about Sanchez.

He darted into the box, cut the defence open whilst displaying his tigerish strength to hold of the challenges and bustle himself into a scoring position. He rushed his shot and smashed it wide. Another day and he keeps his cool. But the frustration had already burrowed itself into the players at this point in the game. The next was even simpler and he didn’t connect or didn’t compose himself enough to direct the shot away from the keeper’s hands. Same rule applies. He scores that nine times out of ten. ‘One of those games.’

Theo messed up the rebound and the ridiculous twitter hate followed. There’s some seriously boring and stupid people out there. If Theo wasn’t restricted to twenty minutes of frantic goal hunting every game at the moment then he’s probably in a state of mind and condition to slot those goals away. There were other chances but none that clear cut.

Monreal did well and got a shot on target but the result was the same. A frustrating night. But nothing to be concerned about. This Arsenal team has without doubt progressed to the next level.