Wenger looking for better balance from Alexis Sanchez

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It’s been impossible to ignore the stats doing the rounds about how much Alexis Sanchez has given the ball away in recent games, and while he is naturally a player who wants to make things happen and tries risky passes, his last couple of performances have been well below par from that point of view.

It’s something that Arsene Wenger is mindful of, and he wants the Chilean to try and find a better balance in his game, and stay further forward.

The lack of goals this season is put down, in part, to the fact he’s not playing as a striker like he did last season, but the manager will be urging him to stay higher up the pitch when we face West Ham tomorrow night.

“I think he struggles a bit at the moment to score as much as last year but last year he played much more at centre-forward,” said the Frenchman.

“This year I believe in games like Southampton he came a bit too deep. We play against teams that play very, very deep and I feel he loves to touch the ball so when he doesn’t get it as much as he wants he comes deep, but when you come deep you can’t score.

“It is as simple as that so maybe he has to find a better balance in his positional play.”

The manager has to decide how to cope with the absence of Aaron Ramsey, a key component of his midfield who will miss out because of a hamstring strain, and what to do with his defence.

A shift to a back four is a possibility, with Shkodran Mustafi still injured and Per Mertesacker unconvincing against Southampton.

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37 Comments on "Wenger looking for better balance from Alexis Sanchez"

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MarkG

All I took from this is that Sanchez likes to come deep. The naughty boy.

Rugrat

He likes to touch the ball

Third+Plebeian

Right, because he keeps losing the other ball. It all makes sense.

IamaGoober

As much as he has been a truly great player for us since his arrival. I think it has come to a point where his heart just isn’t in it anymore. Hence we have seen such a huge drop in form.

And I know Arsene says he loves the game so he will always will give 100% commitment on the pitch, but he does want to leave, so it must be a huge factor.

He is human, its not really in his best interests to run his hole into the ground like he was last year because whats the point?

If you knew you were leaving your current employer to go earn more money somewhere else, the last couple of months you’re always going to be just doing the bare minimum, and I know we hate to think of footballers like this because they should always have a love for the sport, which Alexis clearly does have. As he still is trying. He still wants to win games. But it is clearly obvious he just isn’t too fussed about trying is absolute hardest anymore.

Andy Mack

He’s just ‘off form’.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

So you think he’d be better off playing within himself to be safe, rather than giving 100% and hoping to make all the top clubs in Europe sit up and take notice? No player who believes himself to be a great player will deliberately put the handbrake on because “What’s the point?”. If he’s decided to leave then he is in the shop window and he will not be doing “What’s the point?”

IamaGoober

I don’t think its a deliberate thing, I just think that’s something that will always happen. His motivation is never going to be the same when he doesn’t want to be at Arsenal anymore compared to when he first turned up.

And it will make no difference what he does at Arsenal this season. He is one of those players where his stock wont change. He is already categorized as world class so it doesn’t really matter what he does, he will always be able to go to the top clubs in Europe because he is so consistently good at International level for Chile. His goal scoring resume is pretty substantial as well, he has scored something like 57 goals in 114 games for Arsenal; 40 goals in 88 appearances for Barcelona and 39 goals in 119 games for Chile.

The guy is already top drawer. He doesn’t need to put himself in ‘the shop window’

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I am transitioning to another employment and that’s why I am reading your comment at work right now.

Gio

Sanchez having such a poor season by his standards will make losing him so much easier to bear, so that’s good at least.

QMantis

Wenger needs to drop him to the bench, it’s about the team and sanchez isn’t playing well. change it up a bit and see if our away from improves. wenger has options, time to use them. Seeing players out of form but never droped is damaging us.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

…or Wenger could point out to Sanchez where he thinks he’s going wrong and try to convince him to stay up the pitch where his talents are going to get better results.

Oh, that’s exactly what he’s actually done, and it makes much more sense than pissing Sanchez off by laying all the blame on him.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Reality is this:
Sanchez came to Arsenal and had a great first season, the following season not so good then a very good season last year and now a bad season. With his pattern he will give a great season to City next year.

jmac

“It is as simple as that so maybe he has to find a better balance in his positional play.”

How about just fucking tell him?

Rugrat

How do you know Wenger hasn’t already?

Zyrth

Because it’s not only Sanchez. Ramsey and his 90min long brain fart also needs a major talking to.

Why Not

You mean the same ramsey that has been the stand out player last few games?

Maybe he should lose the ball 30+ times a game and try the same dinked pass over and over to be really truly appreciated.

John C

Ramsey plays about 20 yards too high up the pitch which forces Sanchez to drop deep to find space

ronaldo

well it just goes to show what a fucking shit manager weve got don’t it

ChrisGoona

It is easy to jump the gun and assume Wenger hasn’t spoken to Alexis already about his natural desire to get involved. My initial reaction was “come on Wenger, tell him to leave the ball and get in the final 3rd, or you’re dropped!”… Alexis’ natural instinct is to get on the ball, cause havoc. The problem is he is causing more havoc to our defense by dropping so deep. Acknowledging the problem publicly means the problem has already been spoken of internally. I know this is too much for some to comprehend, but lets see how Alexis responds now.

Stillmatic

The way Wenger talks, you’d think he hasn’t no influence on what the players do on the bench. How about instruct them to do something, and if they don’t, then drop them.

And good luck to Wenger changing formation at this stage. We all know he will hint at it, but won’t change it till it’s too late (March usually).

TR7

that hat-trick at west ham last year was vintage

Chuffy

It looks like he’s playing like he doesn’t believe the players around him are good enough, other than Ozil. That’s why he’s coming deep to get the ball. He is also playing for himself and to put himself in the shop window. Problem is its exposing the weaker side of his game and proving he’s a Hollywood player, by only trying to play exquisite assists or shooting from distance. Some people will say he’s looking to make things happen, but what is happening is he’s losing the ball and we’re rushing to defend counter attacks with both full backs pushed up and only Xhaka to protect 2 defenders, usually against 3 or 4 attackers. aetop him from doing this Wenger.

Frankie

Spot on

ronaldo

apart from ozil, he is just as bad ( if not worse ) than the others

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Spot on, although he’s pretty much been playing like he doesn’t believe the players around him are good enough other than Ozil for his entire Arsenal career!

Lingards\' Milly Rock
Lingards\' Milly Rock

For ‘Wengerball’ to work optimally, all the players are supposed to be technically adept interchangeable cogs in a well oiled machine, all passing and fluid movement. The sum being more important than its parts. Funnily enough, it is also why the majority of players who leave the club as ‘stars’ don’t go on to be ‘stars’ elsewhere.

However, as we’ve bought ‘bigger’ players, there definitely appears to be a clear divide in perceived player ability, importance, and performance. Some players know that they won’t be benched regardless of how badly they play. It also seems Wenger almost plays these players into the ground to almost justify their high fee. Add the current contract situations and negative climate into the mix and a lot of players have personal agendas clearly being put ahead of the teams.

A lot of the time Sanchez in particular will first look for Ozil, (his fellow contract rebel and if papers are to be believed, negotiations colluder) and if he is not available, try to execute the most elaborate option after. His highlight reel now takes precedence as he is the ‘star’ who is expected to make things happen. These stars also exhibit behaviour to suggest the level and ability of their teammates is beneath them – i.e Mustafa’s alleged outburst that almost got him sold, Ozil swearing at colleagues on the pitch, and the many Alexis tantrums.

Perhaps this boils down to characters and personalities of these types of players, which ultimately don’t mesh with the managers. Since Arshavin and maybe even Reyes, how many of our marquee players can be honestly labelled a success?

Ross

Sanchez neeps dropping, I don’t understand how you can play so bad but not get substituted. Though I think we are getting a bit carried away with the Wilshere hype I’d give him a start instead of Sanchez to let him have a game in the front two. I suspect even with the Ramsey injury Wenger may want a bit more defensive support for Xhaka than Jack will provide. As for defence I’d personally like to see chambers given some game time if he is fit enough to do so.

Goonerink

Because we a squeezing as much out of him as possible before he goes for free.

Andy

The truth is we are no nearer to winning the BIG competitions (Prem & UCL) with Sanchez that we are with Giroud!

As controversial as it may sound, I’d go with he Frenchman. I genuinely feel we are more balanced as team with Giroud than the wasteful diva Sanchez.

Andy Mack

You want Giroud to play on the left wing then?

podb

Form is temporary, class is permanent. Alexis is class, well hidden at the moment tho. Iwobi could be better bet long term anyway.

adgonner

I dont know why people are so worried about losing sanchez coz replacing him should not be a problem at all.. you have got mahrez, draxler, lemar who can easily fill in.. the first two are easily manageable i guess.. the issue is we so lack belief in transfer market that everything looks impossible to these people..

Gutbukket Deffrolla

F**k mahrez, draxler, lemar, if it’s that easy to get whatever player you want just by naming them then we should go directly for Superman, Batman, Wolverine, the Flash, and the Hulk. Easy-peasy. The PL and Champions League are guaranteed for decades to come.

Crash Fistfight

Arsene says that Alexis shouldn’t come deep because he can’t score from there, but without him (and to a lesser extent Ozil) doing that there’s only Xhaka to actually build anything from a deeper position. We end up with a line of about 4/5 players on the opposition 18 yard box waiting for a pass.

Maybe Arsene could tell other players to stay back and create and for Sanchez/Lacazette and Ramsey to be those players waiting for a pass?

Also, on the whole Sanchez giving the ball away thing: I don’t think it’s necessarily about being greedy that he hangs on to the ball so much and/or loses it. The problem is that he wants to make a goal or score one every time he has the ball, so if he doesn’t see a through ball on, he holds on to it. Sometimes it would be better to pass it on quickly to someone else to create an angle, because holding on to the ball just allows the other team to cut off those angles or allows them to take the ball off him.

I’d like to see a minor tweak to the set up (just to see if it helps) by having him and Ozil swap around (Ozil left and Sanchez right). Arsene did something similar in the second half of Alexis’ first season at the club (where the goals dried up – something nobody seems to remember) where Alexis went to the right of the 3 behind the striker. I think it would help to remove some of the predictability about his game.

Frankie

No need for Sanchez to come deep hen you have a ball carrying midfielder…..who pulls the opposition towards him to creat space for our attacking players.

So play Wilshere give him a run in the team….

Sanchez is far from myaboute player and I love to see the back of him…

Would love us to use a youth product in his position….

karl

Although it is disappointing to lose quality players, you have to take it in context of a dysfunctional team. The break up of this set of players can’t come soon enough for me, as the manager refuses to move on. Any change is welcome as we slip further and further away.

Rossi88

Drop Alexis and Bellerin tonight. Not been at it. And if Ramsey didn’t get injured I’d say the same for Xhaka.