The Chilean’s frustrations have boiled over this season and it can no longer be a surprise that he wants to join a team who can win major trophies
“Football rules are made like that, that the player can be worth a lot of money today and nothing in six months so it doesn’t look completely logical but, at the end of the day, of course, we are forced into a decision like that for psychological and financial reasons,” said Wenger after the exits of both players were confirmed.
“I am a realist so I have no illusions. It’s part of the modern life of a professional football player. It’s not by coincidence that everybody suddenly lands at Man City.
“We did not want to lose Fabregas, but we were forced into a situation we didn’t want. Nasri is a situation where the player didn’t want to extend his contract with the proposals he had somewhere else. What kind of commitment can you have when the player is not there long-term? That is the question you have to answer.”
While Wenger has reiterated in the past that Arsenal are no longer in a position where they need to sell their best players, those comments suggest that he will allow players to go if he feels the long-term commitment isn’t there. And that’s where Alexis Sanchez comes in.
As Goal revealed on Tuesday, the Chilean has set his sights on a summer move to Manchester City where he wants to link up with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The transfer is likely to prove a difficult one to negotiate for City but, if it goes through, they will be getting a player who has scored 22 goals and created 18 assists in 44 games this season.
Alexis’s frustrations at Arsenal are nothing new. Leicester had already wrapped up the league title last year when the 28-year-old reacted angrily to being taken off in an end-of-season league game against Norwich when Wenger substituted him for defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin six minutes from time. It was a decision which infuriated Alexis as he stormed off the pitch and went straight down the tunnel, prompting his manager to make light of the situation.
“My job is to make decisions, and to make people 100 per cent happy there, as well, is very difficult,” said Wenger.
“Of course [he was not happy], I know Alexis very well, for a long time now, and he wants to play every minute. But what’s important is the team wins. The win was much wanted, needed and difficult.”
These occurrences have become more commonplace since Arsenal’s form has worsened. The 3-3 draw against Bournemouth in January, where the Gunners came back from 3-0 down to salvage a point in the last minute, saw Alexis refuse to join in the team’s celebrations at securing a late draw before he hurled his gloves to the floor in frustration at the end of the game.
There has admittedly been an acceptance of his behaviour because it’s part of his personality, but it all points to the player being frustrated with his team-mates who aren’t competing in the way their talismanic forward wants them to.
A similar scene at Swansea bore witness to Alexis putting his tracksuit coat over his head after being substituted 10 minutes before full-time. Arsenal were 4-0 up and, while many of the coaching staff could be seen giggling at the Chilean’s emotional reaction to being taken off, it once again gave Wenger with more questions to answer regarding the player’s current mood at the club.
A culmination of these events took a turn for the worse last month. Alexis was dropped for Arsenal’s crucial Premier League game with Liverpool at Anfield and nobody knew why. It later came to fruition that Alexis had stormed out of Arsenal training due to a « bad tackle” and was spoken to by Laurent Koscielny after the incident. Although initially rubbished by Wenger, comments from both Robert Pires and Theo Walcott poured scorn on the manager’s denials and confirmed that an incident did take place.
Alexis is a singular character with few close friends at Arsenal. His body language on the pitch is said to have upset many of his team-mates over the past few months, culminating with the incident at London Colney which Wenger tried to sweep under the carpet.
He is a winner who grew up playing football in his bare feet on the streets of Tocopilla and his main motivation is becoming the best and winning the major trophies in European football.
Arsenal have shown this season that they aren’t capable of challenging for the biggest trophies under the current management and no-one will be surprised if their star man leaves in a couple of months’ time or next year for free.
Premier League: Mu and Pogba return for a festival
For the last match of this Saturday in the Premier League, Manchester United hosted Newcastle at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s men squashed the Magpies (4-1) thanks to goals scored by Martial, Smalling, Pogba and Lukaku.
This Manchester United-Newcastle had a special flavor for the Mancunian fans. Indeed, this meeting marked the combined returns of Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and especially Zlatan Ibrahimovic. If the first city was started by José Mourinho, the Argentine international and the Swedish giant started the match on the bench. It was necessary to wait for the seventh minute to glimpse a Mancunian opportunity. Marcus Rashford quickly played a free-kick and threw Valencia right side whose center found Lukaku. The recovery of the Belgian striker went well above (7th). To everyone’s surprise, the Magpies opened the scoring. On an excellent center Yedlin right side, Dwight Gayle crossed his shot and deceived De Gea (0-1, 14th). Galvanized by this opening of the score, the men of Rafael Benitez procured a new opportunity.
Murphy took advantage of Mancunian defensive mistakes to shoot a vicious shot that went right next (20th). Surprised by Newcastle’s intentions tonight, José Mourinho’s men were sorely lacking in inspiration. After purring for the first half hour, Manchester finally found the net. Paul Pogba had a right-side festival before centering for Martial’s header, which deceived Elliot (1-1, 37). Invigorated by their equalizer, the Red Devils went on to attack the Newcastle goals. On a Young center, Romelu Lukaku was unable to win the ball (42nd). MU took the advantage just before the break on an excellent center Ashley Young victoriously headed by Chris Smalling (2-1, 45 + 2).
Lukaku finds his way back to the net
Back in the locker room, Manchester was again enterprising. Shifted to the right, Lukaku center for Anthony Martial in the area that was procrastinating at the time of chaining (49th). The Red Devils took off on an illuminated counterattack led by Mata who served Lukaku right side. The Belgian international center for the head of Rashford who put for Paul Pogba who pushed the leather at the bottom of the nets (3-1, 54th). The French international scored his third goal of the season in the Premier League.
Conquerors in the first act, the Magpies seemed to have surrendered now. It was necessary to wait until the 67th minute to see Murphy solicit De Gea by a well-rolled strike. Manchester sealed his success on a nice move between Mata and Lukaku. The Belgian striker alone at the penalty box shot close Elliot (4-1, 70th). The latter broke the Indian sign and scored his eighth goal of the season. For the last quarter of an hour, Mourinho gave his first minutes of the season to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who replaced Martial. Thanks to this success, MU regained his second place with 26 points.
Martial: « Mourinho is hard with me »
Author of a good start to the season as a replacement with Manchester United, Anthony Martial looks back on his relationship with José Mourinho.
It’s much better for Anthony Martial. A one-year absence from the French team, the Manchester United striker found Didier Deschamps’ starting lineup against Germany (2-2) on Tuesday and signed a superb assist on the opening of the score of Alexandre Lacazette. A return to the international scene that results from his start to the season with the Red Devils. Lining Marcus Rashford on the left wing, the 21-year-old has turned into a super sub, with 6 goals and as many assists on his meter.
« Toto » Martial especially took the fold of the discipline that José Mourinho imposed on him for a year and a half. « He’s tough with all of us and he’s tough with me, that’s not the question, » said the native of Esssone on the Premier League channel. He recalls his long complicated relationship with the Portuguese coach: « At first we did not know each other very well, but things are better now. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and the result is that we learn to give the best every time. »
I also know that he really loves me
If the former Monegasque, recruited for 50 million euros in 2015, manages to become a top player one day, he will probably thank the « Special One ». « I know it’s for my benefit and I also know he really loves me, so there’s no problem with this discipline », concludes Anthony Martial. Especially since the young striker now knows that the efficiency, which he knows to show today with his limited playing time, can allow him to be in the France group for the 2018 World Cup.
Chelsea without Michy, Musonda ni Moses but with David Luiz
Against WBA, Chelsea will not be able to play Michy Batshuayi, Moses or Musonda.
Batshuayi is injured. (Marc Atkins / OFFSIDE / PRESS SPO / PRESS SPORTS)
Traveling to West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea will have to do without Michy Batshuayi (ankle), Danny Drinkwater (calf), Charly Musonda (knee) and Victor Moses (ischios). On the other hand, David Luiz returned to the group after being sidelined by Antonio Conte.
Soccer19 heures ago
Istanbul Basaksehir 5-1 Galatasaray
Africa21 heures ago
Manchester City: Samuel Eto’o is still in the heart of Guardiola
Liga BBVA21 heures ago
The five games that have forever changed Kaká’s career
Soccer22 heures ago
Victor Moses named the Footballer of the Year at the Nigerian Sports Awards
Soccer6 heures ago
He was criticised when he joined Barcelona and has scored as many goals as Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo
Africa18 heures ago
Eto’o vs Drogba: Who has scored more doubled, tripled and quadrupled?
Soccer4 heures ago
Ronaldo sets negative record for the first time since joining Real Madrid
Liga BBVA15 heures ago
Cristiano’s wrath at the end of the Madrid derby