Wenger gave Arsenal fans a shock when he decided not to start Alexis in Arsenal’s Premier League game against Liverpool at the weekend, in which the Gunners lost 3-1.
Though, after the defeat, the manager was quick to defend his decision, stating it was a tactical decision more than anything – “The thinking was that we had to go more direct and I wanted to play two players who are strong in the air because we decided to go more direct. “The thinking was that we had to go more direct and I wanted to play two players who are strong in the air because we decided to go more direct.
However, reports from both the Guardian and Telegraph emerged yesterday that the player was actually dropped for the match as a punishment, due to the 28-year old storming out of a training session during the week. This was followed by an apparent bust-up with his teammates according to the Telegraph.
With the forward’s contract set to expire in 2018 and the rumours the player is trying to force a move away, this only adds more fuel to the fire. It doesn’t help that Alexis is in high demand with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus both wanting the player.
Now although the situation seems to be blown over the top it does make you think why Alexis decided to walk out of a training session. Was it due to his frustrations on the pitch, due to his teammates being of a much lesser standard or just a clash with the manager?
The Telegraph also reported after the match in the same article that if Ozil wasn’t ill, he would have been dropped as well. Which makes you think maybe this is an attitude problem from the big players or whether they are playing up as they don’t have long to go on their contracts and want to force a big move away from the club?
Arsenal fans have been craving a player with fight for so long and now that Alexis has come along it looks like he’s the sort of player that Wenger doesn’t want in the squad, someone who will question the manager’s decisions.
Alexis Sanchez has been praised by Arsenal legend Robert Pires after his 98th minute penalty against Burnley. The Arsenal icon praised the Chilean’s nerve, as he managed to perform a ‘Panenka penalty’ past the Burnley keeper to win the match very late on.
The 28 year old’s winner took his goal tally to 17 this season. His goal also managed to see the Gunners move into second place in the Premier League, just behind London rivals Chelsea.
This is what the Frenchman had to say about the player:
“You have to have balls to take penalties like Alexis,” he said. “He doesn’t know what pressure is.
“You have to think that the 98th minute was being played and Arsenal weren’t winning by a three or four goal difference. It was one-one.”
Sanchez also discussed his future with Pires, however it still seems like the player hasn’t decided what his future holds:
“I spoke to Alexis last week and asked about the renewal,” he said. “He told me he didn’t know, that he only cared to play.
“The renewal is not a subject for Alexis. He doesn’t know what is going to happen, he just wants to play and enjoy.
“All we want is for Alexis to remain at Arsenal. I hope he renews his contract because he is a wonderful player. Alexis is the engine of the car.
“I hope he stays forever.”
The Gunners have confirmed that Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have all signed new deals with the club.
Giroud and Koscielny’s contract’s were due to end in the summer of 2018, whereas Coquelin was tied down until 2019.
Arsene Wenger has this to say about the players:
“We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term.
“Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he’s so focused every day.
“Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us.
“Laurent is of course a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world today. So overall, this is great news for us.”
Arsenal face a contract crisis at the current time, with the club trying their hardest to tie down Mesut Ozil and Sanchez.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere’s contracts are due to expire and it’s still yet to see whether the club will pursue renewals for the players contracts.
Hopefully these three deals will have a knock on effect, with the other Arsenal players following suit and confirming their future with the Gunners.
Arsenal host Stoke City in the Premier League this weekend. The North London club are currently in second place in the league, with only 3 points separating them and Chelsea. The Gunners are looking to carry on with their current form, after beating FC Basel midweek with a 4-1 win.
Starting: Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ox, Ozil, Alexis
Subs: Gibbs, Pérez, Giroud, Ospina, Iwobi, Bellerín, Elneny
Streams can be found here
The Arsenal manager has said that he wants to extend the England midfielder’s contract, although he has admitted it will be difficult to keep the player at the club.
Jack is currently on loan to Arsenal’s opponents Bournemouth, who he said he wants to win. Although the player is enjoying his time at the Cherries, Wenger wants to prove he’s a real Arsenal fan by putting pen to paper.
“I can assure you talks over any contract are always difficult and with Jack they are always difficult,” he said, suggesting January would be an ideal time to start discussions with a player heading towards the final year of his contract.
Arsenal’s number 10 has made nine appearances at Bournemouth this season, however has failed to make an assist or score a goal. The Arsenal manager decided to let him go due to the fact that the player might not be able to get much game time this season with Xhaka, Elneny and Ramsey all on the books.
“My feeling is I want him back,” he continued. “I let him go this season because we bought Granit Xhaka, we have Mohamed Elneny, Aaron Ramsey, and I thought if he doesn’t play regularly and wasn’t fit enough to be in the position to start games, so I let him go.
“After, we see how he goes at the end of the season. If Jack comes back to his right level he will play for us.”
“He always said he is an Arsenal man. If you only think about yourself then you go where you like to be.
“The word loyalty isn’t even the right word. He always said he was an Arsenal man.”
The central midfielder’s contract runs out in the summer of 2018, which he signed in 2012 alongside the other so called ‘British Core’ who all signed long term deals.