Quick gossip round up before K-TR7′s post.
The Telegraph report that we are still hoping to get Lars Bender and/or Sami Khedira. Apparently Jose wants the latter and we all know he loves to get one over Arsene Wenger .
Stan Collymore has tweeted that he spoke to the players Agent yesterday and he confirmed that we are in talks and hope to get the player signed.
Loic Remy continues to make the Arsenal pages too with a story suggesting he is to choose between us, Newcastle and Tottenham. Logic would suggest, there is only one club he’d choose and that’s us, he’s said for many years he wants to play for Arsenal, well now could be his time.
However, having seen us sign Sanchez, he may just start thinking about playing time and whether he’d get much with us. I personally think he would, if he’s ready to fight for his place, he’ll play if he performs well.But many footballs want things on a plate these days and if he’s not up for the competition, then he’s not for us is he. I still have a hunch he’ll be in a Puma kit next season.
As will the girlfriend of Alexis Sanchez.
When Van Persie decided to leave the club in the year 2012 I was heartbroken.
I remember that day when the news broke on this very blog I was so angry that fellow Housers had to calm me down. I really rated RvP but the way he turned his back on us further justified my stance in not growing attached to football players.
To this day I only own two replica jerseys with players on them, a Rosicky Arsenal jersey and a Mesut German jersey.
Now we have Alexis Sanchez, a player I rate highly enough to buy a kit with his name on it, a player I have followed from his days with Udinese days, where he really shone brightly.
Since the Dutchman left we have had no cutting edge player in the front line. In the current market its so difficult to get such players since most of them are at the biggest clubs in Europe and would be ridiculously expensive to purchase.
Wenger this past year even said that there are fewer top class forwards being produced in Europe and that the only continent which is doing well is South America. Oh boy was he right. He and our negotiation team deserve plaudits for being able to acquire Alexis.
For those who are wondering what all the hype is all about let me elaborate.
At Udinese Alexis was a menace. He first started playing out wide as a conventional winger where his dribbling skills and immense work rate both in attack and defence really stood out.
However he really went up a level when he was switched to playing in the middle as part of a front two. He was brilliant up top. He had the freedom to drift all over the final 3rd and this made it even harder for the opposition to cope with him. He was especially lethal on counter attacks and even the likes of Mourinho back at Inter then, had to instruct players to man mark him in order to minimise his impact.
Playing him closer to the goal saw him improve his scoring threat and soon enough the vultures came circling and Udinese had to sell.
Man City scouts had prepared a 59 page scout report on him and were very keen to sign him but he chose to join the Catalan giants.
Upon arrival to Barca, Guardiola observed that Alexis really liked to take risks on the ball by taking defenders at every opportunity and I think he was discouraged to do this. Instead, he was taught on how to make better off the ball movements to allow Messi to flourish.
It was difficult for him since as he had to re-learn how to play again. He was also very shy and this made it even harder for him to settle in initially. In a recent Q/A he pretty much confirmed this.
Q: How has Alexis changed his way from the way he was at Udinese?
A: I attacked any way I could before. I’d always take on players on. Now I have to read each sitiuation, to take players on but make sure I don’t lose the ball. They are the kind of things the team and club club demand.
Q: Is it difficult to play for Barca?
A: Yes, I think so. I’ve had to learn to play football all over again. What I did in Italy I could not do here. Before I would always wait for the ball at my feet, try to beat three players, and I was the one who tried to pass the ball into space, because the other players opened the field for me.
Q: Do you think you’re now a better player than you arrived?
A: I believe that I’ve adapted and that is very important when we talk about the best team in the world. But I’m still not what I can be, I am sure that I can be better, that am not playing entirely freely. I have shown that I can beat players here and give an assist, like I did in Italy- but I also have a sense of what I have not yet demonstrated. It’s that at times I want to take a defender one-on-one but I can’t shoot, because the team is behind me and I know I should pass the ball back to start play over.
At Barca he learnt a lot about off the ball movement under Guardiola. He became so good at it and it contributed to many goals for Messi.
If you can get your hands on some Messi goals, keep an eye on Alexis and you’ll see just how good he is at dragging defenders all over the place. He also improved his vision so much that he can spot passes like an Attacking Midfielder.
On the downside his individuality was toned down as I have shown in the bold section of the transcript. He can do more and he knows this.
The number of successful dribbles per game at his best at Udinese was 3 which dropped drastically to 0.9 at Barca. At the world cup, he had 5.3 successful dribbles per game which is very high.
This is what his Chilean coach had to say:
Perhaps at Barca, with the team-mates he has and all great players there, it is more difficult, but for me he has all the conditions to be the best players in the world: assists, goals, dribbles, everything.
This is where Wenger comes in.
At Barca he added off the ball movement and refined his vision to become a better team player in addition to his undeniable individual quality and immense offensive and defensive work-rate.
This feels like the moment Wenger took a certain left winger from Juve and nurtured him into our best player ever.
Alexis has everything you need in a forward. He is now complete. Wenger will now give him back that freedom he solely craves to be one of the very best.
Mesut Ozil must be excited too since he’ll have a moving target at all times. Giroud is another player who will benefit so much from Alexis.
Where will he play?
Wenger likes his best players central so we’ll have to wait and see but you can be sure he will get that free role. If there is a player who could come close to replicate what Henry did for us I’d bet on Alexis to be the man. So much that I’ll buy his tight Puma kit after hitting the gym to fit in it ;-).
This is truly a watershed moment for the club.
Seeing Ozil welcome Sanchez to the club is the stuff of dreams since it would’ve been inconceivable just a year ago and if you had told me we would sign the number 10 and number 9 from the Spanish giants in consecutive years I would’ve laughed hysterically at you.
Remember when we haggled over 5mil for Schwarzer?…
We deserve this, we really do…..
Welcome to Arsenal Football Club Alexis Sanchez, welcome…..!!
Written by K-TR7