Arsene Wenger has delivered a host of glittering moments in his tenure at Arsenal, achieving success with a host of unknowns who went on to be huge names in the game.
There have been murmurings for a while now that his eye for genuine talent has sadly been lost. This has been entirely due to a number of highly questionable purchases such as Francis Jeffers, Pascal Cygan and more recently Yaya Sanogo, all of which wouldn’t have got a game for Barnsley if the whole team had phoned in sick.
But Wenger is not alone, even the legendary Alex Ferguson has bought the odd rotten peach, who can forget Juan Sebastián Verón or Ángel Di María who promised much but failed to deliver.
Yet even though Wenger has made a host of global football stars such as Anelka, Henry and Viera down the years, his patience and faith seems to be cast aside when the cash comes out.
Year in year out the want away stars have headed to the door like Tony Adams at a free bar to don another shirt and kiss another badge in another Country. Gooners have endured season after season of ‘stay or go’ scenarios, where the stars hold out for an inflated wage or the promise of greater things and we now find ourselves in the same position with Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean is the latest in a longline of players who are looking to move on but apparently if we believe all we read, he hasn’t said he wants out but hasn’t said he wants in. Another amazing talent that Wenger has put in the shop window. Another crowd pleasing badge kisser waiting by the phone.
His talent is not in question but his temperament and loyalty most certainly is, as the season rolls around again. Sanchez is undeniably the star of Arsenal at this moment in time but is he worth bending over backward’s to keep if he doesn’t want to play for us.
Marin Keown has recently said that he has been told that Sanchez is hard to please, often demanding his own training sessions. He sounds more pampered than his dogs but should we believe that Wenger would yield to such arrogance? Well yes, that’s the way the football world is heading, unfortunately.
Wenger is a loyal man, no one can argue with that, so it must be a struggle for him to understand that it’s not reciprocal and Arsenal either cash in or watch him walk away for free. So as Sanchez flirts with Pep and Pep flirts back we wait to see if yet another player looks at his options and places himself above the club.
The reality is that Wenger or any Manager for that fact, are powerless to prevent approaches legally or ‘the Liverpool way’, Which we are lead to believe is a 4-course meal a couple of bottles of wine and the promise of a nice little earner once the ink is dry.
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Wenger has outlined issues such as tapping up and agent power just recently and with the game expanding at its current rate and with such outrageous sums involved, it’s going to be even more of a challenge to keep the talent he has unearthed. He has, however, been able to reflect on past mistakes such as the transfer of Robin Van Purse strings to rivals United and insists, for the moment and as result is determined to keep Sanchez, even with the contract running down and a zero return.
The case of Van Persie was even more galling when he sat on the Arsenal bench year in year out and made physiotherapists age prematurely. He once laughably had the nerve to compare himself to Dennis Bergkamp which is a bit like Nicholas Bendtner comparing himself to Pele(not the Romford Pele)
He had one brilliant season for us and then when United came knocking, he hailed a cab to bank the cheque, winning the premiership in the process(even worse)
At least we can rest easy in the knowledge that he now uses his talents to play for a team of retired Greek musicians and hairdressers somewhere in a sparsely populated part of the European Union.
So to play catch up and under pressure from fans, Wenger woke up one morning and decided to splash the cash, possibly grudgingly to actually threaten ‘Chelski’ and ‘Man City’. Yet, he knows that even as he fashions his latest side, Arsenal will not be able to stop players abandoning ship ‘Cashly Cole ‘ style and this frustrates the great footballing professor.
It’s symptomatic of the times that very few show the loyalty of Keown, Bergkamp and even, the daffy daft Tony Adams, who is in competition with Gary Neville, for the tittle of ‘Worlds worst football manager….ever !’
His philosophy is dated although admirable and he can no longer rely on picking up a cheapy in the bargain basement of world football without becoming disappointed or outclassed with stars that are streets ahead in age and class.
The spending spree is welcome but as Wenger himself pointed out, it’s no guarantee for success but most fans are welcoming the fact that we have something to feel excited about, the first time for a long time.
So if Sanchez does leave and I suspect it’s inevitable, he’s entirely welcome to do so, we’ve lost a host of brilliant players in the past and the club has always survived. The boss, quite rightly pointed out that we were in the Champions league for 17 years without Sanchez and his loss, although regrettable won’t change the clubs ambitions towards competing at that level once more.
Arsenal have spent heavily and are if the rumours are true are looking to spend further cash to complete the puzzle and win both the Premiership and Champions League with or without him. Sanchez may sign an extension if Arsenal actually mount a serious challenge but that idea seems remote until he decides once and for all, this stand off will continue.
He has talent by the bucket load but decency, commitment, and loyalty seem hard to find.
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