Alexis Sanchez Is A Bad Hombre

Alexis Sanchez Is A Bad Hombre. He comes from a continent which appears to have a production line churning out bad hombres over the years. From Maradona and later Tevez to Suarez, Aguero, Cavani, Costa, Falcao and Sanchez  – all scrappy and aggressive and talented. They are not players you want to bump into in a dark footballing alley. They will walk out of that alley wearing your clothes, adorned with your jewelry and counting the contents of your wallet.

But Alexis Sanchez is exactly the right amount of South American bad hombre. If you’re going to stick up a bank, you need a bad hombre. But if that bad hombre is Suarez, he’ll shoot everyone in the bank so you’re all on Wanted Dead Or Alive posters. And on the way back to the hide-out, he’ll try and shoot everybody in the gang, like he does every time you all rob a bank together.

Sanchez? He’ll threaten everybody in the bank, maybe wing the bank manager in the leg to show he’s serious, grab the loot, and kiss the pretty girl behind the counter then run out the door, leap on his horse from behind, and gallop out of town shooting in the air. And on the way home, he announces to the gang that they’re going to swing by his mom’s for dinner, cos it’s her birthday. Awww.

And it’s here that he’ll ambush the gang and take all the money. Remember, he’s a bad hombre.

Signing Alexis Sanchez changes everything. Gazidis had promised a new era for the club. Wenger delivered us an Ozil. But what did Ozil really mean? Was it a one off or the first of many? Would it be followed the next year by measured caution or would we accelerate forward with brio to seize the day?

It’s just so delicious: Arsene on the beach, Arsene playing volleyball, Arsene signing autographs. Arsene sending the tabloids crazy. Because he knows something that you don’t.

And now…Alexis is sorted. Debuchy is sorted. And a cheeky bid is wending it’s way in for Khedira (with Schneiderlin as a fall back.) Throw in some early morning conversations with James Rodriguez’s parents. And who knows what else he did during the World Cup. Just delicious. Wenger’s legend grows.

And to think a certain section of supporters couldn’t help but fantasize openly that Arsene might ponder retirement at the end of last season, that the FA Cup would allow him to go out with a win. Please. Arsene is made of sterner stuff. He’d have you all for breakfast, matey.

Alexis Sanchez changes everything. Sanchez is the promise of 2014 realized. We won’t have “just” Ozil. We have Ozil + Alexis Sanchez +Aaron Fucking Ramsey + Theo + Santi +…

You know, sign a Cazorla, an Ozil, a Sanchez every year and pretty soon you end up with a half decent team. Pretty soon you look around, and between who you attracted to the club and who you developed at the club, you’ve got a hell of a fucking team, nay squad.

I don’t know if we’ll get Khedira, we probably won’t, but I love that we really went for it. Add Khedira, and this team becomes No Country for Young Fools. It changes everything again. I like Jenks but unless he jumps up a level, it’s hard to see him being allowed to frustrate the shit out of Khedira, Sanchez and Ozil. Arsene would do the kid a favour and loan him out. And I’m not sure that trio would be too impressed either to see a wasteful Sanogo starting in place of an injured striker.

You don’t sign Ozil, Sanchez and Khedira (nor have we yet) and expect them to wait around for 2 or 3 years while their supporting players have time to develop. And you’re paying these stars top dollar. So neither is the club willing to wait and gamble. And Arsene is only signed up for 3 years and has some silverware to grab.

All is changed, changed utterly…

As you should all know, I am a big supporter of Jenks and Sanogo. I have seen enough of them to think, in different ways, there is a player in both of them. But it better emerge quickly. They’d be hard pushed to play a role for the Invincibles. And it seems to me that something has changed. 2014 is upon us. Arsene wants a Premier League title on his way to the Champions League title that would crown his career.

In the words of Sir Gary Neville: “What they now need to do, having nearly paid off their debt, is they need to go now. I think he knows, Arsene Wenger, that moment is now.”

Yes, he does, Gary. Yes he does.

Sanchez is the kind of player that when he goes at you, you stay gone at. Even if you block him, check in the mirror afterwards, there’ll be tyre tracks up one side of you and down the other. And he’s going to come straight back at you. A Sanchez-lead Chile was described by Arsene as the best South American side in the tournament after they narrowly lost to the hosts, Brazil, on penalties. (And we say Arsene doesn’t give away transfer secrets. Pfft.)

Radar Alexis Mesut

Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid 2013. The most efficient creative midfielder season you will see. He’s a perfectionist.
Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona 2014. Great player at a very good price. Can play anywhere in attack.

Yin and Yang. Ozil and Sanchez. Perfection and Production. Much has been written by the 100 bloggers who did a Sanchez piece before me. But I’d like to address one mistake I’ve seen perpetuated. I read a number of times that Sanchez doesn’t do hold-up play. Now, I’m no expert on Sanchez but I won’t let that hold me back (in the same way Legrove didn’t let the fact he admitted knowing bugger all about Kallstrom stop him from getting on the radio later that day and pronouncing he knew the player well and it was a disgrace we were signing him.) So, here is my opinion: I think we’re going to enjoy the fruits of Alexis Sanchez’s hold-up play on top of all his other known attributes. He protects and grafts and twists and turns and lays it off like a Suarez. He’s not as tall, and he may struggle to do it from the center, but the boy does hold-up, as he did for Chile. Ever heard of a bad hombre who couldn’t do a holdup? No, you didn’t.

Bench Press: Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla, Theo, Ox, Poldi, Giroud (and maybe a Remy)…So. Many. Options. The story of this next season should be our bench and our super-sub contributions: coming on at 70 minutes and changing a game, tearing up a tiring opponent.

Someday soon, we’ll have Giroud, Sanchez, Ozil and Santi on the field with Theo, Ox and Poldi on the bench fighting to get on. Or vice versa.

Remember Fabregas describing how he was, at 16 years of age, in awe of a dressing room with Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira? That’s the territory to which we appear to be heading. Danny Crowley may learn that feeling soon.

Sweepiest Keeper: I’m pretty sure that Wojciech Szczesny spent the whole World Cup obsessed with Manuel Neuer, The Sweepiest Keeper. People bitched about Woj doing his fancy tricks in the box last season and before. It’s gonna get worse. Or better. Neuer is the benchmark. And at 28 years old he is 4 years more mature than Woj. We may not have the world’s greatest goalkeeper but we may end up with one of the world’s greatest. And that will be enough.

And what a core he helps to form:

Szczesny(24) Ozil(25) Sanchez(25) Ramsey(23) Wilshere(22) Gibbs(24) Walcott(25) Chamberlain(20) Gnabry(19)

And I’d even add Koscielny(28). The boy has years in those legs.
And maybe even Sanogo and Jenks if they can make the grade quickly.

Keep them on the pitch: All we’ve got to do is keep them all fit and on the pitch, and keep the talent coming through: And so we add on Andries Jonker (from Bayern/Barcelona/KNVB) to run the Academy; and Shad Forsythe, “one of the world’s top fitness coaches,” (from the German World Cup team) for the fitness side. This club is getting very serious about the present and the future, very serious indeed.

Ivan Gazidis is backing up his talk of Arsenal attempting to rise to the level of Bayern. That appears to be the benchmark. Easier said than done to be sure.

So…You have been warned. Sanchez intends to be one of the best and baddest forwards in the world. Sanchez will go through you for a short cut. Sanchez is a bad hombre. Sanchez is our bad hombre.