Alexis Sánchez’ problem is, he’s like a child.
He won’t do what’s best for himself in the long run, nor will he think of his teammates. Alexis constantly wants to please his fans and teammates but wants to do so by working tirelessly on the pitch and sticking the ball in the back of the net.
Unfortunately, he’s not scored in his last five Arsenal appearances and is looking increasingly sluggish. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. After playing four times at the 2014 World Cup, Alexis moved to London and made 52 appearances in his first season at Arsenal. Quickly whisked off to his native Chile after scoring in the FA Cup Final, the forward started all six of Chile’s games as they won the Copa América.
The final took place on 4th July, and he was back in Premier League action again by 9th August, coming on as a sub as Arsenal lost 2-0 to West Ham United. An ever-present in the starting line up since, he has started all 11 Premier League games in the Premier League and a further four in the Champions League.
Now, for the second time this season, Jorge Sampaoli will ask him to play twice more for his country. A darling of the nation and too enthusiastic to say otherwise, Alexis will jump at the chance when – really – every would be helped if he were to just take things a little easier. Sampaoli promises to treat Alexis with caution but the workaholic 26-year-old will continue to push his body to the very limit.
Sampaoli on Alexis: “We don’t want to get him exhausted or demand too much so he will do some different exercises [to rest of the squad].”
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 11, 2015
Chile face Colombia and Uruguay before Alexis is due back in London. The game against Uruguay will end at around 1am GMT on Wednesday morning next week, before Alexis travels back here. The Gunners will stay in a hotel on Friday night in preparation for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off against West Bromwich Albion, but can’t afford to rest a star man.
A gruelling winter period is coming up. Last season, in his first year without a winter break, Alexis stuttered and scored just four times in 15 Premier League appearances from 18th January to the end of the season. If he does the same again, it’s doubtful the Gunners will maintain a title challenge.
With injuries already mounting Arsenal have to treat Alexis with more care, and he has to do the same. Otherwise, it’ll start to feel like the writing is very much on the wall.