If Arsenal were hoping to convince Alexis Sanchez that North London is the best place for him, they haven’t made a very good job of it in the opening weeks of the season.
Alexis only has a year left on his Arsenal deal, as we’ve been told time and time again, and doesn’t seem to be any closer to signing a new one than when negotiations were rumoured to have kicked off over a year ago.
Although he hasn’t spoken publicly about all the reasons behind this delay, it’s largely assumed that the problem is Alexis is an ambitious man who wants to use the final years of the peak of his career to win as much as he possibly can.
So the objective was set. With Alexis sidelined by his extended holiday and an early injury setback, Arsenal had to convince the Chilean that they are the club to deliver him this kind of success.
It actually started relatively well, if slightly unconvincingly at times, as Arsenal took a trip to Wembley to play Chelsea in the Community Shield. Arsenal ran out winners on penalties, after coming from behind in the final 10 minutes of the match.
But the Community Shield, like the FA Cup, is something that Alexis has already won with the Gunners. To prove that the team is ready to move to the next level, it was the league where they needed to make an impression.
The impression they have made so far is not a good one.
Arsenal may have been winners against Leicester, but the three goals conceded looked like more of the same as last season, and you can’t build a title winning campaign out of only late comebacks.
Stoke City then showed what happens when the Gunners can’t score four to save their blushes, beating Arsenal 1-0 at the Bet 365 Stadium.
If Alexis really is basing his thinking about staying around how Arsenal are performing, there wasn’t much there to reassure him or the fans.
Hopefully he isn’t.
Hopefully he’s just thinking about his dogs.
Maybe all Arsenal need is the number of another banner company.
But what might be better is a win at Anfield. And a performance.