It wasn’t too long ago that Arsenal supporters, including myself, were salivating at the thought of AÖL. The thought of them running all over opposing defenders is a beautiful sight to be seen, as we saw against a fragile Everton side. Meanwhile at home against Swansea and a more organized defensive unit, it wasn’t as mouthwatering.
When fully fit and overloaded with confidence, those three could really do great things in those skin tight Puma kits. The problem arises when the confidence is lacking, or the effort. That’s where things start to get tricky.
Now, before I️ proceed, there will be those who completely disagree, and that’s completely acceptable. Then, there will be those who are 100% onboard. So, let’s have at it, and figure out what side you’re on.
Contract talks with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil haven’t really gone as expected, for both sides. They are looking for significant pay raises, likely that’s not all they want. Things such as a proper and ambitious project for the next few years is always a benefit, with it all becoming even more credible when the majority shareholder stands behind it and offers assurances. But, Silent Stan can’t be bothered to talk at the AGM, so do we really think he does any other communicating?
If money was the main motivating factor, I’d imagine that Arsenal could get close enough to their requests in order to make them happy. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
So, now we are left with a nightmare scenario.
Are they both still as motivated? Have they mentally checked out? We’d like to think that’s not the case, but, their presence, their off the pitch soap opera, and their sense of entitlement could be causing more than just a potential financial burden.
It goes without saying that when in the mood, and fit, they are two of the best in the Premier League, and the world. My question is – With the media watching them every step of the way, from how they lace their boots, to the type of deodorant they wear, is it causing some frustration and added pressure within the squad?
All signs point to Alexis and Ozil leaving the club at some point this season. Whether that’s in January, and Arsenal gets some financial compensation, or, they leave on a free next Summer, it’s looking very unlikely that either will be talked about on ArsenalFanTV for much longer.
With that in mind, I’d be interested in seeing Arsene Wenger preparing for life after AÖ.
They are both keeping someone out of the squad, who may be in a better mental state, and is more prepared to leave it all on the pitch.
One perfect example of that is Jack Wilshere.
I️ sound like I’m on repeat, but, in my opinion, when fit, Jack Wilshere is the best English player in his position. Instead of continuously rolling the dice with Alexis or Ozil, why not give Jack the opportunity he has earned? If that’s not enough, his passion and commitment to the team is obvious. There won’t be anyone moaning about his body language, or lack of effort.
How about Reiss Nelson? Alex Iwobi? Danny Welbeck?
These guys may not be on the level of Ozil or Alexis, but at least no one will question their desire. That would lift some unnecessary pressure from the squad, and, could give them a point to prove.
Why not make them both earn the opportunity to feature regularly, opposed to continuously handing them a start, just because of who they are? Neither have been outstanding regularly, so I️ guess things can’t get much worst, right?
Do I️ think it’s a gamble? Absolutely, but it’s one where we could actually find out how the rest of the players feel about all of this.
Either way, regardless of the lineup Arsene Wenger chooses, he’s always going to have critics. I’d actually be willing to bet that if we played a front three of Lacazette, Jack Wilshere, and then either Iwobi, Welbeck or even possibly Reiss Nelson, supporters would applaud Wenger’s willingness to not only challenge his squad, but to also challenge Alexis and Ozil.
Are they truly committed and interested in what’s best for Arsenal at least for the duration of their contract, or, are they just going through the motions? Make them earn it like everyone else!