Being an Arsenal supporter can be exciting, but it can also be the most unbelievably frustrating roller coaster ride ever imaginable. The club’s latest defeat at Old Trafford just added to that very big pile of frustrations, and it may also have forced Arsene Wenger to make some important decisions.
When you think of footballers having a poor performance, it would look something like Theo Walcott or Aaron Ramsey at Old Trafford. Completely disconnected from the squad which was the case for Walcott, whereas Rambo was more involved, but he couldn’t do anything right. The simplest of things turned into the most difficult when he was involved. Then, you have someone like Alexis Sanchez, who has really struggled to find his form since returning from injury, but he never disappears in the match.
The Chilean could be playing well below what he’s accustomed us to, but he never fails to ask for the ball, nor does he lack desire to be involved. That was also the case on Sunday, as he fought hard to make things happen, but he just hasn’t been able to reproduce some of the performances he wowed us with at the beginning of the campaign. His pace and strength, mixed with fantastic goals such as the two against Manchester United at the Emirates is what the squad needs, but he’s still working on busting out that bag of tricks again.
As he struggles to find his form, Arsene Wenger is facing a tough decision ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Swansea City. Should Alexis be given a break in a must win fixture?
We all know that Alexis won’t want to take a break, and Arsene Wenger is very much the type to give into the Chilean not wanting a rest, which could be problematic.
I don’t want to see Alexis on the bench to start any match, let alone a must win at home, but this could be the perfect scenario to bring him on in the second half. Given the way Swansea has struggled this season, Arsenal should be able to get the job done. If they could head into the final 20-30 minutes of the match with a comfortable result, Alexis could be introduced in a less hectic and demanding environment. He wouldn’t feel the pressure of needing to carry the squad forward, as if he would being in the starting XI. He’d be able to perform with no pressure, which could help for him to find some much needed confidence that we know he has, it’s just tucked away somewhere temporarily.
Unfortunately, we all know that in these scenarios, Arsenal tends to make us suffer even more than usual. They’ll enter the match under loads of pressure, and as the crowd gets restless, the pressure will start to add up. Hopefully they don’t leave all the action for late in the match, but that’s a very likely scenario.
The question now is what will Wenger do? Will he, and or should he give Alexis a rest from the starting XI on Wednesday?