Submitted by admin on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 08:49
The occasion of Arsene Wenger’s 810th Premier League match in charge of Arsenal – drawing him level with Sir Alex Ferguson’s extraordinary record - was a cause for celebration. Except there was a debate after this victory as to whether Alexis Sanchez’s team-mates wanted to celebrate with him after he scored the crucial second goal which restored their lead on the way to this impressive win away to Crystal Palace.
Television pundits Graeme Souness and, more relevantly to Arsenal, their former striker Thierry Henry questioned whether this showed a “division” within the squad with Sanchez, in the final few months of his contract, with the January transfer opening, with a move to Manchester City still his determined wish, appearing isolated. Sanchez looked a little bewildered, pointing at himself. “He is asking them to come. ‘Why are you not coming? Don’t you want to celebrate?’” Henry asked.
Maybe they are reading too much into that. Maybe not. But it was true that Sanchez – who went on to score Arsenal’s third goal as well - was not exactly mobbed while Wenger himself was reduced to irritably batting away questions about the commitment of players whose deals are expiring. Certainly it will have irked Arsenal’s fans that Sanchez, who has been so disappointing of late, turned it on with the window looming.
Interestingly Sanchez’s name was not chanted by the travelling Arsenal supporters – that of Mesut Ozil, also out of contract soon, was – while another whose deal is almost up, Jack Wilshere, was their darling after also delivering an impressive performance in what was his fourth league game in a row as he begins to confirm his fitness.
But, overall, this was also a bit of an ‘Arsenal-y’ performance as they should have put the game to bed, indeed they secured a two-goal lead that was the least they deserved… and then almost tossed it away as Palace rallied late on and, driven on by Wilfried Zaha, arguably missed enough opportunities to have claimed an improbable draw. In that, it also kind of summed up Wenger’s 21 years at Arsenal – glorious followed by glimpses of gory.
read more on telegraph.co.uk..
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