Why I really joined Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez

Last summer Arsenal fought off competition from Liverpool to sign Chilean star, Alexis Sanchez, from Barcelona for £35m.

However it was widely speculated that the reason behind this was to do with a desire to live in London, and evolved around his long-term girlfriend. A rumour spread by Liverpool fans as their club missed out on him and likely born out of envy, as they had just lost Suarez to Barcelona too.

However, we all know Arsenal are preferable in a number of ways other than location. The stadium, the manager, the consistent Champions League football, the fact we had begun to sign quality players rather than sell them, and of course we had just won the FA Cup. The list goes on.

Speaking to BT Sport in an interview that will air during Saturday’s coverage of the final, Sanchez said: “The reason why I moved to Arsenal is because there were a group of young players with the ambition to achieve things.

“I thought that Arsenal was the perfect club for me, the perfect club to win titles and compete in every competition.

“Yes there is a joyful atmosphere in the dressing room,” he told BT Sport.

“Arsenal is a magnificent club and I hope to win many titles here. I’m going to do my very best to help the club achieve success.”

Sanchez is very happy with his first season, but is keen for the team to keep progressing on to greater things.

“It has been a positive season but I have still got ambitions to win more,” he said.

“I would like to be closer to winning the Premier League title and get further in the Champions League.

“Every time I play I do it with the same motivation. I want the team to grow more and to compete in every competition we play.”

The forward is renowned for his impressive work-rate, but he doesn’t do it for the appreciation.

“I don’t really perceive that,” he added. “Every time someone takes the ball off me I feel like I’ve been stripped of my toy.

“When a player takes the ball off me I just want to win it back. That could work as a motivational tool for my team-mates but I don’t think about that on the pitch.”

And like every player signed by Arsene Wenger, Sanchez cites the boss as a key part of him joining the club.

“He is a legend. He is an Arsenal legend,” he said. “You learn from him every day. Sometimes we discuss about things like I would like to train more, and he doesn’t let me! But he definitely looks after me.”

This will naturally be Sanchez’s first FA Cup should Arsenal win, and he understands the history of the competition. A win will see Arsenal have won it more than any other club.

“The FA Cup is a competition with amazing history,” he said.

“Today we watched a video about Arsenal’s previous wins and thanks to the clips I trained with even more motivation. I hope we can win the cup so the Arsenal supporters are happy.”

Unfortunately that’s all we have of the interview so far, but come Saturday it will be intriguing (at the least) to see what he has to say, given a lack of interviews so far this season. 

Sanchez has already won a title for himself this season though, the fans player of the year award.


Mesut Ozil on knee-injury and improving form

Arsenal’s midfield maestro was left on the sidelines for 3 months this season, missing crucial games and coinciding with Arsenal’s bad form that meant they could not really threaten Chelsea for the title, despite being the best team in the league this calendar year. 

Ozil damaged ligaments in his left knee during a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in October, but ultimately it gave him a much needed rest that would allow him to gain physical strength, and regain that mental sharpness, so that he could get back to playing his best football again.

“In my first season, not having a winter break meant that I could notice my body becoming a bit tired,” Ozil said. “I had the World Cup after my first season here.

“It was such a great time but when I came back, the fitness coach said that even though I felt fit, the freshness was missing.

“I continued to give everything to help the team and that’s how I got my injury.

“That was a really bitter time because I missed football but it’s an experience you have to go through as a player. My aim was always to come back stronger and, thanks to God, everything worked out.”

The 26-year-old World Cup winner, is now hoping that he can win the FA Cup again this year, which would mean Arsenal’s return to winning ways have coincided with his arrival.

Furthermore it would mean he has won 2 FA Cups and a World Cup since joining the Gunners, and as such he is undeniably one of the world’s greatest midfielders, and a huge asset to the team.

Alexis Sanchez wins PFA Fans Player of the Year

Arsenal star, Alex Sanchez, has won the PFA Fans Player of the Year in his first season in the Premier League. 

At 26 years of age, the Chilean international is certainly in his prime, and showed that this season by settling in to English football immediately.

Boasting a total of 24 goals this season, which includes 16 in the Premier League, he has proved himself as a huge threat in front of goal. But he also has 8 assists in the league, and is renowned for his hard work off the ball and closing opponents down, demonstrating his all-round ability and making it abundantly clear why fans of all clubs appreciate him as a player.

Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona last summer for a fee of £35m, and beat the likes of Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero to the award.

Here’s to many more of years of awards, Alexis.

Thierry Henry rectify’s stance on Olivier Giroud

A few days ago Olivier Giroud responded to the Arsenal legend, turned Sky pundit’s, opinions on him and the Arsenal team. But now Thierry Henry has retraced his steps and tried to clarify what he meant by what he had originally said.

Arsenal’s all-time top scorer had said that Arsenal’s spine was weak, and that this was an area in need of improvement in the summer if Arsenal were going to compete for title next season. They need ‘a top quality striker’.

Naturally, fellow Frenchman and Arsenal’s current main striker, Giroud, was disappointed and disheartened by Thierry’s comments, leading him to come out and express those feelings in the media.

But now Henry has attempted to rectify his stance, or what was perceived to be his stance anyway, telling Sky Sports:

“Alexis Sanchez made me believe he can [take Arsenal to the next level]. But I do believe he needs help. I believe also that Olivier Giroud needs help.

“I said what I said [about Giroud] and people took it a bit the wrong way. When we were winning titles it was because Kanu could do a job when I needed a rest.

“Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord was coming sometimes with a hat-trick there, a goal at the end of a game but were not always starters.

“I think [Arsenal] need another striker -that’s what I said the other day – that has other characteristics than Giroud. I think they need to improve that [squad] with other guys.

“When I talked about the spine and talking about the goalkeeper and a centre-back and a holding midfielder and a striker, I’m not saying to the guys [who are already there] ‘leave and let [new guys] come and play’, no, [I’m saying] compete.”

These remarks come after not only Giroud’s response, but questions put to Wenger about his comments, and also a number of disgruntled fans on Twitter, who had not expected the legend to tear the team apart quite so vigorously after what hasn’t been so much a disastrous season has some would have you believe.

Will Vidal sign for Arsenal?

Recent speculation within the media has suggested that a deal for Juventus midfielder, and Chilean international, Arturo Vidal has already been agreed. 

Various reports are suggesting that the Juventus star will sign for Arsenal after his involvement in the Copa America tournament, where he will team up alongside last summers signing, Alexis Sanchez.

It is no secret that the two of them are very good friends, and some journalists have wasted no time in exploiting this fact as a key reason for a potential Vidal to Arsenal transfer, in a bid to strengthen the weight behind this rumour.

Every summer Arsenal are linked with exceptional players, and until two summers ago, none of these supposed signings came to fruition. However, these days, Arsenal are battling with the biggest clubs out there to secure the signings of the best players on the planet. Wenger’s change of transfer policy has been clear to all, with Messrs, Ozil and Sanchez, having joined from Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

Arsene Wenger has already hinted that he will bring in reinforcements this summer, should the right players be available. Additionally, it is no secret that there will be a handful of departures this window, with the likes of Flamini, Arteta and Diaby, all looking unlikely to stay on next season.

This does suddenly leave the depth in midfield, fairly shallow. Especially in the defensive department; an area we are all well aware is in need of some real talent.

The speculation over Vidal joining the side increased ten-fold, when DirecTV journalist, Hernan Feler, tweeted:

Después de la Copa América de #Chile, se hará oficial la llegada de Arturo Vidal al #Arsenal. Está todo cerrado. Será compañero de Aléxis.

Which in English, basically says: Vidal will join Arsenal officially after the Copa America Tournament, joining his comrade Sanchez.

There is no doubting the 28-year olds quality. As part of a magnificent trio alongside Pirlo and Pogba this season in the Juventus midfield, they have achieved wonders, winning the Serie A again, and by some distance (bragging Chelsea fans, take note of a real whitewash), and not to mention their place in the Champions League final, beating current holders, Real Madrid in style along the way.

But first and foremost this begs the question as to why he would want to leave Juventus for Arsenal? It is a rare scenario where a first team regular in a very successful team chooses to part ways with winning.

Secondly if he did choose to leave Juventus, would it be for money? Because Arsenal are certainly not on the top of anyone’s list who are looking purely for high wages.

This leaves us with only a couple of reasons why he would want to join Arsenal. Perhaps Vidal is looking for a fresh challenge in his career; dominating Italian football probably loses its thrill after successive league successes.

But then we have to presume to ask why Arsenal would be his preferred destination, when many teams will be queuing up for his signature if he is indeed available.

And we are left with one undeniable truth. There are only two people at Arsenal who could persuade him to join us, whom without, he certainly would not be coming (if he even is), and they are Alexis Sanchez and Arsene Wenger.

Here we can see some of the main reasons why he would and wouldn’t join, but ultimately Arsenal will sign at most a handful of the dozens and dozens of players we are linked with over this summer, and Vidal may or may not be one of them, so don’t get your hopes up just yet.

But I do believe that you can be certain that the right players will be signed this transfer window, because the club, and Wenger, have come to far over the past 2 seasons to back out now.