Arsenal dug a hole for themselves and at the last minute barely managed to get out of it. Haven't we heard this script before? Against AFC Bournemouth, we were 3-0 down, thanks largely to our defensive lapses. And then came the comeback. 3-1 (Sanchez), 3-2 (Perez, what a goal) and 3-3 (Giroud). We lost out of time to get the winner. I am sure, with the momentum we had, we were just 2-3 minutes away from the winner.
We got away with snatching a point from the away fixture. In the larger scheme of things, the appropriate narrative is that we dropped 2 crucial points. The battle to the top was steep and we managed to make it worse. The way we conceded all 3 goals was not worth of the champions we intend to be. Bellerin was the culprit for the 1st and 3rd goal and Xhaka became his usual self inside our penalty box. Emotionally, it was a topsy-turvy game and it ended with mixed feelings. What if? That's how it ended for me.
Anyway, what I got the see post the match completely defines what an Arsenal fan must have felt. We, as Arsenal fans, are used to our team "committing suicide" during the game and then coming back from the dead just before the game is over. As fans, we don't exactly know how to react. Should we be frustrated at what could have been or should we heave a sigh of relief? I think, for me, it's nothing but frustration, despite coming away with an unlikely point.
Did anyone see Alexis Sanchez' reaction?
That's exactly how I felt after this match and am sure that's how most of the Arsenal fans have felt. Utter frustration! I can see despair and a feeling of loss from other Arsenal players. But Sanchez took it to an altogether different level, a level most of us fans know. Yes, am sure the manager might have felt frustrated, but he never shows. Most of our players might have been dejected, but they appear to move on. The reaction from Sanchez shows he is just waiting to punch on his next opponent.
Mirror carried an article saying his passion should be the main reason why he should leave Arsenal. They claim he deserves much better. The second point, I agree. He surely deserves much better than a team bottling up chance after chance to be the best. But I have my reservations against the first statement. He should leave because he is more passionate? That's rude towards both Arsenal and Sanchez. I am actually thinking quite the opposite here. I want the remaining 10 players on the pitch to see his dedication and start lifting themselves to his level of passion and dedication. Why can't they? Sanchez is one of those players who, when in full flow, is a treat to watch but when he is completely out of form, his dedication and work-rate makes him a standout player. Compare this with Ozil, Mesut Ozil is pure class when in form but anonymous when out of form.
Arsene Wenger has a big job on his hands. If he has to retain Sanchez, he will not only have to shell out what Sanchez is asking for but also relieve him of his frustration by making him play with more top-class players rather than developing talents. Arsenal has to evolve more into a world class team rather than a home of developing players who get bought by world class teams. The signs are truly promising with Ozil, Sanchez, Cech, Koscienly in the lineup. But we need more finished products.