Alexis shows PASHUN as Arsenal move up to fourth

When I was growing up my father loved to repeat down-home local-yokel sayings like “slicker than cat shit through a tin horn” and “there’s only two things I hate to hear: a fat baby fart and a grown man cry.” You might think I was born in West Virginia but these home-spun gems of wisdom came from a man born in Philadelphia. Like all kids I rejected everything my father taught me: fat baby farts are hilarious and grown men crying is touching.

That said, I have to admit that Alexis Sanchez’ little strop after being taken off wasn’t touching. It was just kind of, weird.

Of course, as has been pointed out on twitter, it’s all my fault. I wrote an article a few weeks ago pointing out that Sanchez is acting funny. That he looks like he’s super pensive. That he’s been stooping over and stroking his chin lately. He’s been doing all of this weird behaviour during Arsenal losses and I thought maybe it meant something.

So, clearly this is all my fault. Me and all the 10 or so people who read what I write. And in Saturday’s match, he did the same thing when Arsenal were 2-0 up and I thought “well, that’s even stranger!” Then when he was taken off, he went and sat by himself, covered himself in a huge jacket and looked like he was… well, he was doubled over. I had a laugh. It was funnier than a fat baby farting.

I’m starting to think this stuff is all a show; no one likes to lose, no one likes to be taken off, but come on… making a big show of being taken off when you’re 4-0 up and you just scored a great goal? That’s just goofy.

One of the more interesting quotes in Pep Confidential addresses this topic. Talking about substitutions and starts, Pep tells his Bayern team

We must show respect for each other. I know that you all want to play but that just isn’t possible and I have to choose the players I think are most suitable…. if you run off to the press or your agents saying that you should have played, you will be showing a lack of respect – not for me, but for the guy who did get a game, your teammate.

We know that Alexis wants to play every minute of every game but Arsenal have a large squad with a number of players who need game time. Alexis throwing a fit, or even faking a fit, or just being a complete weirdo on the sidelines, is silly at best and is possibly driving a wedge between himself and his teammates at worst. Personally, I fall more on the “this is silly” side and hope Alexis cuts it out.

After the match, Wenger asked us all to understand, that this could be a cultural thing.

“He’s a good guy who gives a lot and wants to do well, always, for the team. There is no problem. But every culture is different. Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans, Southern Europeans are different to northern Europeans. You have to respect that. That’s why we are a multi-national team.”

And there is some truth to this. We have seen Aguero throw some epic rants after being taken off. And Luis Suarez was caught throwing a massive tantrum when he left on the bench in a Uruguay match. The Suarez one is particularly hilarious because he was injured!

But I would disagree that it’s cultural. I’ve seen Rooney go nuts after being hauled off. I’ve seen Benzema. Daniele de Rossi has a famous strop. And guess who else has thrown a fit on the sidelines? Arsene Wenger. Wenger kicked a water bottle, threw a water bottle, pushed Jose Mourinho, and many other antics on the sidelines when he was upset with something going on on the pitch. Showing emotion is just something that top players do. If anything, Alexis’ was the tamest tantrum I’ve ever seen. He was more “Sad Keanu” than “Suarez biting a man’s face”. Let’s move on.

As for the results this weekend, Arsenal moved up to 4th over Man City thanks to Arsenal’s 4-0 win and City’s 4-0 loss. Arsenal made up +8 goal difference in one weekend. That’s pretty incredible. Man City look like a club in real disarray, I’ll have more on that topic tomorrow. Liverpool also took a point at Man U, though once again Man U needed an offside goal to get a point. That’s 7 offside goals in a row for Man U which begs the question, are the referees suspending the offside rules for Man U? The result means United climbed closer to the top four trophy. Though, incredibly they are 15 unbeaten and still in 6th place. Finally, Tottenham beat West Brom 4-0 to move into second but dropped to third with Liverpool’s point against United.

Tight title race.



  1. Sanchez will either agitate to leave or get the biggest salary Arsenal has ever doled out ever in the history of Arsenal ever. Ever.

  2. I eagerly await your article on Man City. They’ve the most creative /offensive potential of the top teams but the worst defensive balance. I suspect they, not Arsenal, will be the team to miss out on the top four. What that will say about the much adored Magic Pep I’m curious to know. Anyway, plenty of games still left. A lot can change before May…

  3. Honestly, I’m totally not buying Wenger’s explanation how he doesn’t want to be substituted.

    I mean, I’m sure he doesn’t like it, but I’ve also seen countless reactions to being hauled off and usually they are more a heat of the moment kind of thing, while Alexis’ reaction looks like he is about to drop a new Evanescence album.
    He looks like he is having a midlife crisis in his 20s.
    And unless he is a extremely dim person (and based on his taste in music and overall interviews, I’m sad to say that he may have uber talent, but he is definitely not the sharpest knife in the shed), there is no logical explanation why a professional athlete with such experience would go so superficially emo.

    My gut is that this is his agent’s work in trying to squeeze extra money by applying additional media pressure on the club, and if this is the case, they are doing this in an extremely moronic way. Either that or he is trying to display an excuse for leaving the club.
    I’ve been unsatisfied and unhappy in my life a million times before, and never have I gone so Keanu on steroids, especially knowing that millions of people are watching him every second.
    It’s idiotic, it’s naive, and I believe there is more to this than Wenger’s talk of passion at 4:0 after a goal, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.

  4. Tim, did you see this from Klopp post match? “United look like a rolling beetle and everything goes in their direction.” Not familiar with that particular idiom, but I like the big comparison.

  5. I think I’m on Wenger side on this particular tantrum from Alexis. It’s just the way he is and it doesn’t seems to affect the team morale at all, judging by what few of the players said. It just getting more headline because of his contract situation.

  6. Guardiola is in his first season with a City squad that needs some serious alterations. Both Sagna and Clichy are probably the two poorest fullbacks on any top six team. And Pep is trying to implement a totally new system which takes time.

    Meanwhile Arsene has been in the league for 20 years and has had at least four seasons without financial shackles. What’s our excuse?

    1. Im sure you haven’t forgotten he has actually won trophies during those 20 years. And “without financial shackles” to me is what Chelsea did circa 2003 or City circa 2008. Arlene has been allowed to spend more than he sells for the past four years; some freedom for a club competing against the aforementioned duo, not to mention a few others.

      It’s fine with me if you want Wenger out. It’s a reasonable stance. But that was a bogus comment.

      1. I don’t want Wenger out. I don’t care if he stays for another 3 , or 10 years for that matter.
        Saying he’s been in the league for 20 years was meant to point out he knows the place inside and out and not to diminish his accomplishments.

        Whether Wenger has spent to his limits is an open question and evidence suggests he hasn’t.
        Besides the beauty of having a stable regime is not having to reshuffle the squad every few years to the liking of the new manager and thus overpay for players in an inflationary market.

        As for not being able to match the Chelsea, City and United for wages and transfers – that goes without saying, but I’m more interested in what players of theirs you actually think are better than
        ours, rather than what they have paid for them.

        I remember before the season’s opener everyone, and I mean everyone including some Chelsea supporters were baffled at the prospect of Cahill and Luiz pinning their back four.
        Most Arsenal supporters were laughing at Chelsea for paying £32m for the Brasilian defender(dispite making a tidy profit overall)
        So, is Luiz better than Koscielny and if not ,then what does it matter how much he cost them?
        Is Otamendi better than Kos , and if not then what does it matter City paid €46m for him two seasons ago?
        Some Arsenal supporters think Holding is better than Stones, with some £50m to spare.

        The point I was making was this. Everyone, including Pep’s biggest fans had said this was going to be his biggest challenge to date and now that it has proved so, they( not many on this site tbh)act as if he’s failing and he’s past it.

        Meanwhile some of the same Arsenal fans ( again , not on this site for the most part) taking Pep down a peg or two for his struggles , are more than happy to give Wenger unlimited time to build his title winning squad. Hipocracy abound!

        For the record , I don’t care if Pep flops and gets the boot but “what’s good for the goose…..”

        1. Pep was exalted to the high heavens as the second coming. Wenger is already denigrated to often ridiculous extents. Clearly bringing Pep down a peg or two is only aimed at leveling the field of discussion rather than hypocrisy.

          It matters how much a player costs because it shows how much a team CAN spend to get the pieces they want (whether they are individually better or not) It also transpires that clubs like ManU (and Chelsea in the past) simply outbid us for players we’re after, regardless of whether they actually want them. (Mkhitaryan)

          Take this summer for example. Everyone was off their boat about poor planning. (Because Arsenal got injuries to two senior centrebacks) We bought Xhaka early. We bought a young CB. We were in negotiations for Mustafi, and had bid for 3 strikers (Lazazette among them) We could not pay the asking price for both the players, leading to longer negotiations and then settling for Perez after paying top dollar for Mustafi (who btw was also injured and had been to the same Euros as Ozil so would likely not be available on day 1)

          Till 2013-14, Arsenal were a selling club (not such a stable team) Then we stopped selling and started to buy one major player a year. This season we could buy 2 (Xhaka and Mustafi) Pep came in and bought virtually anyone he wanted. A luxury Arsenal have never had.

          Not making ‘excuses’ as I don’t think there is anything to be excused. Just pointing out the differences within the comparison you are drawing.

          By the way, I don’t think it’s an open question. There obviously was a severe restriction in spending. I would think that is quite clear. Did he spend ALL the money available to him? Probably not. But that’s a good thing. And it doesn’t take away from the financial position Arsenal were in. (Remember we tried to sign Gotze before? But no Gotze and no spending 25m on a lesser player. We try again next year. And that’s how we could get Ozil)

          1. Ok. Let me rephrase that. Pep Guardiola came in and bought two players worth nearly 50m each. A CB and a winger. He also bought Gundogan and Nolito for 20 million or so each. A forward and winger for the future to go out on loan for 30m or so. A keeper that he wanted ahead of what he had for 15m. He also already had the best striker in the league in Aguero, a great conductor in Silva, and the likes of Sterling (who I think is overrated) and De Bruyne. (He also had Yaya Toure, a potentially dominating presence, who he managed to alienate and turn into an even lazier version of himself, instead of improving him)

            Sure, maybe he didn’t get ‘virtually anyone he wanted’. That was an assumption. But if he’s not getting (close to) what he wants for that much money spent on being able to buy so many players, then he’s been worse than anything I was accusing him of, and is wasting away his financial edge. A financial edge that gives him a luxury that Wenger has never had. Which was really the only point.

          2. Ok , so let me get this straight. If this May Arsenal finish ahead of City but behind Liverpool and Tottenham, will this mean Pep and Wenger both underachieved and had disappointing seasons, or just Pep?

          3. Tom:

            Thanks for explaining your comment; makes a different kind of sense now that I re-read it in that light. In my opinion, based on current form it’s hard to make a case for too many City players, but I’d take Silva, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Sterling, KdB and Toure over their Arsenal counterparts. Debatably I should take Aguero over Sanchez as well. We have a clear advantage compared to their individual defenders and goalkeeper but their squad is probably better in the other areas despite their recent poor form.

  7. Today’s Man U offside goal is a perfect example why video ref is needed.
    Liverpool back line steps up , Valencia is clearly a yard off but the linesman doesn’t move with the last defenders and is in no position to make the call on a player that’s three yards away.

    There’s absolutely no logical explanation for not using technology that’s available.

  8. Just in the interests of accuracy, your last sentence is incorrect. Spuds stay second on goal difference with same points as Liverpool.

    1. Thank you for catching that. The live table I was using had them third for some reason and I didn’t look too close.

  9. Where do people go for their football news? I’ve been using soccer net for years but their blatant Man United bias is beyond nauseating. Suggestions?

  10. Is it really 7 offside goals in a row? I recall a few. Mikhitaryan against Sunderland, one against West Ham, the last one at Lpool and maybe one against Hull. But can someone list those 7 offside goals?

  11. 7 offisides in 7 matches? ugh i hate united. how many points did that earn them? i imagine some were loss->draw and some were draw->win.

    that’s probably more egregious than the 3 offsides calls that went against our boys against city.

    shit is bananas. B A N A N A S.

  12. i don’t take anything from alexis’ reaction to being substituted. he’s disappointed with his substitution because he’s obsessed with being recognized as the best player on the planet; he wants the ronaldo/messi fame. playing against a team that’s conceded more goals than any other team in the league, there is a real opportunity for alexis to pad his numbers but that’s taken away when he’s substituted. his first desire is to win and his second desire is to beat the likes of diego costa to the scoring title. that’s my take on alexis.

    1. what would be more significant is if arsenal were losing and he were to get substituted. that suggests that the boss thinks the best way back into the game is with someone other than you on the pitch.

  13. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with Arsenal. I think one of his dogs just got knackered, and he’s worried about the poor tyke.

    1. Competence aside, Jon Moss is one of the most Arsenal-favored referees in terms of our record in games where he was the ref. He was also the ref in the FA Cup Final 2015.

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