Wenger: I don’t understand Alexis anxiety

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Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t understand why people are so anxious about the fact Alexis Sanchez has not put pen-to-paper on a new deal at the Emirates.

Talks about a contract extension have been put on hold until the end of the season leading to renewed speculation that the Chilean international will push for a move this summer. Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain and Juventus are touted as leading contenders for the 28-year-old’s signature.

Quizzed about the importance of Sanchez pledging his future to the club, Wenger – choosing to ignore the premature sale of previous ‘contract rebels’ – framed his response around the player’s short-term on-pitch commitment. He did much the same in December too. 

“He has one and a half years [left on his] contract, I don’t see what suddenly all that debate is about,” Wenger told press ahead of West Ham’s visit to the Emirates on Wednesday.

“We are professional football people. Our job is to perform so long as we are somewhere.

“When I sign a contract I commit until the last day of my contract, that is what it is to be professional.

“I do not understand this kind of anxiety one and a half years before the end of contracts. It’s absolutely denying what a professional guy is about.”

While there are some sections of the media questioning whether Alexis is running his socks off for the Gunners cause, in this instance it’s fair to say the concern (and the angle the journalist was trying to work on this occasion) is more about whether or not Arsenal Football Club will sell their star man to a potential rival this summer with a view to cashing in on him before he’s allowed to leave on a free in July 2018.

And the reason for that concern is very much down to our history of doing exactly that with Messrs Nasri and van Persie.

Wenger has previously suggested that Alexis and Ozil will be kept until the end of their current deals although that was a while ago and the power definitely feels like it has shifted to the players.

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Sunil T

stop all the chat and sign the dam thing

IamaGoober

“I do not understand this kind of anxiety one and a half years before the end of contracts. It’s absolutely denying what a professional guy is about.” Like, what? Nobody is worried about Alexis not playing to force a deal through out of petulance, we all know he isn’t going to do that. What freaks us out is the fact he is clearly saying no to a new deal at Arsenal, combined with the subsequent suggestion in the media that he is lining a potential move to Chelsea after we let him go on a free!! And we all know… Read more »

GoonerN16

Get a grip @goober. It’s all just speculation and tittle tattle and speculation at this point.
If he wants out PSG (any club not in PL) is fine by me, before next season. ….

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

We don’t ACTUALLY KNOW what’s going on, but from the outside it seems Alexis’ agents have been 2 steps ahead of Arsenal this whole time. Arsenal tried to deny him a move in the summer and said they’d rather he left on a free, so his agent said fine, in that case we’ll go to Chelsea. They basically gave the club 2 options: sell Alexis abroad this summer or he goes to a rival the following season. Here’s my take on the whole thing. I think he’s the most important person in our team and the one to make us… Read more »

IamaGoober

@GoonerN16 What do you mean get a grip? Where have you been the last 10 years? Every good player we’ve ever had we’ve sold them, and a fair few of those player sales have been to our direct rivals, well more then a fair few. You’ve got quotes from the player himself saying he wants to stay in London and see out his deal at Arsenal. You’ve got Wenger practically saying the same thing so I don’t think you can just say its down to ‘speculation and tittle tattle’ when you have multiple reliable media sources backing up quotes from… Read more »

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

What a load of bollocks, I’m fining it hard to remain a Wenger in fan. What’s up with the hold up?!? Are the club seriously that fucking stupid to think if they just stay quiet that they may be able to ride it out? Like the fans are just being spoiled and unreasonable? Turns out top 4 actually was like a trophy this whole time? Have they just completely lost the plot? How pathetic from the manager and every single person above him. Surely someone can just come out and explain what the hold up. If they want Wenger to… Read more »

Pedant

The power is with the players and if they demand to go they will be off, we can’t afford to lose £50m or whatever.

I’d take a new Arsenal board of switched-on football people that push and help Wenger above losing him as our manager.

clins

i’d say it is better to sell him to psg or juventus than risk loosing him to chelsea . loosing him for free to chelsea would be an absolute embarassment .

ramgooner

What is absolutely embarrassing is us resigned to losing him half way through the season instead of backing the team and the manager. If we were half as good as Leicester fans we would have won the league last year.
Having made a few more additions and having gone on a 20 game unbeaten run earlier this season, we should have backed the team. Instead, many chose to go on a ‘melt down mode’ as soon as we lost to Everton and City.

Stuck on repeat...

Think your comment is a little harsh. Genuinely believe that the fan base spotted, identified & became vocal about what are clearly ongoing issues within the club. These have ranged from the continual long term injury problems we have faced, failure to get key players to commit early to contract extensions, a distinct lack of ambition in almost every competition, & so so many more. The board have either been unaware of all of these, or more criminally have decided to deliberately ignore them in the sole interests of profit. You forget as well that the players themselves have put… Read more »

Greg

No the players did that

jgunner

our club is an embarrassment

Glocken

Supposedly the whole point of keeping Arsene Wenger as Manager is because he always gets top four.

If he doesn’t make top four this year then what is the point of keeping him?

Can anybody make a sensible case of him remaining Manager except out of sentiment and for what he has done previously?

I would generally love to hear a concise argument for him staying.

Chris Hamilton

I think the only valid argument for him staying is for the transitioning of the club backroom structure. I think it would be foolish to say ‘just appoint another manager’, as this isn’t how the club currently operates – there is not another manager in the world in his position, so a ‘like for like’ isn’t ever going to be available. Plus it couldn’t be any more apparent that he seems to be the only one with any kind of Football knowledge at a decision making level and if he were depart in three months time when his contract is… Read more »

GoonerN16

Exactly Mr Hamilton, a transition season make’s far more sense to me. No point in cutting of our nose to spite our face (next season)..

clins

i can clearly understand that we need a transitionary period to put proper structure in place for incoming manager . but what i still cant wrap my head around something is that why didint the board think of this earlier . i mean they had years of knowledge in advance that wenger is gonna retire very soon . why didint they put anything resembling a transitionary step . personally i would’ve loved to see our board take such prempitve steps , but as of this moment , right now it just feels like board is just finding excuses so that… Read more »

Zombie Gooner

It doesn’t take a year plus to find a new manager and there’s no guarantee if you do take that long that it will be any better. If we bring in someone soon, we have a better chance of keeping Alexis.

Jacob

There’s trying to kick things under the carpet, then there’s hiring a digger, burying them under a carpark, and filling the hole with cement.

When is someone at the club gonna stand up and sort out this absolute mess?

Stepovernov

And we’ve seen this movie before.

Jacob

That’s the worst bit of it all, isn’t it? Christ, we lost Flamini to AC Milan 6 years ago by messing around and delaying with his contract, you’d have thought someone might have said ‘I tell you what, we’ll learn our lesson from that, once contracts get down to the 30 month mark we’ll get them done quickly and efficiently behind the scenes, especially with big players’. I can’t remember a point in my 20 years supporting this club where so many things have been so uncertain. And the saddest thing is, the only people who will definitely be here… Read more »

Toure motors

Sean Spicer just appointed head of communications

GoonerN16

Oh no! Not THAT bad surely…

Gio

“When I sign a contract I commit until the last day of my contract, that is what it is to be professional.”

Unfortunately, very few people in football share those values.

Faisal Narrage

Oh I’m sure Alexis would have no problems whatsoever committing to the rest of his contract as a professional, and walking away for free.

But would arsenal let him.

Jordan Welch

It will be naive of us if we let him.

Ex-Priest Tobin

We should sell Sanchez, he deserves better than our has-been manager. I’m beginning to think Mourinho was right in everything he’s ever said about Wenger. His dissembling is so obvious and frustrating.

Crowd noise PA system

Oi!! You crossed a sensitive line there with your Mourinho comment. What an appalling thing to say.

Art Van delay

Vile human being you mate.

Public Elneny Number One

Wenger is staying and Alexis isn’t, we all know it but of course they won’t come out and say as much offically right now because if they do there will probably be riots at The Emirates (very quiet riots)

JDizzle

You just get a like for the name =)

Gianni the Lapin

If this is really the case, who could we buy to replace Alexis? Reus?

Dawn

We’ve been playing with 10 men for a while now! Anyone who plays for the team would be a step up from a 10 to 11 man TEAM

Sid

What’s there not to understand? It’s simple really. We’re anxious because he’s arguably our most important player and of course we don’t want to lose him. The fact that he hasn’t committed his future with pretty much one more season left will make any arsenal fan anxious.

Rogerbij

Youre right of course, but Wenger knows he must not lose face or the media hawks will circle and the agents games will be ramped up. He is just trying to cool the temperature a little and keep everyone calm. Its all a big card game, lots of bluffs and table talk going on.

Red-Wing

I think Wenger might want to keep Sanchez and Ozil for next season and hope for it to be a great one and that they will therefore sign new contracts halfway through it.

clins

i think wenger would want to keep them for a final push to win the title next season that has eluded from him for a long time . though that maybe a poor one as a) he’s not gonna win it. b) they will leave as free agents and we wont get a penny c) worst of all sachez is likely to join chelsea

Pete

Sanchez is leaving, just like all those other top-class players who couldn’t be bothered to wait for Wenger to build a competitive team. Wenger claims Arsenal had to see for the money, which is pure lies – they left because their careers were stagnating. Fans will abuse those players, like they will probably abuse Sanchez, but you want players with ambition, you want players that are happy to stay but will threaten to leave if the club is in stasis. Otherwise, you end up with a squad full of fucking pussies like we have now.

zzzz

Please Sanchez and Ozil are both part of our team. Whenever they loose, they loose as a team.

Sir

If Sanchez is good player he should be scoring every game. Very sick and tied of him he is not better than other players. We might do better without him.

GunnerDareMacedonia

That is a 99.9 % risk even if we win the league with them they could still go on on a free as they would be offered astronomical wages. And if they really don’t want to stay and only be happy to run their contracts down then sell them immediately in June so we can rebuild in time, there is no point druging this all summer and at the end for nothing.

I would rather club also focus on the renaming players they want to stay and have only 1 year left like OX, Wislhere and Ramsey

Frankie

I hate to be the negative one but this is once again compete denial of our problems. Of course we’re worried about Alexis’ contract, yeah we could hold him to it till it’s end but then we’d lose him for free and that’s no good either. Don’t treat us like idiots and think we can’t see the dangers of the situation.

Faisal Narrage

This is one of those moments where you’re not sure if Wenger is intentionally being obtuse and trying to annoy us, or he genuinely doesn’t understand the concern, which if it is the latter, is REALLY a concern, because if he genuinely doesn’t get people’s concern about us selling our star player running down his contract, then what else does he not get about fans current fears? Wenger is basically saying “why are you so concerned about history repeating itself even though it has seemingly repeated itself plenty of times these past few years?” And that, in a nutshell is… Read more »

ChrisGoona

I think you are wrong on both suspicions. I am pretty sure he knows there is a real risk of losing Alexis this summer. He dropped the guy not long ago for sulking during our pathetic away defeat to Buyern. There are obvious issues with the player.

Letting the situation play out in the public eye will weaken our ability to have any chance of keeping the player. That is why he is trying to deflate the situation and speculation.

He is doing his best to protect Arsenal, lying to the media is part of it.

PBM

Finally a objective sensible comment…

Crowd noise PA system

Maybe it’s because none of us commenting on here are privy to the internal affairs at the club and what he says is actually how it is: they are all waiting for the end of the season before anything moves forward. Everything else you read, hear or click on is just the media trying to make money for themselves, that is the line of business they are in after all, and did nobody teach you to take everything you read, hear or click on with a pinch of salt?

Faisal Narrage

What are you on about?
Who said anything about the media? I’m talking about Wenger and himself and his own words.

And as for why should we believe he’s just playing a game? He was absolutely adamant he wouldn’t sell either Van P or Nasri, claiming he would let them run down their contract.

The question is Wenger playing a game or does he genuinely believe what he’s saying? My point is if it’s the latter, then that’s an even bigger worry.

GunnAlex

Somebody should ask Wenger if he has heard of Lewandowski.

GunnAlex

Seems I’m getting downvoted. My assumption was others would share my sarcasm on this one, as currently we face a similar contract run-down robert had. If our anxiety is not being misplaced.

Mootilated

Let’s just say that we do not exactly have the best reputation of holding in to out best players. Maybe that’s why?

Igbo Amadi-Obi

He does not understand the anxiety because the man still has one year and a half (actually one season and 2 months) left on his contract? Is he kidding me or is he being honest? It would be scandalous if ge was being honest. Perhaps he feels we should wait till the very end of Alexis’ contract in 2018, just like we are doing with his. Is that the kind of organisation we have become?

Kake

Oh then it’s nothing to worry about, I’m relieved……..

catbiscuits

Not much point in getting worked up about these comments. They’re just part of the negotiating game (trying to maximise the money we get for him).

optimist habila

I believe Arsenal don’t have to qualify for UCL to keep Sanchez. What is keey is the board’s intent and ambition. We have seen man United and Chelsea retain and woo top flight players to their clubs although not playing in the UCL. Sanchez can stay as long as the board convinces him they have higher ambition. Even bigger players can rush to the Emirates if the the board splashes the money. That’s what should happen at Arsenal.

donald\'s trump

He’s becoming quite annoying now, and needs to stop blowing his own trumpet. Banging on about how he built Arsenal himself and again today bragging about the fucking fourth place trophy.

I think there will be some revelations soon about his connections with Russia and how Putin is keeping him in power to help Chelsea win the league. Back channeling, FBI, CIA, wiretaps. Trump and Wenger seem to have loads in common.

JB_

I think the best case scenario at this point is for us to give him a new deal this summer with a massive wage increase and some sort of clause allowing him leave next summer if a big enough offer from abroad comes in and he still wants out.

It’s pretty much win win for him then as he’ll get paid a lot more next year (if it’s true we’re keeping him) and would still get his move if things haven’t progressed by next summer.

Other clubs have done this with pretty good success e.g. Suarez at Liverpool..

Faisal Narrage

Why is that a win for Sanchez?
Why risk pricing himself out when he can just wait an extra year and have is choice of any top club bar Barca and with a massive signing on bonus on top of a £300kpw wage we probably can’t match now?

Rob67

Ok ! I get he has to say this. But we know the ending. We’ve seen this flic before. The suggestion is that Sanchez is very keen on Chelsea. Less so on a European club. So it’s not will he leave ? But can he be kept away from Chelsea ?

Otto von B.

If Arsenal sell Sanchez for £however many millions that is largely irrelevant, if the proceeds are spent getting replacements. The fact that in all the time we have had money and needed to retool the squad ( think about the mustafi signing debacle) we have been so indecisive is a much bigger problem. How is it that Sp*rs have for years been able to attract Lloris, Vertonghen, Aldereweid (?) who could all play in our team displacing the current incumbents and manage that on a lower wage bill.
Maybe because their hierarchy is more passionate about their club?

PBM

Didn’t they buy all of those players along with Eriksen and Lamela with the ridiculously large fee they got for Bale at that time ? And for the first couple of years everyone was saying how badly they spent that money. And wouldn’t that support the idea of selling an unhappy Sanchez abroad for as much as we can get and re-investing the money rather than letting him walk free to an English rival in 18 months ?

Oh No Not Again

Put him up for sale and make the clubs fight for him and pay over the odds. If you don’t want to be at a team you should go I would rather have players that want to be there and play than good players not wanting to be at the club.

Hope we can get about 50 mil for him in August.

Lord Bendtner

There is supposed to be talk about players being sold when they’re on their last one and a half year. Of course, if the player is a highprofile/top-class one, there will be talk, if the player is is a not-so-tip-top-toppy one, there will be some or no talk. Sanchez is a top top class player, so the talk is natural.
Now, sign dat ting!

bazza_wicks

its a no brainer if any player wants to go on short contracts they will be off we have to cash in on them no matter their status, modern high profile players want the trophies and medals they are already rich beyond belief,why no offers for Ox seems strange not sure if wenger stays he will sign either its all so wish wash we may be on point for the the money side of the club but the other important issues are left to one man is this the trait that fails us now modern times demand modern ways

vino

He’s obviously had a think about how to handle the inevitable questions about this one today and it’s a pretty disingenuous line. Didn’t enjoy it myself.

We all know how it works and we all know that the player is in a strong position precisely because of the length of contract. The anxiety isn’t about wether he will play while under contract or not, it’s wether he’ll stay.

L\'Cham

Interestingly no one has mentioned that maybe the contract negotiations aren’t going to happen until the summer because it’ll be up to a new manager to decide their fates. Or for the players to decide if they want to stay and play for the new manager.

Lula da Gilberto

Both Ozil and Sanchez are 28 and late into it. Sure its not ideal that they go on a Bosman but I wonder whether its right to consider it rather than paying them the extra 200,000 thousand or so for 72 weeks that they seem to be demanding. Presuming Ozil’s contract is the same (point still stands though if it isn’t), that’d be approx an extra £30mill+ to keep them and, I know this might be unpopular as a view, I’m not sure they (Ozil particularly) deserve a huge pay rise, and I’m not sure how many suitors there will… Read more »

Jdog

I don’t understand why some of the ‘economists’ amongst us are so hell bent on selling him for x or y price. It’s not like the fans get to profit in any way from any money Arsenal make from the sale. It’s also unlikely Arsenal will re-invest the full amount into a replacement. Even if they did, price inflation means we would have to likely spend a lot more to get anyone near his level of quality, including wages, agent fees, likely lack of champions league, etc. Why not keep him for his contract and re-invest around him in an… Read more »

Dawn

I’m never open to blackmail, no matter who or the reason! He’s also selfish and arrogant.

Jez Winnington

Think it is funny people on here (with no history as working in football (just fans)) Telling us all exactly what the board are doing wrong and that the reason they don’t make the right decisions is because they have no history of working in football? If you were offered a job on the board would you turn it down because no matter how much you watch football/feel strongly about the way it should be played etc. You have never played professionally? Have you listened to some pundits who have amazing playing careers but talk crap? José mourinho never kicked… Read more »

Paul

Arsene me old mate, the “anxiety” is about a player who has turned down a contract offer. That means that if he turns down another offer from us in the Summer he will be sold immediately so the club will get lots of millions for him rather than making him serve the full “year and a half” you speak about and leave on a free! It’s not difficult to understand the “anxiety” is it, Arsene???
You are treating the internet fan base like children me old mate…

Dr Whale

Honestly, Sanchez can go to hell. He is one of our major problems. He kills attack on multiple occasions with his hollywood dribbles. He do not like passing to anyone that is not Ozil in the final third. Yet others pass ball to him. Has he ever celebrated with Walcott before? And last season with Giroud? Such men is not what attract me to arsenal. I say SELL HIM. Aubemeyang (madrid not showing interest), Griezman, and so on are all available. Do not forget that Sanchez plays his best football so far in arsenal. Those players can be better if… Read more »