Chileans to conduct 'National march for Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal'
Alexis Sanchez's plight has not gone unnoticed by his countrymen
What’s the story?
You read the headline correctly, and no, we are not trolling you. A Chilean facebook page has come up titled “Marcha Nacional para que Alexis Sanchez deje el Arsenal” – which in English translates to “National march for Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal” and as of the time of writing this report, there are over 7 and half thousand people interested in going while over 6 thousand people have confirmed their attendance.
The page description gives the reason why everyone is so mad at Arsenal -
“The Chilean people are tired to see one of our stars working by himself so his team could move ahead. We don't want him to play for [Real] Madrid, nor return to Barcelona. The truth is that we don't give a **** where he would play, we just want to see him fighting alongside another 10 [players] to get results. No longer alone.”
In case you didn’t know
Alexis Sanchez is a national hero having guided Chile to their first ever Copa America title (in 99 years of trying) in 2015 – and then came and repeated the feat the next year in Copa America Centenario 2016, both times defeating the Lionel Messi-led favourites Argentina in the final.
He is having a horrid season as Arsenal lurches through a roller-coaster season that has afforded some remarkable highs (that 3-0 evisceration of Chelsea stands out) to some pretty bad lows (none worse than their 5-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich day before) and the Chileans’ lament has been echoed across the footballing world... even the bastions of Arsenal fandom.
The heart of the matter
While I mentioned horrid season it is not the case for Sanchez on an individual level – he’s been consistently excellent and has kept finding the back of the net in his new centre-forward role, but the support cast around him has failed him miserably, especially in this second half of the season. At times what the Chileans’ have said has come true as for all the world it looked only Sanchez was playing... like only he gave a damn.
He has been involved in numerous post-match bust-ups in the dressing room, publicly showing his disgust by flinging his gloves to the ground on more than one occasion and the image of a crestfallen and utterly frustrated Sanchez has come to define this period of crisis that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are enduring.
While the march set to go on and with the likelihood of nearly 10,000 making it for the event on the 1st of March at the Plaza Baquedano in Calle Providencia, Providencia, Chile (in case you were interested in booking tickets), the pressure on both Arsenal and Alexis Sanchez will simply continue to build unless they undergo a remarkable turnaround in the League and enjoy a long run into the FA Cup.
The likely separation of the two (i.e. Alexis leaving Arsenal) is the most realistic end game.
Alexis Sanchez is a wonderful player and a hard worker who gives his all to the shirt he turns out in. With this in mind, it’s perfectly understandable why he cuts such a frustrated figure so very often. While Arsenal will be hoping that he stays, but if Arsenal continue on such a path, it will simply create a poisonous atmosphere at the Emirates that will be hugely detrimental to both club and player.
Which is why they should start looking for replacements already like the excellent Khuswant Ramesh has suggested – 5 left-wingers Arsenal could sign to replace a disgruntled Alexis Sanchez