Tag Archives: Robert Pirès

Alexis Sanchez GONE – Some thoughts

The Robert Pires quotes

Over the weekend, Arsenal legend Bobby Pires has come out with some interesting quotes about how happy Alexis Sanchez was in London and that he is leaving because Arsenal could not match his ambition.

“Alexis wanted to stay at Arsenal. I have not talked to him, but what I see, what I smell, is that he was very good in London, very good in Arsenal. What Alexis wanted was for Arsenal to spend money on other players.”

These quotes will, as usual, lead some to come out and abuse the Frenchman. Unacceptable.

However, these quotes from Pires do need to be taken with a pinch of salt, as the first thing Pires says is “I have not talked to him”.

Therefore, this is no more than Pires’ opinion on the matter, that he thinks (not that he knows) that Sanchez is leaving because Arsenal would not spend money on other players. That they could not match his ambition.

Alexis Sanchez’s ambition

Robert Pires is right in the fact that Arsenal failed to match Alexis Sanchez’s ambition, but not in the way he, or others, probably think.

The move has nothing to do with trophies, nothing to do with signing players, and everything to do with pound, shilling and pence.

Sanchez, like so many others before him, left for the money.

If he wanted success, he would have gone to Bayern Munich last summer, or Manchester City this window. But he picked Manchester United.

He went for £450k a week, £15m in his own pocket as a signing on fee, and an additional £12m for his agent. That is why he left.

“He has gone to Manchester United to win trophies. To play Champions League football” is the line being put out by many.

It is almost like people have forgotten that in the 3 years he was at Arsenal, Sanchez has won two FA Cups.

OK, it might not be the league title, but Manchester United have been no closer to winning the league than Arsenal in that time.

In fact, since Sir Alex Ferguson left, Manchester United have failed to finish above Arsenal.

They will, of course, finish above Arsenal this year but, 12 points behind Manchester City, they are not in the title race.

Had Sanchez joined Manchester United instead of Arsenal back in 2014, he would have a FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League medal in his locker.

It will be hilarious come the end of the season if Arsenal finish with a trophy (or two) and Manchester United, and Alexis Sanchez, finish potless.

Sanchez moving to win things? He is moving for the money.

Selling to a rival

After Robin van Persie we were told that we would “not sell to a rival again”.

Whilst it is frustrating that we are losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, to then label Arsene Wenger a “liar” is childish.

What would you prefer? Arsenal to not be swapping Sanchez for Mkhitaryan? To let his contract go to zero and then join Manchester United for nothing? So at least we can say that we “did not sell Sanchez to a rival”.

Arsenal are getting a good deal.

No one is bigger than The Arsenal

From Brady to Henry, top players have left Arsenal in the past. Alexis Sanchez is not the first to make the move from London to Manchester, and will not be the last.

He is not even the best player to have left Arsenal for Manchester United.

No player is bigger then the club. Last I looked, it was not Alexis FC, it was Arsenal FC. THE Arsenal Football Club.

Keenos

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How do The Invincibles and Class of 2017 compare?

Yesterday Arsene Wenger cam out and claimed his current crop of forwards was the best options he has had in his 2 decades at the club, surpassing the invicibles:

“Certainly numbers-wise and quality-wise together [they are the best],” Wenger said ahead of today’s clash with struggling Watford.

“We had never so many players who could perform and score goals – certainly never.

“Dennis and Thierry had the quality but we did not have a large number. We had Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires as well so it was not bad.”

Many have used this of further proof that Arsene Wenger is a deluded old man who has gone senile. It is further quotes to prove that he now looks at the current set up through rose tinted glasses.

Arsenal’s current forward options are: Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil & Lucas Perez. How can these compare to Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Kanu and Sylvain Wiltord. The invincibles.

Well the statistics do make for interesting reading:

Invincibles v Class of 2017

goals-in-order

So the Invincibles scored a goal every 2.96 games. Whilst the Class of 2017 are a goal every 3.01 games. Almost nothing in it. We are talking about a 5 minute difference. But of course, it disproves Arsene Wenger’s point. The Invincibles were superior goal scorers, but only just. And probably not by as much as people think.

For me there are main differences between the two groups of players is top end quality. The Invincibles had Thierry Henry.

Henry is by far and away the most clinical player out of the 12 players and the primary reason that the Invincibles scored more than the Class of 2017.

A minor reason is Dennis Bergkamp against Mesut Ozil. Bergkamp was much more of a striker than Mesut Ozil. Scored more goals.

Henry better than Giroud, Bergkamp better than Ozil. When you combine all 12 players into a single long list, it makes equally as interesting reading.

Long List

long-list

This list further proves that Henry was superior to every other player. Our greatest goal scorer of all time. But the next two on the list are interesting. Both from the Class of 2017. This shows that whilst the Invincibles were heavily reliant on goals from Henry, the Class of 2017 has two goal scoring options.

Lucas Perez has to kind of be disregarded as he has played so few games to make a true judgement.

You then have the next 5. Pires, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Welbeck & Walcott. Very similar games to goal ratio.

So the Invincibles had the best goal scorer, but the Class of 2017 had the better options.

Player v Player

side-by-sideA last comparison is just seeing players per their position.

Again, this highlights the importance of Henry and Bergkamp. Henry is vastly superior to Giroud. Bergkamp better than Ozil. This is not exactly ground breaking news.

On the left hand side, Sanchez out scores Pires, which again is not exactly surprising. Sanchez is better than Pires.

The right hand side of the midfield might surprise you. Walcott is more dangerous than Ljungberg.

Wiltord and Welbeck are both hardworking strikers who also cover the wide positions. Wiltord had played a lot more than Welbeck, but their record is identical.

Lastly we have Perez v Kanu. Not similar in style, but they are the lost ones left. Kanu on his day was a game changer, but was extremely inconsistent. A scorer of great goals, rather than a great goal scorer.

 

I think it is wrong to compare the Invincibles to the Class of 2017. The Invincibles won league titles, and went unbeaten. Add in a lot of FA Cups. Whilst the current crop have just those 2 FA Cups to show for their efforts. But the comparison does make interesting reading, and the difference is not as much as you would think.

The difference is Bergkamp and Henry.

Keenos

Note: I know I spelt Wiltord’s name wrong in the pretty pictures

Arsenal Legends – What do they do now?

Arsenal-Legends-v-Milan-Glorie

A lot of fuss has been made recently over Arsenal not employing the likes of Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp. It got me thinking whilst watching the Arsenal Legends match…

What do the Arsenal Legends who played doing now?

Works at Arsenal

Freddie Ljungberg – Arsenal Under-16s coach.
Robert Pires – Arsenal Foundation Ambassador. Hangs about the training ground.
Gilles Grimandi – Arsenal scout.
Luis Boa Morte – Arsenal scout.

Works in Football (Not at Arsenal)

Gilberto Silva – Panathinaikos Technical Director
Pascal Cygan – Assistant coach at Belgian Second Division side KSV Roeselare.
Marc Overmars – Director of football at Ajax Amsterdam.

Still Plays

Kolo Toure – Still playing semi-professional football in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic.
Justin Hoyte – Let go by the Daggers over  the summer.

Charity

Nwankwo Kanu – Founded the Kanu Heart Foundation which helps young African children with heart defects. Kanu is also an ambassador for UNICEF. Founded his own soccer school based in Canada.

Media

Nigel Winterburn – Works as a freelance pundit and has provided analysis and comment on Sky Sports and talkSPORT as well as in print for publications such as the Daily Star.
Emmanuel Petit – Works  across many global stations, including ITV, as a pundit.
Ray Parlour – Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
Martin Keown – BBC Match of the Day pundit.
Jens Lehmann – Pundit across very networks including RTL & the BBC. Does a lot of work for The Willow Foundation which was set up by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson.

Businessman

Anders Limpar – Currently co-owner of Swedish plastic box company Super Lock and he also works as a distributor for nutritional supplement company Kyäni.

Fishing

David Seaman – Fishing

Keenos

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