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Alexis Has Me Smitten

Well this is weird. I've sort of gotten used to having to moan about everything. The team, the performance, the injuries, the lot. Instead, I'm feel a bad case of the optimism coming on. 

I mean, we didn't play that great, and we still have nearly a full team out on the injury table, which is just ridiculous. We still have Monreal playing at centre-back, which is one of the biggest liabilities imaginable. His knack of drifting out wide and playing in his more accustomed left-back role continues to leave our towering German sloth flailing about in desperation, trying his absolute best to catch up to strikers who are about five bazillion times quicker than him. Anyone who has seen Per Mertesacker play knows that one-on-ones against fast opponents generally end badly.

Yet despite that, my comfortable cloud of pure misery seems to be giving way to an increasingly strong beam of positivity. In my mind, it looks a bit like this:

You see, it is the wonder that be Alexis Sanchez that gives me this peculiar feeling of hope. Even though our entire Arsenal team is playing as bad as they currently are, our feisty little bulldog of a Chilean continues to convince me into turning for him. I already love the man more than I ever loved van Penis, mainly thanks to his obvious love of football. It's a wonder he hasn't pulled his pants off and started humping the ball yet, although, having said that, I haven't seen him in his free time. I'm not one to judge.

Even though the goals he scored against Sunderland and Burnley weren't particularly special, the effort he puts in makes everything he does seem remarkable. I've never seen a player deserve a goal as much as Alexis does every single time he steps onto the pitch. I'd probably say a hat-trick would be better reward for the work he relentlessly does.

I knew he would be a good signing, but I'm not sure anyone expected him to be carrying the entire squad just ten games in. 35 million is starting to look like an absolute bargain for him. I'd honestly have him over Suarez any day. Bite me.

I also feel bad for doubting the club's decision over Welbeck. He hasn't played that well in all fairness, but his pace just adds another worry for the opposition's defence. It's created space on many occasions for Alexis to do his wonderful thing in, which is extremely valuable. He's got some work to do on his finishing and decision-making, but I see a lot of promise in that kid. I feel more comfortable having him leading the line than I do with Giroud.

The other thing that's been lifting my spirits ever so slightly is the long-awaited return of Theo Walcott. It's about time. We've missed him sorely, as we've lacked a true outlet in the team. Theo's brilliant at running very quickly and then scoring very quickly, and that's just what we need right now. I feel confident that with his return and Alexis' total domination of anyone who dares face him, our performances will start to pick up.

Both the Sunderland and Burnley games were improvements on the preceding matches, and this can only be a good sign. We were more or less in control for both, and we didn't hit the self-destruct button once. Instead, it was Sunderland who did that, with Vito Mannone handing us a couple of gifts. Without his help, I'm not sure we would've walked away from the Stadium of Light with three points, so I'm extremely happy that Vito decided to thank us for our time together in the manner he did.

The Burnley game had a similar feeling of fortune to it, but this time the source was in one of our own players. At the end of the match, I think every Arsenal fan felt like the luckiest person in the world to have Alexis Sanchez on their favourite football team. As we should. Just imagine if he chose Liverpool. Horrible thought.

The two games were some of the easiest we will experience this season, but that's precisely what we needed to get our season back on track. Now sporting a greatly increased level of confidence, we'll face Anderlecht, Swansea, Manchester United, and then Borussia Dortmund in our four upcoming games. I think they go in order of difficulty, which might be beneficial in the same confidence-building way. Four wins out of four may be wishful thinking, but it would also be pretty awesome. Fingers crossed.

Other than Theo, there's not much as far as team news goes. Koscielny's absence continues to haunt us along with Debuchy's, although Ozil's may not be all that terrible. In no way am I saying I'm happy he's injured; I would never say that about any Arsenal player, but his time on the sidelines has allowed Alexis to move central and make that number ten role his own. Wenger himself said he liked him in that space just behind the striker, which I agree with given his recent performances. Ozil hasn't impressed nearly as much there, putting his future game time upon his return to fitness somewhat in doubt.

That probably won't be very helpful for him, as it seems he needs confidence in order to succeed. Dropping him in favour of a new signing can't do that too much good, so I'm not sure how Wenger will handle that. Either way, deciding between Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil is probably one of the best decisions Arsene will ever have to make. I'm not too worried.

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Tags: Sanchez, Alexis

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