The game between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Etihad stadium was billed by the football media as being about a clash between two of the shining stars of the Premier League this season, Alexis Sanchez and Sergio Aguero. It did not really happen that way and it is fair to say that our new superstar did not have his best or most effective game.
On the face of it anyway, although it is a little harsh to expect the Chile international striker to win every game for us and he still put in plenty of work to keep the Man City defence and midfield busy. And as usual, Alexis defended from the front, but was not quite as remarkable because he was joined by all of his team mates.
There is an argument that the battling performance we saw from the Gunners at the home of the EPL champions would not have happened without the signing of Sanchez from Barcelona in the summer. We have already hear Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain raving about his attitude and desire, both on the pitch and in training and he does seem to be inspiring more effort from those around him.
Theo Walcott has even told Arsenal Player that he thinks his new team mate has become the role model for all the other Arsenal players, as well as bringing true quality to the team with his technical ability, pace, power, finishing and vision.
Walcott said, “You see somebody working so hard and it makes you want to try to back him up.
“When you see what he does off the pitch, behind the scenes at the training ground, and how much work he puts in, all the players just stand up and think ‘Yeah, I need to a bit more as well then’.
“It’s about getting that balance right. We told him during the Christmas period to relax a little bit, but he still cracked on with his gym work! He’s that sort of person – nothing will make him tired. It’s healthy to see, because the Premier League is very fast, but he’s coped with it fine.
“He is amazing because he spots things that a lot of players won’t. I tend to make my runs off the ball and he is always looking for that. He drags more players on to him, which creates more space for other people and I do the same thing.
“It is a great balance and once I am fully fit, I think it is going to be some force for the Premier League to handle.”
It certainly should be, but is Alexis’ example to his team mates just as important as his ability?