Arsenal v Chelsea – Wenger reveals why Alexis will continue to play up front!

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has frustrated many fans so far this season by continuing to play a seemingly struggling Alexis Sanchez in an unfamiliar role, whilst we have just bought a striker for that exact purpose.

When Arsenal signed Lucas Perez, he may not have been everybody’s first choice. However the striker still gave Arsenal another option other than Olivier Giroud. With the Frenchman out of the side, many would’ve expected Wenger to put faith in Lucas and play the club’s newest addition up front. But instead, Wenger persisted with playing Alexis Sanchez up front, in a role he doesn’t seem entirely comfortable, nor convincing in.

Alexis managed to grab two goals in the 4-1 win over Hull last week and so his role up front for that game can be praised. However in some of the other Premier League matches, especially in that game vs Liverpool, Alexis was seen to be very much out of the game, largely due to the fact that his presence wasn’t physically dominating against the Liverpool back line.

Alexis offers pace and drive, but in an Arsenal team that likes to get balls into the box via the wing channels, it doesn’t play to Alexis’ biggest strengths and we have therefore seen him struggle.

Arsene Wenger however seems to believe that a role up top may be what is best for Alexis and given the boss’ latest comments on the Chilean, I think we may see Alexis continue as a striker for the time being. Wenger said: ‘I play Sanchez in the middle because at the moment he scores goals, he has a quality of runs in behind and he’s less busy doing defensive work on the flanks. That allows him to contribute more to the offensive power of the team because today the full backs go forward and he uses a lot of energy in the flanks.’

It is a fair point given that Alexis is often seen to be inefficient in his defensive contribution when he plays on the wing. In Arsenal’s team set up, the attacking winger needs to help cover the wing back when defending, as well as track back during opposition attacks. Alexis is good at winning the ball, but his offensive contributions sometimes also lack conviction as a result of using a lot of energy for defensive duties.

For Alexis to therefore put all of his energy and use on the pitch for attacking purposes, it makes our threat going forward a lot stronger. But are Arsenal better off with a player like Alexis up front, or on the wing?

In my opinion, as Arsenal now have two players in Alexis and Lucas, who can both either play as a striker or as a winger, I think it would be good for the pair to perhaps interchange, even so during matches. Both are capable of playing in either position and so when we play different styles of opposition, such as quicker centre backs, or stronger centre backs, we can alternate between the players to choose who is best fit to play against the opposition.

Should Alexis keep his striker role, or with Lucas and Giroud’s presence, should he be moved back out wide?



  1. Simon_MrMac says:

    Nice in theory but it’s simply and obviously not working in practice. He should stay on wing, contribute from there

    He tracks back well, has energy all over the pitch so let’s use it. If he can bag 15 goals, 20 from our striker we’ll be in good shape

  2. Trudeau says:

    It’s not his best position but it does allow Iwobi to keep his spot. I hope the lad works a bit harder without the ball today.

  3. muda says:

    I don’t always believe in wenger’s decisions but the reasoning behind this one Is worth a try.
    As he pointed:
    Alexis is scoring ATM (which is the main duty of a CF).
    Beside that I observed something else, if sanchez will revert to the wing now then one of our most inform players (Iwobi & Walcott) must lose his place.

    3rdly we won our last 3 league games with him up front, why complain???
    He’s a winger YES, but he played as CF before so it is not entire brand new experiment. #PEACE

    1. dragunov762mm says:

      The problem dude, Alexis is a dead card target man. He has no strength to hold up the ball and his mobility is useless there. If we going to sacrifice our target man to find the outlet for second line strikers, then Giroud is the best choice. No time for any experiment.

  4. Fatboy Gooney says:

    If Wenger is going to continue playing Sanchez as a striker then why did he warn the player not to help himself to taking the Penalties? ? like wtf! ? isn’t it normal for a Striker to take the spot kicks? ? or is because Sanchez’s goal bonuses is a lot higher than Cazorla’s? ? and thats the reason why Wenger prefers Cazorla to take them? Lol and lol again. Contradiction at its finest.

  5. dragunov762mm says:

    Perez has strength to hold up the ball as well as running with ball. He should be our target man. Alexis is a dribbler so he’s better when he can move freely to all area. Why the hell Arsene didn’t figure this yet? He needs medicine for this “wengeritis” problem.

  6. Gaurav says:

    If we want to play to alexis’ strength, we have to switch to 442 which is not suitable for özil

    walcott santi xhaka iwobi
    ———-perez sanchez——

  7. Arsenal_Girl says:

    If Alexis uses less energy in the middle and he is scoring goals then its worth giving it a longer try. May be Alexis will get even better in the position
    Perez can play LW. If Alexis stops scoring we have Giroud or Perez options
    I think when Giroud is 100% fit he will most likely return up front as long as Alexis is not scoring by that time

    That may be the reason Wenger got Perez instead of a Top striker and Top RW that most of us wanted. Wenger got cheap and thought to get a decent LW/striker and put Alexis up front and stick with Theo/Ox on the Right. If that doesnt work he can put Alexis back on the left and try Perez or Giroud. I would have preferred Wenger getting someone like Mahrez on the right, a Top striker up front, Alexis on the Left. But Wenger has made a serious gamble. Hope it pays off

    I don’t care whom plays where as long as we score goals and win matches

  8. Godswill says:

    I wonder if Wenger bought Perez to please us the fans.
    With time Perez can do better than Vardy we wanted to buy.
    Am not a fan of Alexis at 9.

  9. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    The reason Wenger doesn’t rotate is because of his dislike of paperwork. Once a team is selected he will simply photocopy last weeks team sheet and tippex out the date and add today’s date and submit.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs