Arsenal might have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, but they only lost out on the away goals rule. There was one major concern for Arsenal and that is the form of their talisman, Alexis Sanchez, he didn’t look at his best and hasn’t been the crazy goal scorer or assist maker that he was at the start of the season.
Sanchez has played 39 games in all this season and has started the most number of games in the squad as well, that is some telling but there is always a need for a rest and that has been sorely missing for the talented Chilean.
Arsenal might need to play the Chilean all the time but he does need a break, especially since he has played in Spain for quite a few years, where the winter break is a boon for most footballers, that is something not possible in the Premier League thanks to the Christmas fixtures and the fact that they have 2 cup competitions for all the top teams.
Much needed R&R for Alexis
Most Arsenal fans would be worried by the prospect of having to rest someone like Alexis but they should not fret, the likes of Ozil and Giroud have started firing again and they still have the likes of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Cazorla pulling the strings in attack. They also have a wealth of talent in midfield which can help in the rotation needed to give Sanchez the break he needs.
Alexis is such a player who probably will never complain about fatigue and is always giving more than 100% on the field that is something that every manager wants but sometimes a player needs to understand that skipping a game in 3 months can actually help their recovery, especially in a league as physical as the Premier League.
There I also the issue of the International break coming up and in all probability, Alexis will be in action for the Chilean team, the travel does have an impact on the form and condition of a player and Arsene should be wary of Alexis’ condition. Burnout of a player has happened earlier at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil comes to mind last season, he started really well but then his season petered out in the second half.
The same might be happened to Alexis, he has not scored in his last 11 games, that is a worry for sure and his need for a rest is blatantly obvious. Newcastle might be a good chance to give him a break but knowing Arsene, he might play Sanchez at the risk of injury and loss of form just to ensure that Arsenal have their best XI out as they only have domestic honours to play for.