Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Last Updated: 11/07/14 at 15:02

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Money > Suarez
I've just heard the news and if the rumours are correct, LFC are getting £75million for Suarez.

They can now buy numerous players to build that depth they so badly need. These new players won't be as good as Suarez but they also won't bite anyone or (hopefully) do anything else of that sort.

His freakish talents weren't enough to win the Premier League so they certainly wouldn't have been enough to get them through the added challenge of champions league football. Cashing in was really the only option, particularly when you take into account the ban, the risk of reoffending, and the fact he wanted to leave.

Suarez is gone but there's a stack of money to reinvest and I think that's a pretty good deal.
Olly, Brisbane

Liverpool Won't Do A Spurs

With a lot of talk from fans and pundits alike about the dangers of Liverpool pulling a Spurs with the windfall of cash they are to receive from the Suarez deal Liverpool's early dealings demonstrate that they are taking a much more cautious approach.

Spurs took several gambles when they spent their 85 million pounds worth of Gareth Bale money. They brought in an aging Spaniard (who historically struggle in the Premier League) a young talent from Italy (also have historically struggled in the Prem) and a host of other players not proven in the Premier League and expected them to start the first game of the season and click.

Liverpool on the other hand seems to going after Premier League experienced players to help aid their transition. Lallana, Lambert, along with the rumored Wilfried Bony and Dejan Lovren will add a layer of protection to Liverpool's investment as these players are already proven in the league.

Even the addition of Emre Can and Lazar Markovic are calculated risks given how players historically transition positively from the German and Portuguese leagues.

With Liverpool already having an established starting XI (sans Suarez replacement) most of the new players can be slowly integrated throughout the season providing them with a greater chance of success.

With the addition of new players to enhance the squad and a boat load of hungry youngsters on the verge of breaking through to the first team Liverpool are poised to compete successfully on four fronts.
Brian (Looking forward to watching Liverpool spank Arsenal again this year) LFC

...In a time where its in the interest of the media to go absolutely bonkers about Suarez going to Barca it exhausts me to listen to people talk about my beloved Liverpool. (I realise I do not own the club. Just like I don't own your mum but she is my beloved nonetheless)

Suarez is an immense player, prone to biting chaps. Once when he wanted to leave Ajax (he's still banned in Holland) and twice at the end of the season when he wanted to leave Liverpool. Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez even said he only found out the proposed deal to Barca was off after the England game, he then bit someone in the following game. This is either a modus operandi for a player to get his way or just the actions of a frustrated man, saying that both are wrong but I would prefer the latter. If just frustrated and a flash or violence it is more innocent, not premeditated. But unfortunately I feel it is the prior, a man trying to get his way to fulfil his ambition.

As a Liverpool fan I'm torn, I would let the guy bite me personally each week to have him at the club. Gordon Strachan was the only person in the media to speak sense on the issue "football doesn't have morales", and it doesn't. Suarez is the Cantona of this decade, nothing more. Flawed genius, driven to destruction by the same thing that makes him great.

Comparisons have been drawn to the Bale scenario last season but I think that's not the same. Tottenham in the season before Bale left were not setting the world alight, the system did not seem to be gelling so the system was to then changed to give the ball to Bale. When Bale went to Madrid the system which was not working under AVB then used with a host of new players, the papered over cracks were gaping.

Liverpool's system is solid, a bit shakey at the back (understatement) but Rodgers has shown he can make players better, something that is gold dust in the modern game.

It could all go horribly wrong, the signings are not blowing my mind but what do I know?

Back in the January when Torres left nobody could have foreseen what would happen. Carroll was the big signing and Suarez was the guy from Ajax standing beside him in the photos. But people love to speculate and people who know very little like to speculate even more. I'm happy to say I have no idea what will happen but I'll watch it nonetheless.
Derek, Ireland

It's Time To Diss Sanchez

Do any Arsenal fans rejoicing Sanchez watch Barcelona regularly? I do, he wasn't very good for them. Good pace but no trickery, sort of like Walcott actually. Every time it went out to him on the right it came diagonally backwards to Xavi. (Possibly due to tactics but who knows, he just doesn't beat players a lot)

Let's hope Chile's Sanchez turns up.
Silvio (Would take him over Antonio Valencia, but I'd much rather Di Maria) Dante

...At the age of 25 why would Barca let Sanchez go? What do they know that we don't.

My first thoughts were that I would love my club (Liverpool) to sign him as part of the Suarez deal but I never thought Barca would let him go. I also thought Madrid would never let Ozil go so I looked into it back then and found out tha Ozil hardly completed the full 90 minutes and was often missing in the big games, so why would Barca let this guy go?

I live in Spain and I can confirm that nobody is crying or wailing in the streets with the news that Sanchez is gone, I asked a few of my Barca-supporting friends and a shrug of the shoulders accompanied with comments like "we don't really need him" and "good money for him" told me all I need to know. He's hardly set the world alight although (with a quick check of Wiki) his goalscoring record is fairly impressive but Barca do tend to hump 75% of the league by quite a few goals.

If all these Gooners are creaming their pants in the same way they were about Ozil, can anyone shed any real light on why he was even available if he's THAT good?
Jimmy Stevens

...As I was reading this morning's mailbox, I did have a smile at all the Arsenal fans getting rather worked up about signing Alexis Sanchez, it's amzing how fans can swing frrom doom and gloom to delight and enthusiasm about the future of the club depsite relatively little changing. I'm sure they enjoyed winning the FA Cup (congrats), but just as winning one FA Cup in however many years does not mean that club has suddenly re-established itself as a highly competitive team, nor does signing one expensive player they may not even really need solve the squad issues.

As I recall, the main issues for arsenal last year were for 1. A prolific striker, 2. A genuinely combative, box-to-box midfielder and 3. a replacement right-back. Lets take each in turn :

1. Sanchez goals per game is 0.25. Arsenal were linked with Benzema (0.48 goals per game) and Higuain (0.47) and several others. I'd argue that Sanchez is nowhere near the calibre of a top drawer leading striker. Now, he is clearly a very creative and effective player, but Arsenal have plenty of those already, so I'd say that while they've got a talented player, they've not addressed an issue with the team. Heck, even Diego Costa (0.37) was available

2. A genuinely combative box to box player: Assuming that Arsenal are going to run on a model of relative fiscal stability, they've now commited £35m+ on a striker and the guts of £3m a year in his salary. This leaves signifcantly less to spend on another player they undeniably need and will probably have to go for a third or fourth tier type player. Central midfield is a crucial position for any team and where Chelsea, Man U and City have invested heavily in this position, Arsenal are relying on players with a track record of injuries and will probably get a stop-gap-type player rather than someone who will become a key cog in their team. I would have understood them spending 35m on a prolific forward that they genuinely need at the expense of getting a top-tier centre mid, but another creative but not prolific attacking player?

3. Finally, the loss of Sagna, for whatever the reasons will be felt. He was an experienced and consistent Premier League performer and identifying a successor at a similar level appeared to be a priority, until, oh wait, we can spend £35m on a player so hooray! Full backs are critical players in the modern game and are expected to be great athletes, solid defensively and capable at linking attack and defence. They are every bit as important as having a good CB and goalkeeper.

So, for me it seems like Arsenal have signed a bloody good player they didn't really need and the fans have lapped it up despite several obvious defencies with the squad. Of course, the summer is young and they may go crazy and sign Higuain, Pogba and someone other superb right-back, but steady on - don't start saying "it's our year" before you've even seen what the squad looks like and how your competitors shape up. One great signing, especially if you didn't really need him, does not a successful team make.
Lee, Chelsea Fan (our last two signings of Matic and Costa are exactly what Chelsea needed)

...As I first-time contributor to the mailbox, I want to firmly establish that I'm a neutral observer. I promise. And so, as a neutral, I wanted to offer my thoughts on Arsenal's signing of Alexis Sanchez.

From one perspective, I'm extremely excited to see Sanchez line up alongside Ozil. I think Ozil will finally be able to replicate close to his Real Madrid form with the speedy Sanchez running behind defenders, similar to Ronaldo's role at Madrid. Ozil is best when he is able to thread those delicate through balls behind the defence for others to run on to, and now with Sanchez he has somehow that can run onto those balls (as opposed to the slow, limited Giroud).

And yet, I am slightly skeptical of how much of a boost Sanchez can provide. According to reports Sanchez cost around 40 million euros, which is a lot considering that there were many other areas that were more in need of strengthening. I'd rather Wenger spent 30 million on getting Khedira to shore up the midfield (having to rely on an AC Milan reject in Flamini is a travesty) and another 30 million on a world class number 9, like Benzema, Jackson Martinez or even Balotelli. They already have wingers in Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski and the Ox so wingers weren't a priority. In fact, Podolski and Walcott offer the same directness that Sanchez does (albeit it not as well), and they will both be back at the start of the season.

Exciting business nonetheless. Can't wait for the season to start!
Karl V. (Hoping for a goalfest on Sunday), Montreal

Arsene Knows

Fellaini £27.5m
Luke Shaw £30m
Berbatov £31m
Mata £38m

Sanchez £30m

It kinda helps when you have a manager with a Masters in Economics. Also doesn't hurt that he speaks like a bazillion languages.
KT Mokhele, Gooner in Johannesburg

Pick Up The Cast-Offs

Last year my mate suggested the best strategy for the top clubs in England during the transfer window was to go and sign whichever player gets rejected after Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern sign some new superstar. What I want to know was Wenger hiding in the bushes somewhere near us?
Ziggy, LFC (Dan James, the suggestion is brilliant!)

Why It IS A Game-Changer

I'm going give Kris in Manchester a break as normally he doesn't spot b*llocks as I can only think his latest mailbox missive was written during the consumption of some staggeringly sour grapes.

Sanchez is a game changer precisely because he was signed after Ozil - two top-drawer players prised away from Spain's top two in successive seasons when normally English clubs resign themselves to the inevitable when Real and Barca come calling.

It's all very well calling Wenger a tactical dinosaur but the fact is he's won the league before. The only difference has been in the past decade he's been trying to win the league with one hand tied behind his back while putting faith in some decidedly injury-prone, too young or just rubbish players.

The result was Wenger tried to play his brand of attacking players with sub-standard players. I don't think it's a coincidence that Barca jettisoned Cesc and Song has reportedly been told he has no future at the club. Controversial as this may sound, particularly in Cesc's case, I don't think these lads were the ones to make the difference to us winning the league.

The game has changed as this duo has been signed from the Spanish elite. In years gone by Wenger could unearth gems from the French leagues but with social media and football being shown from all over the place your average bloke with a satellite dish can point you towards the next big thing so actually spending top dollar on the game's elite should be welcomed. Man City have won leagues because they have the best players. These two are top drawer and the thought of them feeding each other next term makes me want to do a jig.

The club Wenger inherited could have bought these kinds of players but would have had to sell the family silver to do so. Let's not forget City have been investigated for flouting financial fair play, Sanchez turned down Liverpool because he wanted Arsenal and Chelsea sold Luiz to fund their latest splurge while United don't have Champions League football to attract new recruits.

What Wenger has done at Arsenal is to realise a dream - to make the future of the club sustainable and put the club on a footing it hasn't been on since the days of Herbert Chapman when we routinely went out and bought the best. The result was five titles within a decade including three in a row. To put that into context - that's more than a third of Arsenal's total title wins. Also let's not forget the role Wenger played in persuading Sanchez to sign so credit where it's due. I've been harsh on Wenger in the past but he deserves to be lauded for his vision for the club.

Rival fans I'm sure will like pretend they are dealing with the Arsenal of the past decade telling everyone Arsenal always finish fourth so that's what will happen next term but this Arsenal is a different animal and this time it isn't us gooners putting faith in some rough diamonds but rather finished articles. When Wenger had top talent to call on in the past he delivered titles so why shouldn't history repeat itself?
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

Shed No Tears For Cesc

I think Cesc has felt sorry for Arsenal ever since he left.

I believe he will continue to feel sorry for Arsenal when he wins the league next year.

Sanchez is a great signing and will improve Arsenal but my gut tells me he will finish behind Cesc this year in the league.

Both will make team of the year though.
David, Dublin

On Aston F***ing Villa

Our owner wants to sell up and has made it pretty clear he won't be spending any more money. The manager looks out of his depth. His right-hand men have both been fired for misconduct with the manager semeingly not having a clue what was going on. The team has made no progress whatsoever in the last year- indeed it has regressed. His transfer record is iffy at best and now he's reliant on free transfers to pad out an already weak squad. Even the free transfers he has picked up seem to be just about about the worst options possible (Senderos when Lescott was available? Moronic).

The football has been mostly awful for the last four years and the our utterly pathetic home record is making even the most loyal fans question whether they want to pay £35 to watch the ambition-free excrement on offer.

Now, to cap it all off our only decent defender plays a blinder in a World Cup semi meaning someone better and more ambiti ous will probably buy him for peanuts as his contract only has a year to run.

I'm not even sure what my point is other than someone really needs to buy us or we are going down.

Football. Bollocks to it.
Jonah, AVFC


In response to Mike (Limerick)'s mail this morning ('Team of the tournament'):

No Thomas Müller??

Are you f***ing mad?
Philipp (Wir gewinnen das Ding) Wittchow, Munich

Thank You Brazil, It's Been Brill

I read somewhere before this World Cup began that this tournament would be 'THE football event of our lives' and I was hugely skeptical. I thought to myself: How could a football tournament being played in such a tough environment, with all the uncertainty surrounding the completion of the infrastructure and the protests against the corruption, etc. possibly be worthy of such a title? And I am so happy that I was proved so very wrong.

For me (Clive), this has been the best World Cup I've ever had the pleasure to witness. Despite not being fortunate enough to be able to attend any of the matches live, this has been one of the best months of my life: 30 sleepless nights, 30 days altering my entire life's schedule around the matches, the sheer number of goals scored, seeing some of the greatest football matches to have ever been played, I'm now a content soul.

But I am also sad because I've been ever so spoiled with this World Cup. I don't think I will ever see a greater event in the world of sport ever again. This tournament has ruined for other tournaments. There will never be a more exciting, unpredictable tournament to match this one. But I'm so happy that I've made the most of this event.

So on Sunday night, I will sit down and watch the best team in the world take on the greatest player ever with the sincere hope that they provide us with a fitting end to this glorious month of football. I hope that when I'm old and weary I'd be able to tell my grandkids that I had got to experience the greatest World Cup ever.

Thank you Brazil. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you.
Lorenzo (Let's go Germany) Royle, MUFC

Thank you Football365

As a regular to your fine website on an almost daily basis since it was first introduced to me at university nearly a decade and a half ago, I just had to write to say that the words: 'In four days, FIFA will wordlessly zip up its relax-fit crimpoline slacks and slither out, taking all that lovely money with them and leaving Brazil wiping up the cum and tears and starring sadly at the space on the bedside table where the promised crumpled tenners should have been tossed' constitute the single best, most beautifully poetic and most savagely emotive sentence that I have ever seen published on your pages in that time.

I managed to feel a little as if I should laugh, a little as if I should cry, but ultimately found myself unable to do either, completely emotionally paralysed by the dichotomy. All I can bring myself to do is write a short not to say to whoever of Alan Tyers or John Nicholson was most responsible for that verbal artistry - I truly doff my cap to you.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames

...Thank you F365. I've read many times of people spitting out their coffee reading Mediawatch, but I did it for the first time since a child when I read the line.

'Even Goebbels would be proud of that one.' Thank you, the wife wants to know who's going to pay for a new keyboard.
Tony (just a football fan) LFC

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