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October 2016
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Is Alexis Sanchez the new Thierry Henry? Here are the figures.

By Tony Attwood

It was Opta who cleverly picked up on the fact that  Alexis Sanchez had scored 47 goals in his 100 appearances, one fewer than Thierry Henry (48) in his first 100 apps for the club.

Which undoubtedly helps understand Mr Wenger’s move to put Alexis at number nine this season.  So I went alooking to find out more.

In these tables below I have shown League figures and major cup figures, and then the total figures including the various cup competitions that the club was involved in.

First off, Alexis, showing just his time in Europe (the results in South America were certainly interesting but as one might expect of a young professional, lower than achieved later in his career.)  Figures are from Wiki.


Club Season League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Goals per game
Udinese 2008–09 32 3 2 0 43 3  
2009–10 32 5 4 1 36 6  
2010–11 31 12 2 0 33 12  
Total 95 20 8 1 112 21 0.19
Barcelona 2011–12 25 12 7 1 41 15  
2012–13 29 8 6 2 46 11  
2013–14 34 19 9 2 54 21  
Total 88 39 22 5 141 47 0.33
Arsenal 2014–15 35 16 6 4 52 25 0.48
2015–16 30 13 3 1 41 17 0.41
2016–17 5 3 0 0 6 4 0.67
Total 70 32 9 5 99 46 0.49
So what we have here is growth year by year and club by club.  The current season has of course only just started but so far the approach of last season, which was interrupted by injury, has not just resumed by has increased.  46 goals in 99 games is no mean feat.
But the comparison has been made with Thierry Henry, so let’s see how things stack up.
Club Season League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Goals per game
Monaco 1994–95 8 3 0 0 8 3  
1995–96 18 3 3 0 22 3  
1996–97 36 9 3 0 48 10  
1997–98 30 4 5 0 44 11  
1998–99 13 1 1 0 19 1  
Total 105 20 12 0 141 28 0.20
Juventus 1998–99 16 3 3 0 19 3  
Total 16 3 3 0 19 3 0.16
Arsenal 1999–2000 31 17 5 1 47 26 0.55
2000–01 35 17 4 1 53 22 0.42
2001–02 33 24 5 1 49 32 0.65
2002–03 37 24 6 1 55 32 0.58
2003–04 37 30 4 4 51 39 0.76
2004–05 32 25 2 0 42 30 0.71
2005–06 32 27 2 1 45 33 0.73
2006–07 17 10 3 1 27 12 0.44

Thierry’s time in Italy was very short and he was famously rescued by Mr Wenger after his return from Japan.

Rather helpfully Thierry played 100 games in his first two seasons, and scored 48 goals (at least according to these figures).  Alexis has got 46 in 99 (numbers are slightly different from Opta’s and so I guess they’ve found a competition I’ve missed somewhere – but they are near enough.

So to summarise: Thierry was at a ratio of 0.48 goals per game after his first 100 games, Alexis is at 0.46.

Here’s another point – Thierry was nominated at once as a centre forward, and chose to wander out to the wing a lot.  Alexis has been nominated as a left winger who has wandered into the centre.  A neat twist.

So could it be possible that Alexis will stay as the nominated centre forward and keep scoring at the Henry level?

If the answer is yes we know the target for this year – 32 in 49.

I wasn’t quite sure where to look for information that would give me a clue on how this happened, but what I do know is that Robert Pires joined Arsenal one year after Henry, but it wasn’t until the following season (2001/2) that the two players really worked out how to play together.  I wonder if the same isn’t happening now with Alexis being moved to centre forward.  He has just been getting used to the set-up.

In Alexis’ case that means Theo on one side, Iwobi on the other, Ozil behind, Santi Cazorla probing.  It’s a fair old combination of talent.

One of the other interesting points is that during the summer there were endless demands from the aaa and their chums in the media for Arsenal to sign another striker, because we could never win the league without having a top striker.

In answering such claims Untold tended to focus not on individuals but on the total number of goals scored – the difference between Arsenal and Leicester was tiny in this regard.

Now by moving Alexis into the centre and by having two recognised back up players in Giroud and Lucas, with a youngster ready and willing in terms of Akpom, the situation looks resolved.  In fact it turns out that there wasn’t much of a situation to worry about in the first place.

There is one other thing that I turned up while looking up these figures, and that comes from who do a match summary after each match in which they set out the strengths of each team.  For Arsenal they highlighted three strengths re this game:

  • Creating chances through individual skill,
  • Counter attacks
  • Finishing scoring chances.

For Chelsea the entry reads

  • Team has no significant strengths

All that money, and no significant strengths.  Well I never.

Moving on, I quoted recently a comment by Luke Edwards of the Daily Telegraph in which he wrote, “It probably does not matter how well they [Arsenal] play anymore. Until the title is won, few people will be convinced Arsenal are good enough, often enough, to be crowned champions again. We have reached the ‘only believe it when I see it’ era at the Emirates Stadium.

“Wenger thinks they are title contenders but their recent history of flattering to deceive means his is an isolated voice, a man shouting to be heard above the noise of countless conflicting conversations.

“While he talks about his team being mature enough to win titles and European Cups, his critics continue to focus on Arsenal’s fragile mindset, their flaky reputation under pressure, their inability to change their style to suit certain games and the manager’s continued failure (or refusal) to sign a truly world class centre forward.

“They will not change their minds on the basis of beating a Hull team most people tipped for relegation.”

In their predictions for this season the Telegraph wrote, “A new striker could change things but as things stand, Wenger has put himself under major pressure again, in the final year of his current contract.  Last season’s second place owed more to the collapse of others.”  The predicted final position was 5th.

Curiously, it seems as if the new striker was already there.

Top scorers so far this season in the Premier League

  • Michail Antonio: 5 games, 5 goals, 1.0 ratio
  • Diego Costa: 6 games, 5 goals, 0.83 ratio
  • Sergio Aguero: 4 games, 5 goals, 0.8 ratio
  • Alexis Sanchez: 6 games, 4 goals, 0.67 ratio
  • Raheem Sterling: 6 games, 4 goals, 0.67 ratio

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52 comments to Is Alexis Sanchez the new Thierry Henry? Here are the figures.

  • Pat

    ‘A new striker was already there’. Shows how misleading it is to concentrate, as so many people do, on transfers and forget about the players we’ve already got. Luckily that’s not the case with Arsene Wenger.

  • Richard

    Nice article, but Aguero’s strike rate is 1.25

    All the best

  • bushido

    we already stack on striker department if Alexis is fully convert to center forward cos beside Giroud and Lucas, Arsenal still got Danny Welbeck currently out nursing his injury. why some of so call Arsenal fans fail to realize that Arsenal is a team that focusing on players development rather than chop and change ready made players. that’s why patience is virtue when u became supporter of Arsenal football club. in Arsene’ we trust

  • austinpaul

    One manager last season made a statement about Wenger being an unpredictable magician as he can put Cech at 9 nd OG in goal nd still get his result; dis statement simply depicts d genius in AW as a gifted Coach; we shuldnt be suprised dat has bin using Alexis at 9 dis season; Henry wasn’t a striker wen he brought him to d Arsenal bt developed him into a formidable center forward eventually nd he ended up as a legend at d Arsenal. Dat same process is being replicated wit Alexis, surely we are yet to see Alexis bloosom in dis new role ;we must remember Alexis is talented, skillful, determined, hardworker wit a high turnover,energetic nd passionate, dis are qualities Wenger look for in his players ; we can see in d Chelsea game how Iwobi,walcott, Alexis nd Ozil are beginning to gel , forging great understanding, dis is gud sign dat more nd beta days are ahead for d team!my prayer is dat d team continues to work hard nd not become over confident so as to sustain d momentum nd growing confidence in d team; on a very gud day playing consistently d way of Chelsea , we hve a demolition squad in place wat about d roboust bench nd d back up youth players dat demolished Forest? We fans shuld line up behind our team more solidly frm henceforward! Shallom.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @austinpaul…interesting comments, but they were hard to follow because of the alternative spelling.

  • Jambug


    Please remember that some of us are getting on in years and as such are a bit old school.

    That is to say we tend to be better at comprehending sentences made up of whole words as opposed to just letters.

    Anyway, you make some good points……I think.

  • akh

    Tony – not for display purposes or publication

    from your chart of top scorers Aguero should read 1.25 not 0.8 – slight error that someone may attempt to comment upon in a negative light

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I was thinking Alexis has scored 5 goals in all competitions in 7 applications for Arsenal this so far this season. Or are you Sir talking of only the goals he has scored in the PL so far this season? And he could equal or break Thierry O’henry’s record of 48 goals in 100 applications if he scores a brace or a hat-trick in the Basel Ucl game at the Ems on Wenessday night. And we can trust Alexis will be attempting to do this. I’ll be watching out for that and I wish him good luck.

  • Jambug

    2 things slightly off topic.

    1 – Happy birthday to Kenny Sansom.

    Could everyone please spare a thought for our Kenny on what should be a day of celebration. Alas, from all accounts he is still battling with his demons and worse, it is a battle he sadly seems to be losing.

    My thoughts are with you Sammy and I hope against hope that one day you find the strength you need to win your battle.

    2 – On a lighter note. Regarding Ozils, ‘looking the other way’ pass. I have read a few comments, and seen reference to it on Arsenal player, but I haven’t seen any mention of Sanchez doing exactly the same thing, only more pronounced.

    For anyone who hasn’t noticed it and wants to see it, it’s at 55 mins and 19 Seconds. It’s worth a look.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I was thinking Alexis has scored 5 goals in all competitions in 7 applications for Arsenal so far this season. Or are you Sir talking of only the goals he has scored in the PL so far this season? And he could equal or break Thierry O’henry’s record of 48 goals in 100 applications if he scores a brace or a hat-trick in the Basel Ucl game at the Ems on Wenessday night. And we can trust Alexis will be attempting to do this. I’ll be watching out for that and I wish him good luck.

  • Great write-up, Untold Arsenal is the best. I love to follow up on you guys.

  • swing

    On a slightly different note, this an excerpt from Ian Wright’s autobiography, stating the difference between Arsene Wenger and every other manager. For me this is a perfect description of Wenger, the question is why doesn’t he say it on television. Anyway here is the excerpt

    ‘Arsenal, the whole club, is in the image of Arsène Wenger in the way it’s set up and the way it functions – very intelligent, very calculating, whatever happens there’s no kneejerk reaction, nothing rash … That’s exactly how he is. Look how the media has been constantly trying to gee him up, always having a little dig, but he’s on a different level and he’s not even bothering himself. Sometimes, I see that going on and think, ‘The only thing you lot can really criticize him for is he’s too intelligent for you.’ He’s just got too much.

    He came through the barren years with his dignity and his pride intact – that’s why Mourinho cannot deal with how Arsène Wenger is, why Ferguson couldn’t. He winds them up without even saying anything. Look at Ferguson and what he did at Man United, but he would still look across to Arsène and feel aggrieved for some reason. Mourinho’s won more and done more than us, but he’ll still look at Arsène and feel aggrieved, because Arsène is the embodiment of his own legacy. He is football. He’s what it’s all about, He’s why any of us do this. He’s all about the game in its purest sense, and what he wants to bring out of his players is part of that game. It’s not about personal stuff or individual awards: it’s about his players doing the best they can. He’s not just a great man, he’s a really great bloke too.

    He has got a sense of humour, and he’s got a great way about him when he does joke. He’s got a lovely smile and my wife absolutely adores him. She loves the way he is, thinks he’s just a wonderful guy. There’s so few flaws there that when I saw those pictures of him on the bench at Monaco, I think, smoking a cigarette, I found it so strange – Arsène Wenger smoking! It seemed so beneath him. But then I’ll admit that I enjoyed thinking, ‘So, there is a weakness! You’re not the all-seeing all-knowing all-strong sage kinda guy! You’re smoking a cigarette.’Really, though, I feel very fortunate to have been able to play under him and one of the few things I regret is that I didn’t get more time with him.’

  • Zuruvi

    I have been one of those asking for Arsenal to add a top-notch striker to our beautiful squad.
    My analysis of why we need a better striker was based on the high number of scoring good chances that Arsene Wenger’s football produces and the fact that too many of these great chances are not taken.
    Against Chelsea we played brilliant football and we scored 3 beautiful goals. We could have hit them 6 or more goals. We did have the chances to hit more goals but I won’t complain (and nobody should) because 3-0 is a very sweet result.
    I support Alexis as a central striker because Wenger thinks it is the right choice. Do I think Alexis is the best striker for a club of Arsenal’s stature? No, I don’t. I however think he is doing fine at present and since Wenger knows football more than I do, I will pass judgement at the end of the season. Anelka joined Arsenal as a 17 year-old and many of us knew we had a brilliant striker (thanks to Wenger). Nikolas Bendtner joined Arsenal at nearly the same age as Anelka and many of us could see that this fellow wasn’t Anelka-class and to be honest wasn’t really good. Prof kept seeing something in Bendtner that we couldn’t see. Bendtner lasted 9 years at Arsenal and at some point he is said to have been earning upwards of £52,000 per week!!!
    There were games that Bendtner played well and some when he scored a winning goal. But … Bendtner wasn’t of Arsenal quality.

    All I am saying is Wenger is a brilliant manager who gets most of his decisions right. He however doesn’t get everything right. Nobody does.

    Is Alexis a brilliant player? Yes.
    Is Alexis a brilliant winger? Yes.
    Is Alexis a brilliant central striker? I don’t know. The evidence will tell us as the months move forward. Wenger is persisting with Alexis as a central striker so maybe our great manager has seen something special about Alexis that makes him a potentially great central striker.

    Stats are a good tool to compare players but stats taken out of context can be misleading.
    I recently saw the stats comparing the goals scored in the first 100 games in La Liga for Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
    According to the stats, Bale is a better attacking player who scores and creates more goals than Messi. Lol.

    Alexis is a brilliant player but he certainly is NOT anywhere near our great Thierry Henry.
    Alexis, you’re no Thierry Henry. I know Thierry Henry. I watched Thierry Henry.

    Regardless, let’s hope that Alexis and all our players continue to make us proud.

    Viva Arsenal. And Arsene knows best (most of the time).

  • Jambug


    Before I comment further, can I assume those comments are from his latest Autobiography published this September, and not the 1993 version?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alexis can even become better than TH. Nah, now I said it. 😉

  • Thanks Richard, I must have been holding the calculator upside down.

  • Jambug

    On Arsenal player a new video has just been put up entitled:


    in which both ‘looking the other way’ passes by Ozil and Sanchez are shown in there full glory.


  • swing


    Yes it is from his latest autobiography, it just further illustrates your point about the media, everybody knows the truth, but somehow everybody lies.

  • Nonny


    I thought he did it in the first half after his goal which is between the 40th and 45th minute. Unless he did another one but I remember explicitly the the pass was on the right flank just after the half way line to Sanchez.

  • Nonny

    42nd minute 19 sec.

  • Josif


    I think that the one goal and one game that are missing are the very last one. Alexis has scored four league goals in six matches so far (one against Watford, two against Hull and one against Chelsea), not three in five as your table shows.

    In one of my comments during summer I wrote something along the idea that Arsenal needed to sign either a top-drawer central forward or a top-drawer winger (it turned out we got one from our ranks – Iwobi) with an internal solution to our lack-of-a-20-league-goal-man issue and suggested Alexis with his remarkable 42 goals in 91 games for Arsenal over two seasons. Indeed, if there is a player in Arsenal team that can produce an Henry-sque moment, it’s Alexis.

    If you don’t believe me, just take a look at his third goal against Leicester last season or the one against Aston Villa in the cup final 2015 – a strike out of nowhere that leaves the keeper both surprised and beaten. Or, his clever finish after taking the ball off Cahill. Or that back-heel strike against Manchester United last season. Or that second goal against Manchester United in our 3:0 victory. Or that free-kick against West Brom last season. Or that fantastic strike against Liverpool in our 4:1 victory. Or…

    You get the picture by now. That was exactly what Henry would have done.

    Also, without belittling what the greatest Arsenal striker of all times did for the club, he had easier path than Alexis in his first 100 games – UEFA Cup campaign in 1999-2000. I might be wrong but Alexis would have reached 50-goal-mark by now if he had played, say, two easier European games last season in Europa League than against the reigning Champions League winners Barcelona in Champions League Round of 16.

    And, guess what? It seems that we are better with Giroud being our back-up striker rather than Giroud being our focal point in the attack. If only there was someone at Untold who had suggested that one. 🙂

  • Jambug


    Not sure we’re talking about the same thing.

    We all knew about the Ozil one but Sanchez also did one in the 2nd half which occurred at 55.19.

    It was even more pronounced than Ozils.

    If you can get Arsenal player, as I said, they have a video up showing all the special moments from the game which includes good views of both ‘looking the other way’ moments.

  • Zuruvi

    Regarding Ian Wright’s comments in his autobiography I must say it is rather surprising that he has such good words to say about Arsene Wenger. The words truly describe the Arsene Wenger that I know and admire.

    What is rather surprising is the fact Ian Wright never has a good word to say about Arsene Wenger or Arsenal when he is on TV or on the radio (TalkSport or Radio 5 Live).
    Could it be that when Wrighty is on TV or TalkSport he says what the paymaster wants to hear. Is he so fickle that he cannot stand up to his beliefs? Does he criticise Arsene and Arsenal just so he can get paid a few £1,000s as appearance money?

    Or maybe what Wrighty says on TV is his true beliefs.
    But then if what he says on TV is his true beliefs, why then is he showering the Arsenal manager with so much praise in his book? Maybe this is because he realises that his book will most likely be bought by Arsenal fans (and not fans of Spurs, Manure, Chel$ea, Poo or $iteh). And importantly most Arsenal fans love and respect Arsene Wenger.
    So Wrighty is just saying these nice words about Arsene Wenger because he want’s Arsenal fans to buy his book.

    Arsene Wenger is a great coach, a gentleman and a very intelligent person. Whether or not Wrighty says it, we all know it.

  • Jambug


    I am one of Wrights biggest critics and have called him out on this very platform many many times.

    I cant stand the man.

    Given what I have seen, heard and read from him these last 10 years or more, I find the admiration he expresses for Wenger in this book absolutely unbelievable.

    It’s unbelievable in the obvious sense, that I simply don’t believe him. He’s lying to sell books.

    If by some chance it is how he feels, then that makes his behaviour over the last 10 years even more reprehensible.

    Ether way the guys still an absolute dick head.

  • Zuruvi


    I do hope you are right, mate.

    If Arsene Wenger develops Alexis Sanchez into being a better striker than Thierry Henry we will all celebrate.

    I don’t think it will happen but if it does happen it will be another example of the brilliance of Arsene Wenger.

    Arsene is right (most of the times) and more often than most managers in world football. We are lucky to have him as our manager.

  • Zuruvi

    Thanks Jambug.

    I couldn’t wait to hear your views regarding the Ian Wright autobiography.

    Ian Wright was my hero during his playing days. I truly loved the guy. I liked his goalscoring prowess. I loved his vibrancy. And I loved the way he seemed to be Arsenal through-n-through.

    But …. Ever since Wrighty became a pundit he has become the worst pundit on my TV screen. Whenever Carragher or Rio Ferdinand or Scholes or McMannaman throw vitriol at Arsene Wenger or Arsenal, Ian Wright is there to back them up.

    Sadly, Thierry Henry is not much better.

    You never find Rio or Dwight York or any other Manure explayer making a career out of attacking their former club.

    And you never find Michael Owen or McManaman or Jamie Carragher being the biggest critics of Liverpool (even though Michael Owen and McMannaman are not liked by Liverpool fans or the club).

  • Jambug

    What has to be remembered when comparing Alexis to Henry is that you have to compare like for like.

    In other words you cannot compare the legend Henry BECAME with the Alexis of 100 games, you have to compare the Henry of 100 games, with the Alexis of 100 games.

    In which case you have to conclude that at the same moment in there Arsenal careers, they are almost ineperable.

    That’s all you can say.

  • Dear Zuruvi. Jambug and Swing

    I’m aware of another side to Ian Wright that the public are not privy to. This in peticular relates to his peer group/friends he left behind as he became famous.

    Unfortunately in order for him to make the grade into Professional Football he had to learn how to get on with people in the football fraternity, he otherwise would not have given them the time of day.

    I’m not trying to defend his actions, but just to give you another prospective of maybe why his behaviour is so inconsistent. It could be he won’t bite the hand that feeds him.

  • Jambug


    “Sadly, Thierry Henry is not much better.

    You never find Rio or Dwight York or any other Manure explayer making a career out of attacking their former club.

    And you never find Michael Owen or McManaman or Jamie Carragher being the biggest critics of Liverpool (even though Michael Owen and McMannaman are not liked by Liverpool fans or the club).”

    Spot on.

    I’ve heard people moaning about how the likes of Lawrence, and previously Hanson, wouldn’t have a word said against Liverpool.

    If only.

    Yes, at times it gets on your nerves, but if I’m honest I admire there loyalty. I wish we had a few like that, instead of the insidious lot we have working in the media.

    It’s the same with there fans. Liverpool have been far less successful than Arsenal for many years now, and lets be honest, if it wasn’t for the saving grace of there most recent CL success, the last 25 years would of been nothing short of a disaster, yet there fans stick by them steadfastly, as do the media.

    How many of our own players have been booed ?

    How many times has our manager been abused, to the point of an assault at a station ?

    How many times are our team booed off the park ?

    All, or I should say most of this fan behaviour comes on the back of this constant media abuse, that permeates into the psyche of the fans, especially the younger ones.

  • Zuruvi

    Spot on Jambug. I particularly liked your last paragraph.

    The constant negative media (aided and abetted by Ian Wright, Paul Merson and Thierry Henry) has resulted in even our very own fans “attacking” and abusing our most successful and brilliant manager.

    The haters now use the very few aggrieved fans as a basis to show Arsenal as a club in crisis.

    It is unfortunate that ArsenalFansTV gives greater prominence to the three or four Wenger critics after every game. There are guys called Claude and DT who nearly always have a bad word to say about our club.
    If these guys supported Man Utd during the Fergie years they would have had their season tickets withdrawn ages ago. But Arsenal is a classy club, we respect our fans regardless of whatever they say.

    Ex-Poo players are loyal to their club.
    Ex-Manure players are loyal to their club.
    Even ex-Spuds are loyal to their non-achieving club.
    Why, why, why can’t ex-Arsenal players be loyal to Arsenal? I think it definitely is due to the biased media. Ex-players want to be on TV so they say what the media bosses want to hear. And we all know that Spurs, Manure and Poo are the darlings of the media. Anyone who attacks Wenger becomes very popular in the media (eg Mourinho).

  • Jambug



    It’s all very sad really.

  • Zuruvi

    @Jambug regarding comparing the first 100 days of Thierry and Sanchez.

    I had given the example of comparing the first 100 days of Suarez, Bale, Ronaldo and Messi.
    The media used the performance of these attacking players in their first 100 days as a basis to justify who was the best player. Messi’s stats in terms of goals scored and assists were about 50% of either Ronaldo, Suarez or Bale. The “stupid” conclusion that was said or inferred was that Bale, Suarez and Ronaldo are better than Messi.

    But some of us know that Messi started playing in the Barcelona 1st team as a teenager so his first 100 games were when he was under the age of 22 and therefore still developing.
    Suarez, Ronaldo and Bale joined La Liga when they were in the prime of their careers.
    So comparing the first 100 games of Suarez Vs Messi, or Messi Vs Ronaldo/Bale is NOT a fair statistic.
    You are comparing a teenage player and a superstar player in his prime. Cristiano had already won World Player of the Year when he joined La Liga. Suarez/Bale was already the best Premier league player when he moved to Spain.

    Similarly, Thierry Henry joined Arsenal in 1999 as a 22-year-old who had never commanded a regular first team place in his previous clubs (although he was a talented kid).
    Sanchez joined Arsenal as an accomplished player from Barcelona in 2014. Sanchez joined Arsenal as a mature 26 year old. A player in his prime.

    The first 100 days of a player who is 22 years old and a player who is at the prime of his career at 26 is not a fair comparison (generally speaking). Regardless, the 22 year-old’s statistics are still marginally better.

    Hence my conclusion, Sanchez is a brilliant winger but as a striker/player, he is no Thierry Henry.

    But if Sanchez does develop to being better than Thierry then we will have another piece of evidence to show why we think so highly of Arsene Wenger.

  • Al

    Regarding bendtner spending 9 years at Arsenal, do you think he would have lasted that long if outside of this period, 2006-2014? Just trying to put some context as to why Wenger ‘persisted’ with him, his hands were tied financially, and the money clubs were constantly raiding us for our best players during this time, so Wenger sticking with bendtner that long during this period might have had more to do with limited resources than Wenger seeing anything in him that we all couldn’t see.

    But I agree that noone is right 100% of the times, just wanted to say Wenger sticking with some players he could have gotten rid of quicker during the lean years was not by choice…

    Strange comments from Ian wright, if indeed that’s what he believes then the guy has got no spine.. As for Thierry i really hope Sanchez blasts every record he set for us off the map 🙂

    Like you guys, I’m appalled at the treatment Wenger has got from all these ex players he developed or whose careers he improved; ultimate betrayal.

  • engram

    May well be Sanchez’s last season if no trophies are forthcoming and not sure how you can compare the two as I believe Henry did win a trophy ot two but let that not get in the way of the adoration of a football manager. I am sure Alexis looks at the likes of Aguero and knows he is not in that PL winning league bracket of top top players as he was surplus to requirements at serial winning Barca. Evidence you say. Ozil is in a similar position having been rejected by RM and yet these two players may prove to be too ambitious for Arsene in the long run.

  • Zuruvi

    Al, I like your perspective regarding Bendtner. Maybe it does explain why we persisted with him for 9 years.
    But the reported £52,000 per week wage seems to indicate that Wenger may have had greater belief in Bendtner than was justified.

    Al, I am one of Wenger’s biggest fans and I really dread the day he retires or leaves. I cannot think of many other managers who could have given us the beautiful football that I have witnessed over the last 20 years.
    Despite the fact that i think Wenger is the best (or one of the very best), I am not shy or scared to mention where Arsene makes a mistake. Arsene himself says that he is not infallible. He is not right 100% of the time.

    I believe that the vast majority of the criticism that Arsene gets is not justified and in most cases is done with a hatred and viciousness that defies logic.
    I particularly like the way Arsene often deflects stupid comments from the journalists and pundits where they’re just looking to set him up for criticism or to “fight” with Mourinho. The recent example, of quotes in the Mourinho biography whereby journalists were trying to get an angry or insulting response to Mourinho biography quotations stating: “Mourinho said he wants to smash Wenger’s face.”
    Wenger is a brilliant and intelligent man.

  • Al

    Yes of course he’s not infallible. The £52k might have been just a figment of the media’s imagination, or might have been in line with other players(know for a fact Arsenal players were the least paid than their counterparts at top four clubs), so a little difficult to judge on that one. I was just trying to point out that we could run the risk of magnifying his ‘mistakes’ that happened when his hands were tied when there was a reasonable explanation for it..

    I agree 120% that the criticism reserved for the man is totally unjustified, is vile and defies any logic if not borderline xenophobic. Ian wright, for all his ills, brilliantly summed it up in his bio when he pointed out the resentment from the likes of Ferguson and mourinho, men who have won more than Wenger and shouldn’t really be paying much attention to him. But they do, in a big way, and we should ask ourselves why. To me the answer is simple; they’re jealous of what he achieved without all that money. Deep down they know that those aren’t tainted achievements, and are more satisfying than anything money can buy. One thing most people can’t manage is to lie to themselves, and I suspect some retired managers aren’t all that satisfied with their records in their retirement. So yes, mostly jealous of the legacy Wenger will have as opposed to theirs, and then there is his class too..

    Incidentally most of the criticism directed at Wenger unfortunately stems from this barren period, a time in which coincidentally his rivals (who get all the praise instead) were swimming in bottomless pits of money and were winning everything, but his critics conveniently ignore this. It’s unfortunate that he’s getting advanced in age and therefore nearing retirement, otherwise it’d have been interesting to see how Arsenal fares against the money clubs over the next few years now that we’re no longer a selling club.

  • Al

    Zurich?? My phone is probably intoxicated, again.. Apologies 🙂

    I know very well you love the club and the manager, never been in any doubt of that 🙂 Sorry I have not been able to contribute as much as I used to on UA but it’s guys like you who keep this place where it deserves to be; at the top of all Arsenal sites out there. Long may this continue 👏👏

  • Jerry

    Excellent article! Not sure if Alexis can keep up with Henry, but definitely glad he’s on our team!

    Not for the first time, what you believe is actually wrong!

    Alexis’ first 2 seasons: 3 trophies: 1 FA Cup and 2 Community Shields.

    Henry’s first 2 seasons: No trophies!
    Henry joined Arsenal in August 1999 and Arsenal finished 2nd his first two season. Henry’s first trophies were actually his third season 2001-02 (PL and FA Cup Double). Can’t even include the 1999 Community Shield since that was won before Henry joined!

    But hey, let’s not let real FACTS get in the way of your hate for the Arsenal manager!

    Since you seem to be one of those serial goal post movers, here’s a copy of my original post for you on the Costa protection article. Hopefully your blindness to the truth is only short term.

    September 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm
    @ engram,

    In your 10:00 AM post, you stated “Need to beat Chelsea at their place too before any monkeys get buried.”

    Why is it the case that the goal posts always move for some people to the next game when Arsenal win, but if Arsenal lose or draw a match, they are the first ones to project doomsday for Arsenal?

    I could be wrong, but I don’t recall anyone saying we’re definitely going to win the league after the Chelsea result. But if we lose or draw, many individuals come out of the woodwork saying Arsenal is horrible, we will not finish in the top 4, etc…

    Perhaps if these individuals used the same standards on themselves, they would get along better with the posters on Untold.

    That reminds me, I am still waiting for one of these posters to come back and apologize to Untold after Arsenal finished above Tottenham again last year. I think it was Herb’s Army or Chapman’s Army (can’t recall his exact name, but it was similar to that)”

  • Al

    I truly admire your patience, man. I find it difficult to engage with these types who are always moving goal posts, trying to find new ways of demeaning anything Arsenal achieves (Tony quotes one reporter as saying we only finished second because other teams collapsed, meaning finishing second was crap that season!). When I try to engage them it usually ends up in some kind of trade in verbal insults, something I am not proud of and have definitely told myself i need to cut out, so I’ve decided best not to engage them. My main gripe with them is they start by trying to appear neutral (or, as some claim, passive observers who went for years without posting) only to become the most rabid critics of UA… a clear show of a hidden agenda. But it’s important that someone who can does engage them and calls their bs out, so thank you for doing a splendid job 🙂

  • Zuruvi


    Thanks mate for your kind words.

    I hope you will soon return to being the regular contributor that you previously were.
    I hope nothing permanent has taken away the time you had reserved for Arsenal and for Untold.

    I forever remain indebted to Tony and the regular contributors who make Untold Arsenal such a wonderful Forum for us the genuine Arsenal fans.

  • Jambug


    You make a good point about there ages, that is definitely a factor.

    But so could the relative qualities of the leagues. Arsenal only really had Man Utd to give them any real competition back then.

    And so could how we are now refereed compared to then.

    The relative quality of the players along side them could be an influence.

    I’m not saying any of these factors made a difference, just trying to highlight what a minefield it is trying to compare across eras.

    There are so many imponderables.


    Thanks for your kind words.

    I’m not quite as stoic as you think. I have posters I will not engage with for the simple reason we fail to agree on virtually everything and just end up going round in circles.

    There are some posts I find mind bogglingly senseless to which I type a response, only to delate it before posting because I realise it will be pointless.

    As some have pointed out, it seems certain posters are here simply to antagonise, so rising to there baiting is just encouraging them.

    It can be infuriating, but by and large, just ignoring them as you do, is the best thing to do.

    I am getting better at it, but similar to you, to my own dismay I still find myself getting dragged in on occasion. I invariably regret it.

  • Al

    Work and study; I stupidly decided I had plenty of time on my hands that I didn’t know what to do with and enrolled on a two year study programme, regretting it ever since, but too late to turn back now…

    Haha, ok, nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles to cope with these myopic posters. And agree it’s near impossible to steer clear of them once they target you.

  • ThierryHenry22

    Jerry, Jambug, Zuruvi, AI- top form!

  • Nonny

    Just saw the video on Arsenal Player. Wish I could download it. Sanchez no look pass also amazing. I didn’t notice it during the match. Thanks.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some very fine comments , points and arguments put out here on this fine article . Thanks guys. Up the Gunners !
    Cheers !

  • ARSENAL 13

    Alexis as center forward?? hmmm. I was wondering if we need him to be that? As long as Theo or Iwobi fill the space when he wanders around to keep defenders engaged, to keep passing channels open, we will be lethal.

  • Jambug


    No problem my friend.

    Amazing isn’t it.

  • Jambug


    Good luck with those studies of yours.

    Fortunately I was able to leave that kind of irrational behaviour behind many years ago. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I engaged with it in the first place !

    See you on the other side……Dr Al.

  • Ben

    What is wrong In having Sanchez scoring goals from the wings and having another striker playing with him and scoring as or even more than Sanchez . Goal scoring wingers are not easy to come by, so I’ll rather have him on the flanks if we can get either from within or elsewhere a striker that can score consistently . Barcelona had Messi,a proven a proven goal scorer,tbut went for Suarez instead of converting Messi.

  • Zuruvi


    Very good observation.

  • Al

    Thanks Jambug 🙂

  • Samad Sayyed

    In the past, Wenger has often complained that Europe doesn’t produce strikers anymore. The best striker as per him are from Latin America where the young players there are not mollycoddled like their European counterparts are still hungry for success and learn their trade in the mean Latin American streets.

    I have to say I was not convinced by Alexis Sanchez starting at the front of the pack at the beginning of the season and I thought that’s just a stop gap arrangement until Giroud comes back. I was perplexed when Wenger continued to persist with Sanchez as the striker even when Giroud returned from injury!

    But Sanchez’s performance in the past few games have led me to believe that he can be the world class Latin American striker that Wenger so covets. He has amazing technique, excellent dribbling ability, he is robust, works tirelessly and is a nightmare for defenders (just ask Cahill). Givent hat it relieves Alexis from tracking back to defend, if he is upfront he can just concentrate on what he does best…terrorise the opposition defence. Yes, he is of a short stature, but so is Aguero – that doesn’t stop him being a world class striker. Plus when we need a plan B, we can always have Giroud coming on and the shape changing to a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3.

    And with Iwobi’s rapid rise and Walcott’s resurgence on the flanks, we’re not short of wingers either (plus AOC, Lucas Perez, Welbeck, Ramsey, Reine Adelaide etc are all waiting on the wings)!

    So gents, I present your Brand New World class Latin America Striker for Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez!

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