Alexis Sanchez's pitiful excuses just don't add up
Alexis Sanchez’s pitiful excuses just don’t add up… HE let Manchester United down, not the other way around and blaming everyone but himself is a final insult to the club who paid him £560,000 per week for NOTHING
- Alexis Sanchez made an extraordinary video about Manchester United turmoil
- He looked everywhere but in the mirror as he was casting blame around
- Sanchez scored just five goals in 45 matches before leaving to join Inter Milan
- The 31-year-old earned up to £560,000 per week and was a huge flop
Alexis Sanchez took to Instagram on Thursday evening to expend years of pent-up frustration after a miserable experience of being a Manchester United player.
He laid the blame for his disastrous time at Old Trafford at the feet of everyone other than himself, taking aim at the club, journalists and pundits alike for making his existence in the North West so unbearable for the past 30 months.
The dearth of ears sympathetic to this tale tells its own story.
If Manchester United and all those others who had the finger pointed in their chest were inclined to reply then it would make for a pretty uncomfortable listen for the Chilean.
In an extraordinary video Alexis Sanchez blamed others for his failure at Manchester United
Sanchez lifted the lid on his time at United, casting blame anywhere but in his own direction
The truth of the matter is that there was only one person responsible for showing he was deserving the highest salary the Premier League had ever seen – a weekly package that was worth up to £560,000-a-week.
Sanchez went through, section by section, in a six-minute and nine-second video where he had been failed by the club.
So here Sportsmail takes a look, section by section, where he let down a club that had shown him a huge amount of faith, and a fanbase that tried to back him all the way too.
SIGNING FOR UNITED WITHOUT THINKING
Alexis Sanchez began his video by explaining the rushed circumstances behind his move to Manchester United.
‘I got the opportunity to go to United and it seemed tempting to me. It was something nice for me, because when I was a kid I liked that club a lot,’ he said.
‘I ended up signing without much information about what was happening in the move.’
The final part of that first statement, that he put pen to paper ‘without much information’ shouldn’t emote any sympathy whatsoever.
Sanchez proved to be a colossal waste of money, scoring just five goals in 45 matches
It had been clear for some time that Sanchez was looking to leave Arsenal, and it was also widely accepted that his preferred option was to join United’s neighbours Manchester City.
There was certainly a sense that the deal was done in some haste, the Chilean was desperate for a way out at Arsenal, feeling that regular European football and competing for trophies was not a given there.
It was already half-way through the season, and his first-choice club were not stumping up the cash. It is not Manchester United’s fault that Sanchez, perhaps having his attention drawn by the incredible wage packet put in front of him, decided to accept their terms. They did not force him to Old Trafford, and neither was he frogmarched out of the Emirates.
The player would likely admit privately now that he wished he had waited until the summer, to see if City could put together a package that Arsenal would accept. It was his own impatience that became his undoing.
Sanchez went on describe his first day at United, an unmitigated disaster by his telling of the story.
‘The first days that I was with my colleagues, sometimes there are things that you do not realise until you arrive,’ he said.
‘The first training I had I realised many things. I came home and I told my representative: “Can’t the contract be terminated to return to Arsenal?”
‘They start laughing and I told them that something did not sit right with me. It had already been signed.’
No wonder his agent was laughing. We’ve all had a bad day at work, but to ask to have your contract ripped up after one day is petulant at best. At worst, it gives us a glimpse into the character of a player who is very quick to down tools.
Sanchez wanted to move to Manchester City but that deal fell through and he joined United
After agreeing to such staggering terms, you would have thought that a star worth their salt would feel some sense of duty to making the move fit. Instead, as we heard through other sources, he did the exact opposite, becoming more and more withdrawn within Carrington and shrinking into the background.
As Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler reported one source having said just months after Sanchez joined: ‘He looks like someone who doesn’t want to be here.
‘The whole thing doesn’t seem right and he looks like a lost boy.’
He would move around the training ground with a miserable look etched on his face, often sitting on his own to eat in the canteen.
That is not the actions of someone looking to make things work.
Sanchez looked a shadow of the player who stood out on so many occasions for Arsenal
ARROGANCE OVER BEING DROPPED
For Sanchez, there was another reality check at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. Ahead of the clash with West Ham on September 29, he was informed that he had been left out of the team entirely by Jose Mourinho.
It is safe to say this is something that didn’t go down well.
‘In a game with West Ham I wasn’t picked. That had never happened to me as a player. It bothered me and I said it couldn’t be possible.
‘To go from being one of the best in the Premier League to not playing in five months. I came to my house and I was very sad. The next day I trained in a double shift, because I love what I do.’
For a player to think themselves undroppable is never a good sign. Sanchez’s form at United in his first half season had been wretched, and he had started the second season just as poorly.
Jose Mourinho could not get the best out of Sanchez and the attacker failed to deliver
He had scored just three times for United in the second-half of the 2017-18 season – having already netted eight times for Arsenal in the first period.
The beginning of the following campaign had been even more shambolic, failing to net in any of United’s opening five matches with the likes of Burnley, Watford and Wolves able to keep him at bay.
In fact, for his entire United career, Sanchez’s numbers make for dire reading. In 45 appearances he managed just five goals, averaging one every 555 minutes. Or one every six games.
His assist rate was slightly better, managing nine, but a return of 14 goal involvements was not what United would have been expecting for their outlay.
Mourinho only played Sanchez for the entire match on 10 occasions in 18 months
LOOKING FOR A ‘BREATHER’
Of all the self-pity to drip from Sanchez’s lips during his six-minute diatribe, his reaction to the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the most baffling.
SANCHEZ’S MAN UNITED STATS:
2017-18: Premier League – 12 games, 2 goals, 3 assists
Champions League – 2 games
FA Cup – 4 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
2018-19: Premier League – 20 games, 1 goal, 3 assists
Champions League – 4 games
FA Cup – 3 games, 1 goal, 1 assist
Total – 45 games, 5 goals, 9 assists
It became clear that Mourinho and Sanchez did not have the strongest of relationships at Old Trafford and the Portuguese’s departure could have brought with it an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start again.
It is something the club would have hoped for, and the fans too, having seen what he was capable of producing in the Premier League and in Europe during his time at Arsenal.
That, however, was not the view of Sanchez.
‘Then the next coach arrived, the current one, and I decided to talk to him,’ he said.
‘I told him that I needed to take a breather, and the opportunity to go to Inter. He told me that yes, there was no problem.’
The fact that Solskjaer was so readily willing to accept the winger’s departure is testament to his dramatic fall from grace.
But it does not say much for the Chilean that he had no thoughts of trying to salvage the situation at United.
It has to be said that the mental anguish of his time at Old Trafford will have taken its toll – going from one of the league’s shining lights to an unwanted squad player would be a demoralising experience for any player.
The lack of willingness to make things work at United is disheartening to see however, though does give some insight into just how untenable the player felt his position was within the dressing room.
It is possibly in part down to this attitude that United feel happy to have scrapped the player’s contract last month with a mere £9m pay off. He was still set to earn a further £50m with the two years that were still to run.
Sanchez told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he needed time away from Manchester United
JOURNALISTS AND FORMER PLAYERS SPEAKING OUT
To be at the very top of the game, you have to have a thick skin. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi seemingly aside, the top players in the world will always have dips in form, and with that will come comparisons to their former glories.
Comments from pundits, former players and journalists are part and parcel of playing in the upper echelons of the game. However, this is clearly something Sanchez struggled with.
‘Journalists spoke without knowing and it bothered me, it hurt. Former players spoke who had no idea of anything that was happening inside the club and gave their opinion damaging you, that it was your fault,’ he said.
‘Since they had to blame one, they blamed me.’
It is absolutely fair to say that United’s No 7 copped his fair share of flak during his Old Trafford days.
Now he has joined Inter, Sanchez has no issue with telling all about his United experience
Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were among the former Old Trafford icons to have their say on the winger. Both were less than complimentary.
‘It’s as if one of the most tenacious football players you will ever see with and without the ball has lost absolutely everything,’ Neville said on Sky Sports in May 2018.
‘That’s from confidence, to his energy, to his legs, to his dribbling abilities, to his goals.
‘There is nothing left in Alexis Sanchez at all. And we are still waiting for him to turn up.’
Scholes claimed he ‘never saw him as a United player’, adding: ‘The signing felt like it happened just to stop Man City signing him.’
It is a lonely place for footballers when they are hitting the headlines for the wrong reason, and, due to the phenomenal amount of money spent on him, Sanchez received a lot more attention than most.
For Sanchez to expect to be absolved of all blame in the sorry saga though is not realistic in the slightest.
Sanchez was the biggest earner at United but the performances did not match his wages
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