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Alexis Sanchez doesn’t deserve your sympathy

And he doesn’t deserve better than this.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

One recent trope of Arsenal’s struggles is for the camera to pan over Alexis, who is usually knelt down, looking anguished and frustrated. “What must he think,” asks a commentator, while masochistic Arsenal fans and smug neutrals say “he deserves better.”

Here’s the thing: he doesn’t. No one forced Alexis to sign a contract with Arsenal. He’s well remunerated for playing football. He, like the rest of the team, are still being well paid while they participate in this mess. And if he wants to leave, than so be it; he probably will leave, he’ll probably sulk and make Arsenal sell him for less money than he’s worth, and if he isn’t, if he’s ‘forced’ to see out his contract, as many employees are, then he’ll be paid to do his job, getting ~£125k per week to play football.

And despite scoring 22 times, he is responsible for Arsenal’s form. No one is eliciting sympathy for Mesut Özil—accused of sulking every time he has the same emotional response as Alexis—or Hector Bellerin, abused by his own fan base when he went over to clap them last night. Alexis is no better than the rest of them. It is a team game and he is a member of the team. And if he, or any one of them decide at this moment that they’re above that, than they are not winners; they are quitters.