FC Barcelona: 4 Reasons Why Alexis Sanchez No Longer Deserves to Start
Alexis Sanchez recently admitted that he has had a terrible start to the season and needs to improve, via Jake Johnson of Goal.com.
These words were like music to the ears of Barcelona fans, as they are in full agreement with the Chilean.
It is a great sign that he would only give himself a "five out of 10" so far, because that shows self-awareness and a desire to improve.
Cules have been pretty hard on the South American, but his recent comments are very encouraging for a team in need of more offensive power.
But as positive and respectable as his recent statements were, that does not make them less true.
He has, as he admitted, been just short of awful so far this season, and his teammates need to see better from him.
In the opinion of many Barça fans, the best option right now would be to bench their No. 9. For those fans, this would be best for him and best for the team.
Here are four reasons Alexis Sanchez should be relegated to the bench at Camp Nou.
Better Scoring Options
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I understand that Alexis Sanchez's duties are not that of a goal scorer. He's a winger who never scored more than 12 goals in a season before joining Barcelona.
But right now, the biggest problem with Barça's attack is the lack of scoring options apart form Messi.
That is the problem right now, and that was the problem last season, along with a weakened central defense,
It is this lack of scoring options that forms a distinct difference between this Barcelona team and the one that trounced Manchester United to win the Champions League two years ago.
Revisit past glories
Thankfully for La Blaugrana, there are other options that are proven to do exactly what the team needs.
When we talk about the world-class attack from two years ago that made Barcelona one of the greatest club sides in history, we are not reminiscing about retired players or ones who have no chance of regaining that form.
We are talking about two players who are still on the team and, for at least one season, are capable of getting pretty close to the level of two years ago.
Pedro and David Villa are those players. Once both prove to be healthy, Vilanova can reform the famous MVP attack that was almost unstoppable during the 2010-2011 season.
Both players score more than Sanchez, and it may be time to try the pair alongside Messi once again.
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Just as he isn't scoring a ton of goals right now, Sanchez isn't really putting his teammates in the position to do so either.
Alexis may find tons of room on the flank and gets the defense spread out, but he isn't doing anything with that space.
So far he has just two assists this season, one against the worst team in Spain.
When looking at the more underlying statistical signs of poor play, we see that the Chilean has given almost nothing to his teammates.
Sanchez hasn't connected on a single cross in league play this season and has been dispossessed more than anyone else on the team.
If he isn't scoring and isn't creating, what exactly is he bringing to the team?
He Is Being Outplayed by the Competition
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This may be the most obvious reason. It is at least the strongest argument for leaving the South American on the bench.
The main reasons Alexis Sanchez even starts are because he has speed, takes defenders by himself, gets wide enough to spread the defense and sends balls into the box for his teammates.
He does all of those things very well; there is no denying that. He proved at Udinese to be almost unstoppable one on one and has some of the most skillful feet in Europe.
However, so far this season, Cristian Tello has done all of those things, and has done them better than the Chilean.
Tello is inconsistent and still has a lot to learn. He is too predictable in attack and often fails to do much with the ball, even after he gets behind the line.
But how is that any different from Sanchez?
Tito Vilanova should consider giving the youngster some time and let Sanchez know the starting role is not his unconditionally.
He Never Earned It
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This is perhaps the most important reason Sanchez should no longer start for Barcelona.
He may be the first-choice option out wide for now, but in all honesty, he never even earned that right.
The Chilean starts right now because he was the starter last season. But he only did so then because David Villa, Pedro and Ibrahim Afellay were all lost to injury.
The only competition for Sanchez last term was two youth products—Tello and Isaac Cuenca—and a converted midfielder in Cesc Fabregas.
Perhaps he has gotten a bit too comfortable in a position that was basically handed to him and that he has yet to make his own.
Please feel free to comment below and let us know how you feel about Alexis Sanchez's current form.
Please also check out my two latest articles:
Real Madrid: 4 things Mourinho needs to change in the coming weeks
FC: Barcelona: 4 biggest needs as the Champions League gets underway