7th December 2015: FA Cup draw, Sanchez award and Gilberto on staying on top

Evening all and welcome to a brand new week on TremendArse. Just a couple of days after we played Sunderland at Emirates stadium, the draw for the third round of the FA Cup has been made, and we’ll be playing Sunderland at Emirates stadium. Weird.

But there’s absolutely nothing weird at all about the next bit of Arsenal news today, which is that Alexis Sanchez has been named the Football Supporters’ Federation Footballer of the Year for 2015, becoming the third south American attacker to win the award in a row after Sergio Aguero in 2014 and Luis Suarez in 2013.

After helping us to win the FA Cup in May, scoring a scorcher in the final at Wembley of course, Sanchez then went off and won the Copa America with Chile over the summer to cap off a brilliant first season as a Gunner.

Then after a slow start to this season by his standards, mainly due to his delayed summer hols, the Chilean rediscovered his best form in our win at Leicester City at the end of September by scoring a hat-trick and pretty much maintained it until he pulled his hamstring at Norwich just over a week ago.

On winning the award, Sanchez said:

I’m delighted to receive the FSF Player of the Year award. It’s been a great year for me on the pitch and I’m thrilled it has been recognised by the fans. Arsenal have enjoyed a good start to the season and it was disappointing to pick up an injury at this important time. But I‘m hoping to be back soon to help my team-mates have another successful year.

Whilst Arsene Wenger offered:

Alexis has had a fantastic year – winning the FA Cup with us and the Copa America with Chile. He has made a huge impact on English football since his arrival and I’m very happy that his skill, ability and dedication has been recognised by football fans across the country.

Finally, Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said:

Alexis is a fantastic player who has lit up the Premier League since arriving in 2014. He’s a constant threat and played a huge role in helping Arsenal win the FA Cup last season, including a goal in the final. Thierry Henry called him Arsenal’s best signing of the past six years – and we certainly wouldn’t disagree. He’s a worthy winner of the FSF Player of the Year award.

I’m not sure who Thierry has in mind when he says past six years because for me, Sanchez is the best ‘goalscorer’ signing we’ve made since, well, Thierry himself.

Moving on now though and lastly for today, former Gunner and a member of the Invincibles, Gilberto has been speaking to Arsenal Player about what it takes to sustain a title challenge, saying:

The hardest thing when you achieve this level in your game is to maintain it. To keep it up is the hardest job because it doesn’t depend what you do on the pitch, it depends on injuries, suspensions and also the focus from everyone. It’s important for everyone to be focused on what they have to do, to keep doing their job at the highest level they can. Everyone wants to beat you and of course you want to beat everyone. The confidence is high but you must be careful and not let it go over the limit of what is necessary. You keep going and do your job the right way. It’s important to keep your focus at the maximum level that you can, to maintain it’s very hard, but I hope they can keep it up and end the season with another trophy.

With Francis Coquelin out, what Arsene would give to have a Gilberto in his prime available right now and I guess that’s his challenge in next month’s market – finding a defensive midfielder of similar quality to the Brazilian.

Right, back tomorrow when I’ll start to look ahead to Wednesday night’s make or break Champions League trip to Olympiacos.

Laters.

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