This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to ESPN, Alexis Sanchez has opened up on his failed time at Manchester United.
What did he say?
The Chile international arrived from Arsenal in January 2018 after some truly stellar seasons at the Emirates. The 30-year-old was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2014/2015 campaign, and had been voted as the Gunners’ Player of the Season on two separate occasions.
However, his time at Old Trafford was an abject failure, and the forward eventually joined Serie A giants Inter on a season-long loan earlier this summer.
Now, Sanchez has admitted the time wasn’t right for both him and Romelu Lukaku to be at United, and further opened up on why he thinks things went so wrong.
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He said: “Lukaku and I trained very well. But we needed to play more in games to get to our best. It wasn’t the right time for us to be at Manchester. Too many changes. When you change that much, it’s tough.”
“Too many changes”. For a man who was only at the club for about 18 months, those three words from Sanchez deliver a withering assessment of how things have gone wrong at United. Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure back in 2013, the Red Devils have chopped and changed, both in terms of the playing personnel and the managerial staff.
Undergoing such significant upheaval in very little time throws everything into chaos, and it is difficult to establish a sense of continuity or familiarity. The last year or so paint such a brilliantly symbolic picture of United’s struggles over the past half a decade. Jose Mourinho favoured physical beasts on the pitch, and wanted a rigid playing style, designed to grind out wins. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly wants more nimble, quick players, with a high-tempo approach. Chalk and cheese really.
Whilst Sanchez certainly didn’t pull up any trees at Old Trafford, his verdict encapsulates why United have struggled in recent seasons. If the Red Devils’ hierarchy truly feel Solskjaer is the man, then they simply must stick with him and his play-style. Somewhere along the line, the club need patience. “Too many changes” will continue to do more harm than good.
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