Sport / Columnists

Tamlyn Patterson
3 minute read
20 Jan 2017
3:21 pm

Be a good boy and sign that deal Alexis

Tamlyn Patterson

An unusual banner has been erected at the Emirates Stadium.

Tamlyn Patterson

Six metres wide and 1m tall, it features Arsenal’s top dog surrounded by two gorgeous Labrador retrievers. Meet Atom and Humber, the lights in Alexis Sanchez’s life and certainly in no need of any affirmation of loyalty, not to mention heaps of unconditional love.

This, while the Chilean forward grapples with a lot of recent flak not only about his future at Arsenal, but also his body language during their last two Premier League encounters. First he was lambasted for chucking his gloves down in anger after the Gunners scrambled from 3-0 behind to earn a point against Bournemouth a few hours into the New Year.

Then, he was targeted for showing disappointment at being substituted during last Saturday’s game versus the Swans. Images of him slumped under his match day jacket nine minutes before fulltime have been shared over and over.

Apparently it’s not cool to outwardly display a bit of fervour. Don’t show enough and you’re also in the dogbox. This is Sanchez we’re talking about. He should be allowed to do whatever the hell he likes, some fans argue. But preserving him at this stage of the season is, I guess, the most sensible option although we’d love to see him in action all day every day.

Back to that permanent upper tier “Good Boys” banner. A group of ardent Arsenal fans have joined forces in taking matters into their own hands. With the star’s signature yet to grace any dotted line confirming his stay in North London beyond his initial 18-month contract, the rumours will continue to swirl as he and Mesut Oezil contemplate their next moves.

Desperate to have him stay, the group created a funding page to help with the project aimed at raising £500 for the banner. Within a matter of 24 hours, an amount of £610 had been raised and everything is in place for the artwork to be unveiled when they face Burnley at the Emirates on Sunday.

The extra 110 quid will be donated to the UK Dog’s Trust. The REDAction Gooners describe themselves as a group of Arsenal fans who work to improve the atmosphere in the stadium. Most think it’s a barking mad idea.

Why I don’t know, the dogs clearly mean the world to him so why not honour the joint top-scorer this season with a shrine of his own starring his two best friends? As it is, their names are even embroidered on his boots. Arsenal fans have a lot more to worry about as they figure out what to do to try and stop Chelsea from running away with the title. And of course, the little matter of putting pen to paper.

In the meantime, Sanchez might need an extra comforting lick or two after Monday’s news revealed that the 28-year-old star had admitted to defrauding Spanish tax authorities while playing for Barcelona from 2011 to 2014. But luckily it’s his first offence and he admitted to it so a trip to jail will be avoided at all costs. Did I mention that just like your fur babies, we need you Alexis?