Arsenal face disaster if they cannot ease the burden on Alexis Sanchez

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Despite the fact they pulled off their third Premier League victory of the season so far, worries over the current stat of the Arsenal tea continued and further concerns were highlighted.

Alexis Sanchez pounced on howlers by Wes Brown and Vito Mannone to secure a 2-0 win for the Gunners at Sunderland on Saturday, making it two away wins in a row for last week following the smash and grab 2-1 win at Anderlecht on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger's £32million summer signing was instrumental for the winning goal in the Champions League on Wednesday and gave further proof at the Stadium of Light that Arsenal manager is just not getting the best out of his side.

Sanchez has scored or assisted five of his side's sat six goals and quickly made himself the most important name on the team sheet. Wenger should be thankful for the Chilean, because he is currently serving to cover up some serious deficiencies

Winning is the best habit to have when playing poorly and the 'form of champions' cliche is regularly trotted out at times such as these. But the truth is that the 25-year-old is only just managing to stave off a crisis at Emirates Stadium.

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It's normal for teams to rely on their best players to add the magic touch to things when fluidity is hard to find, but it is currently non-existent in the Gunners' play.

Sanchez's two goals were examples of what you can gain with a tremendous work rate and the attitude that there is no such thing as a lost cause. Both goals were poor mistakes on the part of the Sunderland players, but it was no coincidence that the Chile international was on hand to profit.

The amount of work he gets through in 90 minutes is phenomenal, yet he is able to add class on the ball and effective finishing to that. Not much to complain about there, but it's the fact he cannot get any of his teammates to emulate him.

Lucky escape

Far too many Arsenal players are not delivering this season and though there is nothing lucky about Sanchez's work rate, Wenger is fortunate his summer signing has adapted so quickly.

Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Özil, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all yet to look anything like their best so far this season. The vagaries of form mean that rarely will all the players in your squad be hitting top form, but such a large number of them playing as poorly as they have done for a long time is a serious worry.

A terrific start to his career in north London will inevitably turn into a drop in form at some point

Sanchez is covering up for this at the moment, but being a one-man team is never a good sign and Arsenal are especially at risk with the man in this case being Sanchez.

A terrific start to his career in north London will inevitably turn into a drop in form at some point. While normal, it is worrying as to what the consequences will be if the rest of the squad do not turn their form around soon.

No ideas

Arsenal look as clueless going forward as they have done for many a season, but it is the ponderous tempo at which they are currently going about things that must cause the greatest concern. While there is no suggestion that the players do not want to win, there is a lack of visible desire among many of them.

Fans want to see players working furiously hard to make things happen if struggles are being experienced. Poor form will be forgiven if it is obvious that the player in question is putting his all in and try to find a way out of it.

Reasons to be fearful

Wenger changing the way the team is set up this season has been mentioned as a possible reason for the lack of fluidity going forward, but that is no excuse for the listlessness that is currently gripping much of the team.

Defensive injuries and the loss of the solidity at the back that was present for most of last season mean that bluntness in attack will be doubly painful. Future Opponents will not be as damaged as Sunderland were, having being thrashed 8-0 last week, and the punishments will be severe if Sanchez cannot save them once again.

Having a summer signing playing so well is great news, but the time is coming when Wenger's side will have to react without him. Things need to change quickly.

Alexis Sanchez
Premier League

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