Arsene manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Alexis Sanchez is burdened with disappointment after his Chile side failed to earn qualification to next summer’s World Cup competition.
La Roja were sat in third place going into the final group stage match in qualifying, and their worst nightmare came true on the night.
Chile needed a single point to at least secure a place in the play-off places, while the only way they could fail to make the top five would be for them to lose, Argentina to win, and for Colombia and Peru to settle for a draw against each other, and excruciatingly all those circumstances came true.
To make matters worse, the goal which say Peru equalise and earn themselves a spot in the top five was from an indirect free-kick, which only stood because goalkeeper and Arsenal team-mate David Ospina made contact with the ball before entering the net. Ouch indeed…
Wenger has now revealed just how disappointed his forward is, stating that the former Barcelona man carries the weight of the pressure when leading his country.
‘Sanchez is 29 at the end of the year, so the next one he will be 33. He expected to go. Certainly [it is] a big disappointment for him.’
‘I would say you have in every generation a player who carries the pressure of expectation of a nation,’ Wenger said.
‘In France it was [Zinedine] Zidane. In England it was Beckham. We had other players in the team but it was Beckham. Why not [Steven] Gerrard? I don’t know. But it was Beckham.
‘In Chile it’s Sanchez. In Argentina of course it’s [Lionel] Messi. It looks like that there is somebody there in a national team who has to carry the pressure and absorb it and protect a little the rest of the team.’
Wenger continued: ‘It’s someone normally who likes it a little bit. They like to be on the front line. Overall what does it mean? It means they have to deal with the lows as well. ‘Remember 1998 when Beckham has been sent off after [kicking] Diego Simeone, he has been slaughtered here, he’s not been picked for the first two qualifiers after for the European qualifiers. ‘He has been treated in this country like a guy who has killed somebody. These players have to take both the positives and the negatives as well.’
Will Sanchez be mentally ready to take on Watford this weekend?