Arsene Wenger has been blamed for the regular injury struggles of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean international has suffered with hamstring injuries on more than one occasion, and was a doubt as recently as last week, when he warned his country to consider not playing him in the crunch Uruguay tie, before refusing to rest him on his return.
Sanchez did play against Luis Suarez’s side and he even bagged an important brace in the 3-1 win before being subbed off with the game already won. Arsenal assessed him on his return, and Wenger started him for the following tie with Manchester United, and then opted to field him for the full 90 minutes.
Football correspondent Jeremy Wilson has now slammed the French boss, blaming him for overusing his stars.
Wilson said: “This hamstring injury wasn’t that serious but he did have a small tear about 10 days before the game. It was obviously a very small injury.
“With his schedule, I think he has played more than 50 games in each of the last three seasons and it’s utterly relentless with the travel as well.
“Wenger, as much as he was warning about Chile playing him, the issue is with him. He’s the one who plays Sanchez all the time. He’s the one who never drops him.
“He’s the one who starts him against Manchester United after the schedule he’s had. What’s got to win for Wenger is what’s best for Sanchez and Arsenal in the longer term.”
The panellist then went onto bring up Jack Wilshere’s injury problems, and has likened his situation to that of Alexis.
He added: “He got it wrong with Wilshere a few years ago when he really badly overplayed him and last year he got it wrong with Sanchez.
“He played him against Norwich when his hamstring was tight. I know it’s difficult but he does generally play Sanchez and it’s not easy to tell him he’s not playing.
“I think Wenger’s got to be tough and strong with Sanchez for Arsenal’s good. It’s Wenger’s issue – he’s the one who has the player 90 per cent of the time.
“It was the same with Wilshere. The game against PSG in midweek is a big game to finish top of their Champions League group. You can’t imagine him resting [Sanchez] there.”
Was Arsene wrong to play Sanchez for the full 90 minutes this weekend, having warned Chile that it would be suicidal to risk him only four days earlier? Does Wenger overuse his key players?