Two things that Arsene Wenger has said this week in the build up to Arsenal facing Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday could well give us a little clue about the Frenchman’s plans for the festive period.
The manager has already given our star man Alexis Sanchez a little rest by leaving him in London while the Gunners travelled to Turkey to hammer Galatasaray in the final Champions League group game last week. But the Chile international star had played almost every minute for us before that and his break was much needed and well deserved.
However, Wenger has admitted that he is still worried about his new striker facing the kind of burn out that we often see from players like Mesut Ozil who are new to the Premier League and the fact that there is no winter break in England, as revealed in an ESPN report.
The Frenchman said, “It is a shock to the system, those that are not used to it. They [foreign players] are all used to a break, but in England there is no stop in the winter. Many of them suffer physically.
“As well mentally, the players are used to a break over Christmas, to be with their family. The players from South America are used to going home, but of course in England you cannot do it.
“He needed some rest. He benefited from the fact that I didn’t take him to Galatasaray [in the Champions League earlier this month]. He has played 28 games since the start of the season and he needed a little breather. It will have helped him.”
Arsenal have suffered before from losing our best players after overplaying them, although the boss has often had little choice due to the injury problems. He will certainly start Alexis on Sunday, but the other day he revealed that Theo Walcott could travel as well and I’m sure that Wenger would love to give the England international a good run out to get him ready for action again.
If that happens and Walcott does well, he could be in line for a first start in nearly a year when QPR come to the Emirates on Boxing Day. The Gunners should still have more than enough firepower while Alexis would get that extra break that could prevent us losing him for longer. What do you think?