There are very few Arsenal fans that would disagree that our team would be languishing in mid-table if Alexis Sanchez hadn’t arrived at the Emirates this summer, and the Chilean was yet again the star of our 2-0 win over Hull in the FA Cup yesterday.
Sanchez has played nearly every game so far this season, and after the gruelling Xmas period, there were many of us calling for Arsene Wenger to give him a well-earned rest against a much depleted Hull team, but can the Gunners actually afford to leave him on the bench for even one game?
Wenger admitted on the official Arsenal website that he thought about resting Sanchez yesterday, but thought better of it in the end: “I was tempted. Giroud was still suspended today and I knew that it was an important game for us. In the end, he always feels ready.”
Le Prof then explained why he made the decision: “He always looked dangerous. He took the corner, he scored a goal and he gave a good chance to Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s lively and always dangerous with his change of direction, his incisiveness and how penetrative he is. He’s interesting to watch because he has a good fighting spirit. He has a good combination of what you want to see from top players – that means that he is ready for a fight and also has talent.
“I hope he can keep his energy up for the rest of the season. There’s no reason. You look at the players who have that confidence – you’re torn between the fact that when the player’s confident and keeping him playing, and giving him a rest. I feel that when the players are confident it’s important to keep them going, especially when they have that physical potential. He recovers very quickly and we’ll see. At the moment he doesn’t look in our tests like he has any fatigue problem.”
Sanchez is truly a remarkable player, and oh how we would love to just have another ten players like him in the team, but the fact is that the Premiership season is long and tough, especially in the winter. Surely we need to give him a rest soon or risk him burning out, as we have seen so many players do over the years.
But when can we afford to do it?