Was it just a week ago that the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spoke publicly about Chile’s decision to risk Alexis Sanchez against Uruguay as “suicidal”? And then sat up all night worrying about whether his hamstring injury would get worse?
Well Alexis played in that game, and scored twice despite his thigh being heavily bandaged, so wouldn’t it have been even more “suicidal” to risk him once again on Saturday after Alexis only returned from a log haul flight on Thursday night? Well Wenger obviously changed his mind and played the Chilean striker, although he had very little impact on the game.
It was guaranteed that Wenger would be pulled up after the draw at Old Trafford and questioned about his decision. “It’s very unusual [to play someone after that],” Wenger replied. “I chose him because Alexis is a guy who can take people on and I knew that would be a quality that would work. He is good on the counter-attack, good in short spaces as well. He’s always a player who is not scared of anybody.
“He played very well in the first half but we didn’t give him enough service in the second half because we dropped off too much and we played too many balls in our own half. We didn’t give him enough support by coming out more. For a guy who played a decisive game on Wednesday morning, and then travelling after, it’s remarkable.”
It is remarkable Arsene, but it was also remarkable last season (about the same time of year) when Le Prof kept playing Alexis with a hamstring injury, despite the fans begging the boss to give Sanchez a rest, and even more remarkable that he broke down and didn’t play another game for two months!
Was Wenger taking a “suicidal” risk too far by playing him on Saturday when we had Iwobi and Giroud on the bench? I think he did, and if he does the same on Wednesday he is simply asking for trouble….