Just about every Arsenal fan was begging Arsene Wenger to give Alexis Sanchez a rest, after he has had a torrid time (and lots of hamstring scares) in the last month or so, even while being overplayed on international duty.
But now today our worst fears came true as Alexis was taken off with the inevitable hamstring injury, and Wenger still believes he was right to play the Chilean because;
A – The media does not tell him what to do.
B – Because Alexis said he felt fine before the game
C – He didn’t have much choice but to play him due to other injuries
One thing Wenger did also say is that he is worried that the injury may be even more serious than just a strain, which is just about the worst thing that culd happen to the Gunners.
“The players are there to play football and not to be rested and not for the press to decide if they need to be rested,” Wenger said. “He says it is a kick on his hamstring, I believe that is not really the reality. I fear it is not the reality.”
“At the moment we have – on the striker front – not much choice,” he said.
“Maybe the travelling as well to South America….I would have rested him today but he felt perfectly all right before the game and he declared that he had no problem.
“We checked it (Sanchez’s hamstring) When you have normal force and normal stretch there is no problem and he had that.
“Nobody is scientifically developed enough to predict when a guy will be injured. I must say with all humility we are not in a position where we can predict (injuries) despite all our tests.
“We lost Sanchez, Cazorla played on one leg and of course we lost Koscielny at the start of the game, it is a fair point for Norwich.
“It was, on the injury-front, a bad afternoon for us.”
And not just on the injury front. We lost yet another two points in the title race and have now gained 2 points out of our last 3 games. This is not good. And the loss of Koscielny and Alexis could make it even more serious. Just when we thought our injury situation was improving, suddenly we are kicked n the ass yet again.