Everyone in the Arsenal setup, including Arsene Wenger and me, have been extremely worried about the Chile manager playing our injured superstar, Alexis Sanchez, in last nights crucial World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay.
But, although Sanchez had his leg heavily strapped, he managed to complete 84 minutes of the game, and scored two brilliant second half goals to bring Chile back into contention for a World Cup place. They are now joint 3rd in the South American group with 20 points, along with Ecuador, but with Argentina just one point behind them.
Arsenal tried to get Sanchez sent back to England for treatment, but his counterpart at Chile assured us that the striker was fit enough to play. His coach at Chile, Claudio Pizzi, said after the game: “Individuals speak for themselves,”
“Alexis is among the best players in the world.
“[But] I am more in favour of emphasising the strengths of the group. And it is what allowed us to turn the game.”
“We value individuality, but I think today the great merit of reversing the outcome is based solely on the collective. Everyone understands how to solve things by doing it together. Sometimes a few stand out as Claudio, Eduardo, Alexis…
“From the second half we were the better team. We found our way, even though I feel it was a close game.
“The team know to build on their strengths. We have the personality and experience to keep calm. We know that with the players we can create options. And that was what happened.”
And this should be the same at Arsenal. At least Sanchez has proved he can play on and it is but a minor injury, but as Pizzi said it is the collective squad that will win you games, not just one player. Arsene Wenger has assembled a mighty squad and everyone of them is capable of winning us games. I suggest Wenger rests Alexis against Man United but puts the right XI to get us the points….
Here is Alexis’ first goal which put Chile in front….
And here is the second…. Enjoy!