Was Wenger wrong to risk Alexis against Man United?

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….



  1. Koktafo says:

    For me I think if ozil continue like this Wenger should bench him and play alexis sanchez at his place like our play maker.in the game against man utd it was alexis who organised our game not ozil.so ï think Wenger should try alexis like play maker and play walcott and Iwobi on the flank.

    1. Samiora says:


    2. Wilshegz says:

      the problem against United wasn’t with Ozil but the left flank n most importantly the CM, that’s the core of the team.

      1. Trudeau says:

        What he said.

  2. Kostafi says:

    No, he played against Uruguay days earlier and scored twice in that match. If anything, as we became flat footed in the second half, he should have taken him off for Giroud to rest for PSG as much as to change tactics. Either way it worked with Giroud- the Ox at right back by Wenger was a master-stroke which shows the old man hasn’t lost it haha. Martial was poor on the day and Jenko didn’t take advantage getting forward. Monreal was the busier full back as has been a lot this season. He is still not getting enough protection ahead of him; Valencia bombed successfully forward far too often with Rambo preferring to drift inside exposing Monreal. Aurier will do the same (again) for PSG on Wednesday if not addressed

    How we missed Cazorla finding Ozil in the middle. I am of the opinion Rambo can do a similar job alongside Xhaka or Coq

  3. Uzi Ozil says:

    Was Wenger wrong to play him? I said no.. If Alexis feels he can start.. Then that’s fine. Some fans would have called for Wengers head assuming we lost with Sanchez not on the bench.

    Anyway, hope we learnt some lessons from the game against manu. .i m now focused on psg match

  4. Wilshegz says:

    Wrong to play Alexis? No! it’s not playing Iwobi n Xhaka that he was wrong by

  5. TH14atl says:

    Only person he was wrong for playing was Ramsey. It’s no shock to me that 3 people that had been playing well suddenly didn’t based on his inclusion. Constant movement and interchange has been a reason why Alexis, Theo, and Mesut have done so well. They’ve been able to find those spaces because Iwobi does a good job maintaining his position, and also has above average technical ability to retain possession in tight spaces and circulate the ball with Mesut, Alexix, and Santi. The moment Ramsey is introduced wide, not only does he not have the close-control that Iwobi has, he lacks the discipline to stay wide where he’s supposed to be. Instead he’s constantly making runs into or already standing in the spaces that Mesut, Alexis, or Theo want to get on the ball. It stops the fluidity and kills our attacks.

    Either play him centrally off the bench, or don’t play him. Playing him wide clearly doesn’t work. Two games he’s been back, two games we’ve dropped points.

    1. Admin says:

      Don’t forget his only other game was against Liverpool.
      3 games 2 points!

      1. TH14atl says:

        Even further proving the point. Thank you. Needs to be a super sub or not used at all. All balance and flow goes out the window when he plays from the off.

    2. Kostafi says:

      I agree with a lot about Iwobi- good technically, and strong, but he’s not good at maintaining his position. He drifts infield quite a lot but I honestly cant tell if because Ozil has drifted wide or he enjoys playing through the middle. We definitely missed him at the weekend. Rambo is no winger, end of. Playing him so he can extend his contract is about the only valid reason to do it. Wenger must not be afraid to drop stars over contract negotiations.

      1. TH14atl says:

        For me, when Iwobi does come inside to get on the ball the game has demanded that he do so, and it’s a time that makes sense and allows Monreal to get around him, or to combine/interchange with Mesut/Alexis. Ramsey, on the other hand, comes centrally when he feels like it — which is almost every time — not when the game demands that he come centrally. He simply clogs up the spaces, keeps others from moving how they need to, and prevents the ball from circulating the way that it should.

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I wish he had not started ramsey, jenkinson and Eleney.

    That said we mustafi beat PSG or we will end up playing the likes of Barcelona, madrid, bayern, Athletico, in the next round.

    We Mustafi beat PSG and mustafi win our next PL too. We are 3 points behind Chelski and two points behind city and Liverpool. We mustafi not allow that deficit to increase or we are going to be out of the race

    I think we mustafi play Alexis until league cup/fa cup matches. Unless of course he can’t due to injury

    1. Maverick12 says:

      you slightly overdid it. mustafi for must

  7. Wilshegz says:

    we had our defense still trying to adapt to life without Bellerin
    the midfield was adapting gradually to the loss of Santi thanks to Xhaka in the position then u kick a midfield trying to get up by dropping Xhaka for Elneny.
    then u amputate the forward by dropping Iwobi from an outta form Ramsey.
    Not good

  8. kelleson says:

    Playing Sanchez is the best decision to be taken by any manager at a match of this nature. Arsenal would have won the match if xhaka and Iwobi was seleted to start. Inclusion of Ramsey and Elneny in the game make’s Man U to look as if they are good. If not sanchez pogpa would have score from the midfield. Elneny cannot give a long pass to the attack and Ramsey is alway short of idea. Until Wenger stop featuring some unambitious player in our team Arsenal cannot do well. Wenger should continue looking for players that have sanchez character

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