Friday, March 1, 2024

Wenger to rest Sanchez next week

Arsene Wenger says he won’t take Alexis Sanchez to Turkey next week when Arsenal play Galatasaray in their final Champions League group game.

With qualification assured the Gunners look likely to rotate their squad on Tuesday, despite the outside chance of topping the group. Several players are apparently on the cusp of the fabled ‘red zone’ with Sanchez identified by the boss as one of the prime candidates for a rest.

“I will have to give him a week break at some stage, yes,” Wenger told his weekly press conference.

“At the moment he looks like at some stage I have to give him a breather. I did it with many players before who were a little bit playing every game. I did it with Henry, with Van Persie and it always helped them to get through without being injured.

“You have to know when to rest him and when not but I think at the moment he plays at his peak on the edge. He will not go to Turkey.

“When you have a player who wants to run, you don’t stop him. He has enthusiastic, he loves to play.

“He has quality [and] in the morning he comes in and he is fresh. I don’t know what he does overnight!”

Judging by comments made by Alexis this week, he probably goes home and plays even more football. Speaking to The Times at a new health and well-being centre run by homeless charity Centrepoint – in part funded by £500,000 raised by Arsenal’s ‘Be a Gooner, Be a Giver’ campaign  – the Chilean revealed how deep his love for the beautiful game runs.

“When I was younger, I played football on the streets, on a scrap of land, wherever I could. I had to apologise to the neighbours a few times for breaking windows, like all kids. Quite a few times, actually.

“We did not have a pitch or goalposts or anything like that. We would put down two rocks and that was the goal. There was just the ground and the ball.

“It did not bother me not to have proper boots or a good pitch. It was enough to be with my friends and to be playing. It is no different now. I do not mind where I play. I just love playing.

“When I go back on my holidays, I still play with my friends, wherever we can, just as we always did. My family is there, my friends are there. It is in my heart.”

You can read the rest of Rory Smith’s fantastic interview with Alexis here. Well worth it, even if it is behind a paywall.

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North Stand

Just when I think I couldn’t like Sanchez anymore..


Leaving him home for the trip to Turkey makes sense. We only get something out of that game if Dortmund lose to Anderlecht at home, which is fairly unlikely. And we actually have the depth up front so why not (Podolski, Sanogo, Campbell, Walcott?, Gnabry? … even chucking Rosicky in has a knock-on)


We really do need to win this game; Dortmund are dead last in the German league and due for a slip-up in the CL!


Sheffield Goon

Yes, but we won’t win in Galatasary. We can’t deal with hostile places. Currently losing 3-0 at Stoke ffs.


How is it possible not to love this guy!? I do wonder how he’ll cope with not being able to play as much when he has to retire though.


We really ought to win in Istanbul, even without Sanchez. I have a feeling Koscielny will get a rest, and one of the young defenders will get a chance. It would be a shame to not win, and then see Dortmund lose against Anderlecht


Am sure after retirement @ 45 he will stil be playing ball with his grand children at the backyard an he will still celebrate if he scores. He is simply an amazing player and a joy to watch.


And he rescues rabbits. I’ll hear no wrong of him.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

Obviously not the main thrust of the article, but I’m really proud of how much Arsenal gives back to the community. I always enjoy it before matches when they’ve got people from Arsenal’s charity and diversity partners pitchside to recognize their work. I know the players are obliged to do stuff like this, but they seem to genuinely get into the spirit of it.

(And Centrepoint is a great charity, as well, if anyone is looking for a new cause to support)


Dye your hair red Alexis and you will be amazed by the reaction.


I would be interested to know distance covered for each game and the average distance average for each player of the squad. Does anyone have any suggestions to get these stats? I’m certain we would then get a better understanding of the players.

For example I remember when Ozil took a press criticism vs Bayern and yet I saw a stat later from 101great goals that he covered the 3rd higher distance for the match.

Rizwan Ahmed

its not abt third highest distance covered, its about meaningful distance. i remember Ozil was hopeless that day, made a lot of unnecessary movements not in sync with his teammates


Does anyone know where I can find stats to show distance covered every match?

The Only Olivier is Giroud

I am usually loathe to say this willy nilly but Sanchez seems to be an Arsenal legend in the making. What an astounding buy.

ozil's gone missing

glad Arsene’s decided to rest him. i hope Lolo gets a rest too against Gala. i hope Debuchy returns quick and the BFG can have fine performances with Chambers at CB. for now lets just get the 3pts against stoke and an assured performance


Playing on a patch of land with rocks for goalposts sounds like he fully prepared for a trip to stoke


“I do not mind where I play. I just love playing.”

I love this guy don’t get me wrong, but that is a worrying comment. Maybe it’s out of context, but I’d really hate to see our quality players move on in the coming couple seasons unless we as a team start really building confidence and good form.

I’m happy with the recent results tho, I believe we can put together a run. Just can’t shake the feeling that we are still missing important pieces.


i interpreted that to mean that he doesn’t mind playing different positions, not at different clubs.

Mark Hughes

He was taking about playing on whatever he could (ground/grass with goalposts/rocks). How you got your interpretation is beyond me.


Love this guy.


Great story. I am a little dubious of Wenger’s selective memory when it comes to keeping van Persie fit though…

Alexis Alejandro Sanchez Sanchez

Arsene tell me ‘stay home’ and would not put me on flight. But I book with EasyJet and Podolski say he will let me in back door of stadium. I will play, haha.


The big issue at the moment is defensively we are depleted. Chambers is not a natural Cback. he played at Rb for Southampton. he is a bright prospect and I like him massively but he has made more critical errors than Flamini. Unfortunately the ‘we need a physical DM’ narrative would prefer to spit roast our DMs as capegoats where probelms really lie elsewhere. We have been poor defending set pieces and crosses. All 3 goals today are from crosses from wide areas. This suggest a lack of understanding an experience in the middle of defense and across the back… Read more »


It may be wise to protect Alexis.

Our problem is evidently not in going forward.

The more interesting thing will be to see who we can play at the back.

Per is also in the red zone. hopefully Wenger keeping Koscielny out at Stoke would have him available for Gala.

Gibbs is looking iffy with knocks. Monreal is out. Chambers should come in at RB but hopefully Debuchy returns early at RB thereafter.

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