Saturday, June 22, 2024

Wenger on Sanchez decision & Cazorla absence

Arsene Wenger says he’s not sure when Santi Cazorla will return to the first team fold and admits he’ll have to assess Alexis Sanchez before deciding whether to take him to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Hector Bellerin, ruled out for four weeks, and Lucas Perez will definitely miss the lunchtime kick-off with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United but there’s a chance Alexis, who scored twice for Chile against Uruguay in the week, could fature after recovering from a suspected hamstring problem.

“Not a lot,” replied the boss when asked on Thursday what news he’d heard about Alexis’ injury status.

“We were in doubt 24 hours before the game against Uruguay. We didn’t know if he’d play or not. In the end they decided to play him.

“He text us back that he’s in good shape after the game, he came off after 85 minutes.

“Now we have to wait. I see him tomorrow morning and we’ll see if he can be involved in the squad or not.

“I’ll consider the risk of injury because he played when recovering from a hamstring injury and how he feels as well. On that front you depend a lot on the honesty of the player and how they feel and recover.”

He added: “You know it’s difficult to make a definite assessment. I don’t know how bad his injury was. You have to trust the medical people from Chile. I understand completely that Alexis wanted to play, these are qualifiers not friendly games. Chile is not in a fantastic position to qualify for the World Cup and I understand that Alexis is keen to play for his country in such an important game.

“After that it’s a period of November, it’s a difficult period, where the first signs [are shown] of players having played many games…it’s a period where you can pay a heavy price. Last year we lost important players in November for long periods.”

While there’s a chance that Alexis could make the trip north, the news on Cazorla is not so positive.

“Cazorla is still out, for how long I don’t exactly know but he’s still not even out in training.”

Let’s keep our fingers crossed on both fronts. It does sound as though we won’t be seeing our little Spanish maestro for a while longer though.

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If Cazorla doesn’t make the effort to get back playing for Christmas I think there will be a new film made.

Bad Santi.


More seriously I hope Alexis plays as we need him, though there are a lot of fixtures coming up that we need him for, so worried for him and then us.

Cliff Bastin



Laughter – sorry not allowed.


Didn’t this happen last year as well?

Bad Santi 2


Frustrating Wilshere didn’t stick around in the end, would of had a run of games with Santi and Ramsey injured the last few weeks. As much as I like Elneny he is just a jack of all trades and not particularly amazing at anything.

Edu's Braces

Show me a team with 11 ‘amazing’ players, he’s solid and does what is asked of him which is fine by me. A squad needs that.


And you think Wilshere is ‘amazing’?


In honesty I didn’t mean Wilshere is amazing but he offers us something very different to what we had with Santi/Ramsey out.


Elneny has been very solid so far but he’s not a like for like at all, don’t think that’s a criticism of him to say so. Wilshere came on for Santi in the opener against Liverpool, then decided to leave. Cazorla is now in the mythical 3 weeks away zone and Wilshere’s not here to take advantage. They’re all central midfielders but Cazorla is in his own category really, Wilshere has the most similarities. Frustrating.


Santi didn’t even start the opener against Liverpool bro

igbo Amadi-Obi

Alexis happened last year as well. Complaints over hamstring, we kept playing him, and we lost him for nearly 2 months. Deja vu.

Third Plebeian

I feel like I’ve read this comment before.

Rambling Pete

I think last year Cazorla’s absence hurt us a lot more than it will this time around. I love the little guy but we’ve got options now with Xhaka, Ramsey, Elneny and Coquelin. It’s good to see that we’ve prepared better than we have in previous seasons when the loss of one key player would have had a much more significant impact. If you can remember as far back as the 70s you’ll know how that went, and I can recall one evening with the first Mrs Pete and some friends when we’d gone out after a game for a… Read more »


Rambling Pete, how I’ve missed you so…

Campbell's forehead

Yes rambling Pete, where have you been?


Of course hurt us lot more, plus coq was injuried in the same period and the replacement was flamini, now we have xhaka, elneny, ramsey, coq, and xhaka played great against the spuds he is starting to settle now and he will be great for us.


i always thought that loosing santi hurt us but it was loosing another midfielder that hurted us the most …coqueline . we stopped playing well after loosing santi but if there was coquelin atleast out defence would have been more secure. in some way having ramsey at the very least decreased the effect of loosing santi but there was no one to replace coquelin. he was the only reliable def midfielder we had at that time. arteta was injured as soon as he stepped on to the field and playing flamini made sure that any chance we had to win… Read more »


‘Seminal’ album?
Made my day, Mr Pete

Third Plebeian

I like that you were the key player in your story, Pete. Who knows what might have happened had you not been there.

Edu's Braces

Hate to be overly negative but no cazorla no party, fucking november.


Would rather not take a chance on Alexis than have him aggravate any injury, losing him for months…. remember last season people! This is still a single match to be played on Saturday and winning won’t get us more than 3 points! I’d rather lose 3 points than lose Alexis for months!

moreover, we can beat those people without our Energizer bunny anyways so no worries!



Walcott, Ox, Giroud, Ramsey, Ozil (not to mention Coq and Xhaka)…
…all of them are 100% match-fit in theory.
And they are definitely not in the squad to play “””only””” against West Brom, Watford or Hull City…

igbo Amadi-Obi

Truth is that we may not get Santi for the rest of the season. and it should have been envisaged by the medical team. and Wenger should have planned for it in the summer. but what do we know? Knee ligament at 32 years is a career ender. Achilles tendon in the same season just puts seals it. Yet we played him game after game after game until the inevitable happened!

D's Knots

Who do you think he brought Xhaka to replace?

Texas Tanaka

Ummm… you mean to say there should have been moves made during the last two transfer windows which would ensure a Cazorla injury didn’t hurt the team as badly as before? Maybe there should have been one or two players signed that could cover for him, like let’s say someone who is capable of running box to box for the entirety of a game or someone who is comfortable with distributing play from deep? One or maybe two players that could compliment, partner and compete with both Coquelin and Ramsey or indeed themselves? Let’s say maybe a player or two… Read more »

A Different George

If only one of those players could add a little physical side to our game, maybe be willing to make a crunching tackle or two, that would also have been good.


Thank God it said “fature” … For while there I read “… He could fracture …”.


I ll say keep Alexis on the bench. Play Giroud upfront. Iwobi and Rambo flanking. Carl as right full back to whip in the crosses. If we eventually need to change style, bring in theo and Alexis.

Giroud's bulge

Play Theo


I’d honestly leave Sanchez out of the game! and I would play Giroud up top with OX and Theo either side. Ramsey and Coquline with Ozil just in front


Francine Coquline


i can see alexis being on the bench to start with, we have a lot of options, he likes to have ramsey in the side when fit, so may start walcott up front, Ramsey on the right, Ozil on the left, Xhaka and Coq in the middle,if he does start with ALexis then Theo left Ramsey right we then have many options from the bench to change things we know that maureen will park the bus and play on the counter,

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