Thursday 21 September 2017

Sanchez outburst just shows his winning mentality, insists Wenger

Sánchez threw down his gloves and stormed off the pitch on the final whistle, and was earlier seen shouting in frustration at team-mate Aaron Ramsey. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Sánchez threw down his gloves and stormed off the pitch on the final whistle, and was earlier seen shouting in frustration at team-mate Aaron Ramsey. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Jeremy Wilson

Arsène Wenger has welcomed Alexis Sánchez's furious reaction to Arsenal's 3-3 draw against Bournemouth and says that displays of player anger - both publicly and behind closed doors - have become a rarity in modern football.

Arsène Wenger has welcomed Alexis Sánchez's furious reaction to Arsenal's 3-3 draw against Bournemouth and says that displays of player anger - both publicly and behind closed doors - have become a rarity in modern football.

Sánchez threw down his gloves and stormed off the pitch on the final whistle, and was earlier seen shouting in frustration at team-mate Aaron Ramsey.

The outbursts prompted fears that Sánchez is disenchanted with life at Arsenal amid contract talks, but Wenger does not see any wider significance and is adamant that there were previously far more explosive exchanges between players.

Analysed

"We live in a world where you want action," said Wenger. "I don't look too much at how people talk; I look how much they want to win. In this job I have seen a lot between players. The only difference now is it is all analysed and all on camera.

"Much less happens than before. Everybody is camera conscious. Before, a lot more happened.

"When something happens like that people are surprised but, for me, that is part of the game."

The contrast in reaction between Sánchez (pictured) and Olivier Giroud was stark. While Giroud indulged in a 'scorpion' celebration after scoring Arsenal's 92nd-minute equaliser, Sánchez and most of the other players were clearly still desperate to get on and win the game. Wenger agreed that Giroud should not have wasted time but was forgiving of his reaction and adamant that he shares Sánchez's mentality.

"Giroud is a winner as well; he is a fighter," said Wenger. "I can understand Giroud. He thought the game was lost, it was 92 minutes. You score. You don't lose. We can understand that but, ideally, you want not to waste time any more.

"They care as much as he (Sánchez) does. Everybody has his way. The players are frustrated. There was no celebration in the dressing-room; everybody was disappointed. There is no hierarchy of intensity of desire to win at that level."

Wenger will now rest Sánchez for tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Preston North End, when Petr Cech, Mesut Özil and Laurent Koscielny will also be left out.

"They are human beings; you have to give them a breather at some stage," said Wenger. "Mentally and physically. He (Sánchez) is a bit jaded."

Wenger has only two remaining fit central midfielders after confirmation that Francis Coquelin is out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury and Santi Cazorla is making slow progress in his comeback from ankle surgery.

With Mohamed Elneny at the Africa Cup of Nations and Jack Wilshere on loan to Bournemouth, it leaves Granit Xhaka and Ramsey as Wenger's only two senior specialists.

Özil did report for training yesterday for the first time in two weeks following a throat virus, while Lucas Perez's ankle injury might mean selecting Danny Welbeck for the first time this season.

Wenger is not expecting much transfer activity this month but will listen to offers for Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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