The injury we all feared, the injury the club must have feared and the injury even the player himself would have surely feared – Alexis Sanchez went off holding his hamstring.
Few things about this entire episode that sums up the fan base at the moment .
If you are fully behind Arsene Wenger, you have to defend every decision he makes and if you think it’s time for him to move on, then you criticise every decision he makes. Since when was football so black and white – you can still be behind Arsene Wenger but have a differing opinion or think he has made a mistake – it is allowed!
I wouldn’t consider myself an AKB (Arsene knows best) or a WOB (Wenger out Brigade) despite what most people probably think but I do admire what he has done at our football cub and want him and the club to be more successful and really push Arsenal to a title challenge and perhaps even winning it. Having said that, I will not defend every decision the man makes – how can any human being, in their professional life, get every decision right? I certainly do not in my line of work.
I think the decision not to take Alexis off last week against Zagreb when 3-0 up was the wrong one – there I said it, but I believe it really was!
The justification was that Giroud was carrying an knock, Santi Cazorla has been extremely jaded and Hector Bellerin had a slight injury so all three went off which meant Alexis could not. Alexis then moved central so he does not have to work and track back as much as you do on the flank.
My thinking in that would have been to take Alexis on and keep Santi Cazorla on – knowing that Aaron Ramsey was back and could start on Sunday. The centre of midfield suddenly had options again and seeing Joel Campbell have one of his best games for the club, I would have had no problem in playing Campbell right, Alexis (after only playing 70mins against Zagreb) left with Ramsey in the middle instead of Cazorla (if he was not fit enough to pay) knowing that Alex Oxlade Chamberlain was also on the bench. Yes, it would be a risk keeping Santi on but keeping Alexis on was a bigger one due to the impact he has on the team and the lack of (quality) options in his position.
The Alexis injury reminds me of the Nasri hamstring injury a few years ago when he had about 20 days until ‘that’ Barcelona game at the Emirates and was in a race to be fit and made it and was involved in the winning goal. For Alexis, if the injury is a simple hamstring pull, the city game will be the one he is looking at. Alexis seems (no basis or evidence but on first look) that he recovers from injuries quickly purely because of the way he is so here’s is hoping that he will be back as quickly as possible.
But for now, as disappointing as the last three league games have been, all is not lost and I’m hoping the squad recover and Arsene gets the team back on winning ways - but that doesn’t mean he will get everything right and more importantly, doesn’t mean pro Wenger supporters have to justify every single decision he makes….only human guv.
Up The Arsenal