Date: 6th March 2017 at 2:29pm
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger’s pre game press conference earlier today was dominated by reports of the apparent bust up with Alexis Sanchez.

With Alexis starting the Liverpool game on the bench and looking quite jovial at points during the first half, despite Arsenal being two goals down ahead of the half time break, the reports of clashes with his colleagues that led to his half a game demotion have been covered previously – Click Here.

Without overly repeating the media claims, in Wenger’s press conference today, the Official Site have him saying that he was ‘not aware’ of any suggested clash between the players following the first leg Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, and calling the story ‘completely false’ he repeated his words about wanting to go more direct first half in the game.

‘I am not aware. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. I explained after the game at Liverpool that I decided to go for a more direct option in the game. That`s what happened. That was the unique reason for my decision. All the rest, his attitude – he`s a committed player and sometimes has excessive behaviours but you have that many times in the history of every squad.’

Pressed for a direct response about the accuracy of the claims in the media.

‘Yes, completely false. But I understand that you have to fill the newspapers and we respect that. When you don`t win games it`s not always down to real stories and we have to accept that.’

Wenger went on to say that his relationship with Alexis was as before, ‘honest and normal. Like with every single player,’ and he went on to say when asked if the player would be with us next season.

‘Alexis has 15 months of his contract so the decision of will he be here or not will depend completely on Arsenal Football Club and not on anybody else.’

With Sanchez’s reactions to events becoming a well talked about story, our long standing manager was also asked if the player could learn to channel his frustrations in a better way.

‘It`s about the team performance, not individuals. It`s a team sport and the most important thing is that we focus on our collective. Our game is built on collective expression. That is the most important thing, that we focus on what`s important and not the individual. Alexis played in all the games and when we didn`t perform away from home, we lost as well. We lost at City, United and Chelsea, and that`s what I think is the most important thing, to focus and produce as a team. I don`t deny that (Alexis is a vital cog for Arsenal), but they are all proven winners. Players who play at that level are all proven winners. What is important is that we perform as a team. Football is not only about one player, it is much bigger than that. Everyone wants to win and everyone`s focus in the team is important.’

Looking ahead to the second leg tie, Wenger wouldn’t be drawn on whether Alexis would start, saying instead he would make that decision on Tuesday morning and he questioned the sense behind a question asking if Alexis was happy at the club.

‘What does it mean? The definition of a happy person is very difficult, I have never found an ideal situation. A happy player on the football front is a player who comes out of a game and has won it and has performed well. I hope he will be very happy tomorrow night. Let`s not project ourselves too far (does the player want to say). Short-term happiness is easier to get than long-term happiness, so let`s just focus on short term.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate