After Arsene Wenger left Alexis Sanchez on the Arsenal bench for the first half of our Premier League defeat to Liverpool it was always going to be a big talking point and in some ways I can see why the manager felt that he had to show some authority after a reported training ground incident surrounding the Chilean striker.
Despite denying the row, Wenger has hinted at the reasons behind it being that the recent shows of frustration on the pitch from Alexis have come about through his wish for the rest of the Arsenal team to get stuck in and make the same effort as he does on a regular basis.
The boss said, “Excessive commitment is maybe sometimes when he shows [Wenger threw his arms up in the air to demonstrate] on the pitch. It’s always interpreted that he’s not happy but it could be interpreted that he wants everyone to be with him. When it doesn’t go well these things are interpreted negatively.”
These comments came almost in the same breath as he demanded effort from the whole Arsenal team for the return leg against Bayern Munich, even if it does seem to be a lost cause.
He said, “Total commitment – but not a silly one because you always have to make intelligent decisions. For that you need a good combination of commitment and to keep your vision as well.”
So total commitment but not excessive right? I tell you what Arsene, without Alexis on the pitch you are not going to get anything like the commitment that Arsenal need.