Friday, 28 October 2016
Sanchez not a 'special case'
Arsene Wenger has told Alexis Sanchez he is not a "special case" and insists he will continue to make the decision on whether to substitute the Arsenal forward.
Sanchez has been substituted by Wenger in two of the last three matches, against Swansea and Ludogorets, and on both occasions the Chile international looked far from impressed by the decision to withdraw him from the action.
However, Wenger says he is unconcerned by the Sanchez's reaction and believes the 27-year-old, along with the rest of his squad, will need to be handled carefully as the season progresses.
"They all recognise it after the game, but during the game they want to stay on the pitch," Wenger said when asked about Sanchez's reaction to being substituted.
"I have played football - I was tired and I wanted to stay on the pitch - because you want to play. There is a difference between acknowledging it and wanting to stay on the pitch. You want to play even when you are tired.
"For me he is not a special case. He is a player like everybody else. When I decide to take him off, I take him off.
"There is no special case. He has his own character but he is not treated differently from everybody else."
Sanchez has been operating in a central striking role this campaign, having previously been played as a wide man by Wenger during the past two seasons.
The 27-year-old has responded by scoring six goals in 12 appearances and Wenger believes Sanchez's long-term position will be as a forward.
"I see him there because he is the kind of guy, he is provocative," the Arsenal manager added ahead of his side's trip to face Sunderland on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1HD from 11.30am.
"He has a short technique and can always create something. He has a good mixture between scoring and giving the final ball.
"In my taste, he still comes too much to the ball, because Alexis Sanchez likes to have the ball. But that's why when we have Theo Walcott - it balances well, because when he comes, Walcott goes. This is a good mixture, a good working unit.
"I had other players, I had [Danny] Welbeck, I had [Olivier] Giroud, who in my opinion are more central players than Alexis. Alexis came here as a winger and he wanted always to play there.
"When I tried him there a few times, I remember I tried him at Aston Villa and I took him off at half-time. Or at Everton, I put Giroud on when we were 2-0 down in the first game of the season.
"Maybe I made up my mind that he is more of a winger. But I didn't give up and I think he is happy there."