Arsenal; Wenger Downplays Sanchez Sub Reactions

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Arsenal; Wenger Downplays Sanchez Sub Reactions

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Arsene Wenger has played down the reaction of forward Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean reacted badly to being subbed during Arsenal’s big win over Swansea on Saturday.

Sanchez was visibly angry as he walked off the pitch when he was substituted in the 79th minute, kicking his gloves before pulling a jacket over his head for the remainder of the game.


Wenger, however, brushed off suggestions of a spat, and put the South American’s reaction down to cultural differences.


“Looking at the game tonight, that is really minor, minor, minor,” Wenger said. “All players are frustrated when they come off – some show it, some don’t. I am long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right and that’s it. Nothing more than that.”


“He’s a good guy who gives a lot and wants to do well, always, for the team. There is no problem,” he added.

“But every culture is different. Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans, Southern Europeans are different to northern Europeans. You have to respect that. That’s why we are a multi-national team.”

Wenger said that he took Sanchez off as a precaution given his importance to the team.


The Chilean had already scored his 14th Premier League goal of the season, which means he is level with Diego Costa as top scorer before he was pulled.


“Look, he is hugely influential, Sanchez. You look at the numbers, he had scored 13 goals, seven assists, now 14 goals,” Wenger said. “But we also had players on the bench who are strikers, who need competition. We were 4-0 up. Ozil as well comes back from sickness so it was a good opportunity not to be stupid.”


“Honestly I didn’t even look past [Sanchez]. I look at the players coming on,” he said. “Danny Welbeck has not played for two years, that for me is much more important than an individual response.


“You have a player, 25 years of age, a regular in the national team and you have an opportunity to bring him on – that is something that is vital,” he added.

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