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Wenger Admits Sanchez Gamble & Explains Why Wilshere Didn’t Feature
Arsene Wenger has admitted he took a gamble playing Alexis Sanchez against Middlesbrough today and revealed the reason why Jack Wilshere didn’t feature in the game.
Sanchez was considered a major doubt for the match after suffering a knee injury during our 2-1 win over Leicester on Tuesday and the boss claimed at his pre-match press conference that the Chilean would probably not be risked.
However, after taking part in training on Saturday, it seems Sanchez was able to prove his fitness and the boss has now admitted that he took a gamble in playing the attacker today.
Thankfully Alexis showed no sign of discomfort and put in an excellent display, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was relieved when he was taken off with 20 minutes to go.
Jack Wilshere was widely tipped to be on the bench for the game after returning to full training but was left out and Arsene has admitted that he decided against including him in the squad as he wants him to get another full weeks training under his belt before he brings the midfielder back into the first team fold.
The boss told Arsenal.com:
on Alexis Sanchez…
He had a good performance. I think he became stronger as the game went on but because I took a gamble with him, I took him off with 20 minutes to go. He needed the game as well.
on whether Alexis put pressure on to play…
He always wants to play. Everybody’s like that but he’s a bit more like that.
on whether Alexis is more himself now…
Yes. He didn’t miss too many games and what was important for him was to get through the game without injury.
on Jack Wilshere…
He’s two weeks ahead of schedule. I had a hesitation to put him on the bench today but I thought I wanted him to have one more week of training at least.
It makes sense not to rush Jack back too soon as he’s been out for over two months but it sounds as though he could now be in contention to be in the squad to face Crystal Palace next Saturday.