Wenger backs Alexis to fire against Barcelona

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Arsene Wenger says that the bigger the game, the better Alexis Sanchez is, and that he’s sure the Chilean will be fired to face his former club tomorrow night.

He had a somewhat worrying cameo against Hull on Saturday, and despite scoring in his comeback game against Burnley, he’s looked a little rusty since returning from injury.

The Arsenal manager is not worried though, backing his man to rise to the occasion tomorrow night. Speaking about his performance against Hull, he said, “I don’t think he was completely ready to come on. It looked like that but he grows with the game does Sanchez.

“He has a game based on risk and when he’s completely highly tuned in, it becomes dangerous. Don’t worry about Tuesday, he will be tuned in.”

Let’s hope so, because if we are to get anything from this tie, we need him to be better than he was against the Tigers.

Meanwhile former teammate Andres Iniesta says it’s down to the Barcelona players to make Sanchez ‘uncomfortable’ as he tries to ensure his new club get a result.

“He’s got skill and when he has the ball he always creates doubts,” he said. “In that sense, we have to try to make him feel uncomfortable on the field and try to minimise his strengths.

“What makes Alexis so dangerous is that he is unpredictable.When he dribbles, when he attacks, he is a very strong player.”

25 COMMENTS

  1. Think everyone in the club has to study Ozil. Walcott has been doing it and I have seen some welcomed new ideas from him. Like on the counter. his passing is so Ozilesque.

    Now I know to Sanchez this might be considered an insult but it is what it is. If everyone in the attacking third gave you that expectation of a great thing to happen that Ozil does then we will be more efficient. The chemistry did not just happen. They know and have studied each other.

    Iniesta: Joy to watch truly.

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  2. I get the feeling Barca are really gonna pressure Alexis whenever he gets the ball as he tends to hold on to the ball a bit and Barca in general have a high pressure. Arsenal and Alexis need to take advantage of this with Alexis releasing the ball quickly to perhaps a playmaker like Ramsey or Özil who can then send a quick through ball to a Welbeck or Walcott who will be constantly pushing the Barca line.

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    • I think we might be playing same team as against Leicester, which means no Welbeck or Walcott in starting lineup.

      I know this might be unpopular with al the flashy speed lovers here, but I think Giroud should be a crucial weapon in this fixture. His ability to be outlet by receiving long balls and distributing while bullying defenders will be crucial, as it will help us bypass midfield where most of Barca pressing happens and bring our attackers and Ozil into play.

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      • I certainly see what you mean with Giroud. I didn’t necessarily mean we needed both welbeck and walcott in the side, but we need some sort of pace pushing Barca’s line or we will be pegged into our own half the entire game.

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      • While Oxlade has been playing well recently, I think it would be a really bad idea to have two players that hold onto the ball against a team known for pressing like Barca. Sub in Walcott for Oxlade to make Barca’s defense think twice about a high line and we may actually get some space.

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      • I have been watching the 2011 game and in a counter attacking sense, Walcott was a real danger in that game! If he is able to replicate that performance tomorrow he should definitely start ahead of the OX imo. But then again, they both struggled for form recently, which leaves little insight in how they would turn up for this game.

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    • I know it’s the glamour tie of round and there is a huge physiological boost with a result.

      However I would be quite happy that we put up a good show but have no injuries out of the to games against them.

      Dare I say we have bigger priorities this year!

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  3. We’re gonna have to be clinical on the night. No more making the keeper look world class. Cos you can be sure the MSN frontline are more than likely gonna score :/

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  4. This is the game the team has been waiting for, this is the game we come to life again. I can’t wait to jump up and down cheering cause we just calved then open and score a peach!

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  5. I know the whole world (pundits, critics and even neutrals, except arsenal fans) believes this is a one horse show with only one possible outcome?, but these people forget that this squad has some exceptional talents that can create that “one second” of magic that can be the game changer, and that this particular squad has proven time and time again that they can be resilient and can buck the trend, especially in situations like now when their back is against the wall , and the whole world think they cant?…………so i am betting that this is another one of those that this squad will pull a surprise rabbit out of the hat, to win and again surprise the world of football.

    ….and i am not just saying this as an optimistic arsenal fan, but rather basing my opinion on their track record which actually shows that they can?….

    COYG!!……We can do this!…….no….WE WILL do this!

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  6. I think with the injuries we have had, players subsequently out of form and the struggles we have had against not so good teams like Hull we should be realistic here!!! I am not saying don’t go for it, but equally if it doesn’t go well don’t let it impact on the more urgent need to batter manure at the weekend and thus keep us in the title race!!!

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  7. Ramsey and the Coq will be most crucial players for this game. If the Coq can cut out the passing lanes of Barca’s buildup I think we will have a very good game on display. Can’t wait! COYG
    *THE COQ

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  8. At least this time we’ll be facing Barca with a reasonably full-strength squad. It would also be a nice for a change to get a referee that doesn’t reduce us to 10 men inside the first half-hour.

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  9. Alexis is an exceptional player and hasn’t recovered fully from the recent injury. He is a hard worker. His kind of hard work is what every member of the team needs for tomorrow’s game. How i wish they would all emulate him for tomorrow’s game. Skills alone is not enough for football, one has to have energy, belief, aggression, determination, mental strength in order to be successful in football. The only thing that i can say that is lacking in Alexis’ game is the passing skill. Apart from that, he is an all-rounder. He is the kind of player that Barcelona detest playing against as he will chase and take on any player.

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