Wenger: Sanchez bust-up story ‘completely false’

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Arsene Wenger says he has no knowledge of a bust-up between Alexis Sanchez and his Arsenal teammates and maintains his decision to drop the Chilean for Saturday’s clash with Liverpool was not a punishment.

Reports last night claimed the 28-year-old was confronted by senior first-team players after storming out of a training session last week and that Wenger subsequently took the decision to discipline his star striker.

“I’m not aware of it. Nothing happened,” said Wenger when quizzed on this morning’s newspaper headlines ahead of the Champions League second-leg knockout match with Bayern Munich.

Asked if he felt the report to be wrong, he added: “Yes, completely false, but I understand that you have to feed the newspapers and we respect that.”

The boss went on to describe his relationship with Sanchez, who has 15 months remaining on his current contract, as “honest and normal”. This morning, the two men were pictured shaking hands during a training session watched by members of the media.

Asked on Saturday night if the decision to drop Sanchez was related to his contract stand-off with the club, the boss was similarly dismissive.

“No, not at all,” he told Arsenal.com. “I do not consider the contract situation when a guy has 18 months to go.

“You make a [selection] decision and people always have a very emotional analysis and an emotional response to this kind of decision.

“I wanted us to play direct and by direct I mean to win the ball in the air and to win the second ball. We do play it sometimes.”

Today, he reiterated that stance: “I explained after the game at Liverpool that I decided to go for a more direct option in the game. That’s what happened. That was the unique reason for my decision. All the rest, his attitude – he’s a committed player and sometimes has excessive behaviours but you have that many times in the history of every squad.”

Given the stories of a bust-up were so widespread we have little doubt that something did happen with Sanchez, however, it’s totally Wenger’s style to play things down when faced by the press. He’s never been one to air the club’s dirty laundry in public and that’s not going to change while he remains at the helm.

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44 Comments on "Wenger: Sanchez bust-up story ‘completely false’"

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N11gooner

I love alexis and ozil but if they don’t want to be at our club (I’m not saying that they want to leave) then let them go. Life goes on. CMON YOU GUNNERS

Si

We should kick him out if he really disrespected the Boss by doing even half the rumors. No ones bigger than Arsenal.

gooner

did you realize Sanchez is bigger than Wenger!!

Si

Sanchez?? He couldnt even play regularly in his last team. Wenger made him look good he will be shit without Arsenal. And we wouldnt care less if he goes.

gooner

Wenger is the really one who is struggling..it is Sanchez who makes Wenger look good by helping arsenal get top 4. if not because of Sanchez ..Wenger would have been sacked by now

SarcasmB0t

Bigger than Arsene, you mean.

The manager has very much become bigger than the club.

The moment when wanting to win is less important than getting along with the boys is the moment you’ve ceased exist as a football club.

We are an entertainment entity. As long as the peons cough up the dough, winning is an unnecessary luxury.

Si

Arsene Wenger IS Arsenal. And yes you disrespect Arsenal when you disrespect the boss.

John C

No

spinner

What are you talking about with all this ‘Arsene Wenger IS Arsenal’ nonsense?

You are making yourself sound like a clown.

Gooooooooooooooooona

Then they can fuck off. No player is bigger than this club, not Messi, not Ronaldo, and not these two. I love Sanchez’ work ethic but if the guy is gonna wine like a little bitch every time things don’t go his way then he, along with soft Ozil, can go fuck off.

For me regardless I don’t want to see Ozil play for this team any more. He’s a soft little bitch that doesn’t have the fight to be a footballer in a top league where his team isn’t a thousand times better than everyone else. He is the definition of a luxury player, and he’s the last thing we need right now. What the fuck was he thinking releasing his autobiography right now, like seriously!?!? Is he really that fucking stupid? Talking shit about how Mourinho called him out for not working hard enough for the team – which we all complain about, then he goes into unnecessary details about looking into mourinho’s eyes and shit, and how he loves him.

Is he trying to get a move to united? I’ve had hto is sneaky feeling all season that Sanchez would go to City and Ozil to united. Once again, the cycle continues.

TheSkins

Messi and Ronaldo aren’t the best examples as both are indulged hugely by their respective clubs (and with good reason).

Ronaldo has disagreements with his managers and teammates, throws at least one strop every game, and you see clips of him doing it in training too. He will never be dropped. Messi can dodge all the taxes he wants and often has licence to essentially stroll around the pitch doing nothing for 70% of a game and he’ll always be the main man at Barca.

Players often are bigger than clubs now sadly.

Frank

If Sanchez has the same frustrations with this team that many of us do can we blame him for getting annoyed? Depending on the exact situation, there are circumstances when I think him getting angry could be understandable, If I was him in that team and constantly saw my team mates put in the kind of displays they have been and then saw the complete lack of reaction from them that there has been it would wind me up in a big way. Having said that if hes doing all this to angle for a move away he can do one

Ricardo

Dude, the only reason they don’t want to be at our club is because of their non-ambitious teammates.

And it all starts with management.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

The thing with stories like this is that there is no win for the club. Even if the club denies it, the reaction is yeah of course they are going to deny it.

So the story may be completely false and yet once its out, its got a life of its own. The more you deny it, the more it grows, and of course denying it doesn’t convince anyone. On the flipside, if it did happen the club WOULD deny it. I am inclined to believe nothing like this happened though.

However its clear that the players need a kick up their backsides and Wenger is clearly not the man to do it.

So, when I read the story a part of me felt good that atleast someone had a go at the players exactly what they required to be told. So I am not inclined to think that telling the teammates they have not been good enough, especially when the manager won’t do it. Don’t think it amounts to considering yourself as being bigger than the club.

I guess nothing happened though.

If he didn’t yell already, then I guess the team will have him screaming mad following their performance against Bayern in the 2nd leg.

Its meant as a self loathing joke. So hold your horses please.

Lula da Gilberto

I’m completely indifferent to it. If Sanchez mouths off, then that is not an inherently bad thing. The invincibles suqad contained many abrasive characters and sometimes a little bit of discord and confrontation is a good thing. You was cohesion but you want high standards and competition also. So this is not about principle, if Sanchez was completely out of line and burned all bridges then fine, off you go. If not, then maybe some players could do with looking at themselves a bit.

The thing about Ozil annoys me slightly more, but I think I’m alone here. I think he has a predilection for blaming others most of the time when it would do him good to look to himself every now and again. I think Ozil sulks and that, to me at least, is just as annoying as Sanchez’s posturings and remonstrations on the pitch. They’re both senior players and should act as such.

That said, I don’t mind the idea of confrontation between senior members of the squad. If someone lapses on their defensive duties or is too greedy up front, they need to hear about it. So it depends on the nature of dissent. To me, if either of them are poisonous to the squad then they can both go. They’re not Arsenal and we will survive without them.

Goontang

Oh well then, mustnt be anything to it at all. Just direct football….

Gooooooooooooooooona

At least I had the slightest respect for him for having the balls to drop Sanchez if he disrespected his teammates by walking out of training or wtv that story was. Right now there is no excuse for not starting Sanchez other than he’s lost the plot. And I don’t buy this bullshit that we wanted to play direct and win the second balls. So Sanchez couldn’t play on the right or the left or even behind the striker? We play him as a striker for a couple of months and all of a sudden he can’t play anywhere but center forward?

I’ve always been a Wenger fan, but with all due respect to the most successful manager in our club’s history – WENGER MOTHAFUCKIN OUT!!!!

Gooooooooooooooooona

I understand I’m getting all those thumbs down because you just assume I’m one of those aggressive unreasonable fans harshly criticizing Wenger and Arsenal. I’m not. I always said I’ll judge at the end of the season and even after Bayern I was still optimistic cuz let’s get real, we’re never winning the champions league even if we did miraculously get passed Bayern.

I want nothing more than to keep a motivated Alexis Sanchez. But, if he is being disrespectful to his teammates and his attitude is disrupting the squad, or he doesn’t respect the manager, than I do not care who you are, and I do not care who our manager is, that’s just not happening. Yes Alexis’ effort on the pitch is spot on, but just because other players don’t have the same body language doesn’t mean they’re not trying just as hard if not harder. I’m ok with teammates giving constructive criticism, after all if they can’t then i don’t see you can win anything together. But walking out in the middle of a training session? Fuck off! Now I don’t know if this is true and I guess we’ll never know, that’s why I said “if”

Messi and Ronaldo even put together are not bigger than Arsenal my friend. NO PLAYER IS EVER BIGGER THAN THE CLUB, the moment you accept this you lose th dressing room and the players start becoming power trips.

In regards to Ozil, he is pure pure pure class. Unfortunately the premiere league is the least tactical and technical league out of the big 5 in Europe. It’s all about pace and power. So unless Ozil is willing to change his game, 3 times out of 5 it’s not gonna work out. Given the role he plays at Arsenal, and how vulnerable he leaves us defensively, it’s quite simply not worth it. I love Ozil man, I named my pet after him. But we have to be real, it’s just not working for both parties. He is not Dennis Berkamp. Berkamp was a physical fiesty person to play against, and was such a leader both on and off the pitch, Ozil is a quiet person that is more a passenger rather than a leader. So given the big role he has at Arsenal it is not worth it. I’d rather sell him and get Griezmann, Dybala or someone similar and pair them with Sanchez.

The fact that both Sanchez and Ozil let their contracts run down to 1 year tells you something about how they perceive the power in the relationship. They’re in control, they know if they don’t sign it won’t affect their game time or anything like that, so fuck it, they put us in such a vulnerable position and created so much unnecessary drama and uncertainty. For a while it was all people talked about which is not fair.

So I repeat, if Ozil is willing to start fighting more, and will work on his body physically to be able to compete in the physical duels then I’d absolutely love him to stay. If this training ground bust up didn’t actually happen, and Sanchez is as respectful and supportive as he is towards his chile teammate, then we should do absolutely everything to keep him on at Arsenal. The least we should be offering him is 250k. The squad would understand that he is the exception to the rule and this isn’t the norm. He’s one of the best players in the league and should be paid accordingly.

If we offered Ozil 250k a month, what does that say to the players that have to cover for Ozil when we don’t have the ball? Why would we give Ozil such a contract? Because he plays neat passes and does pretty flicks? No, that would unsettle the wage bill because he doesn’t deserve it.

Sanchez's Dog Groomer
Sanchez's Dog Groomer

Who cares about teh training ground. Let’s show some anger and cuntiness tomorrow against Bayern and dent their german aura. COYG!

Frank

I don’t get the wanting us to play direct angle that hes putting out. Surely if the game plan is to go direct you can still have sanchez in the team, just play him instead of Ibobi or someone and keep Welbz and Giroud up top. That excuse doesn’t add up

Hi-brid

Indeed. His initial response of “I’m not aware of it” sounds a lot like “I didn’t see it”.

Glocken

Does he really expect us to believe that? There was no altercation, it was made up right? Of course it was.

Even if that is true it makes the decision to drop Alexis even more bizarre. You are playing one of your top four rivals and you drop your best player? You drop him after the opposition who were defeated the week before against a team who used power & pace against them and you decide the best way to beat them is start a half fit slow Giroud? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Someone at that club (I’m looking at you Ivan) has to step up and put Wenger out of his misery. Wenger at the moment is doing more harm than good and things will only get worse till he leaves.

Get some power back Ivan, tell Wenger that he isn’t getting a new deal and to finish this season as strongly as you can. But that would take back bone and ambition, two things that the people in charge of the this club sadly lack.

Jack

If he wanted to ‘go direct’ wouldn’t it have made sense to play Sanchez instead of Iwobi Saturday?

MTZ

I guess Wenger is simply trying to put a lid on things, because there has to be more to it than tactical reasons.

Don

Whilst acknowledging the sensitivity of the subject, one which Wenger is unlikely to expand upon too much in a press conference, this lack of openness and misdirection by the manager has undoubtedly irked supporters at the club, who for years now have been sold a dream of an ambitious club, one which has players with amazing ‘mental strength’ and ‘desire’, yet when it comes to the important/big games they fail to perform. Perhaps had Wenger been more honest and more self deprecating in the past, the vitriol he receives from certain supporters who want him gone would not be as strong now.

Amusa

Just a tip for fellow Gooners.
Don’t get your Arsenal shirts printed with an existing players name on the back. Get the name of a legend instead.
So if they leave in shitty circumstances the shirt isn’t wasted.
The owner of a Fabregas and Van Persie shirts speaking :(.

George

Or, since I’m no longer 12 years old, I’ll get a shirt with no name at all. 😉

Tom Gun

Even though I feel the time has come for him to leave, you have to give massive kudos and respect to Arsene for this. With the leak, he has been handed on a plate an easy excuse for benching Sanchez which exonerates him but, even with all the pressure he is under, he still would rather take the flack rather than expose his team and dressing room. Classy to the end.

Amusa

And Özil and Sanchez IF u want to leave.
Please leave with dignity and respect.
Don’t badmouth the club or the fans.
We don’t want to burn your shirts too 😂

Tommy Caton

If I had joined Arsenal thinking I would be playing for a top club, and then found myself playing with Ox, Iwobi, Welbeck and Walcott, I would also be quite upset.

Alexstratz

I’m not going to go into this Sanchez drama thing but I will just say that if we really are a big and financially successful club, then it should not be a problem to replace Sanchez with a player of similar or better level, even if it means changing our tactics. That said I prefer to keep him instead of wasting effort to find someone of similar quality but only because I hope that effort is used to strengthen elsewhere (*cough* defense *cough* midfield).

Santori

Absolutely.

We can replace him or Ozil. BOTH will of course represent a problem.

And yes, it will detract from building on strength because we will be in a rebuild mode again which is a step backwards.

That’s what we are trying to avoid.

We want to add a Mahrez to an Alexis, not replace him with.

Godfrey Twatschloch

Regardless if it happened or not Wenger has to deny it and does so in the classy way we’d all expect from him.

Amusa

And to people saying that Sanchez is playing with shit players so he deserves to leave.
Fabregas played with Fucking, Denilson, Bendtner and Silvestre. And never once did show shitty attitude on the pitch.
And carried our team for years.

Godfrey Twatschloch

Until he went on strike because his Barca DNA beckoned him.

Roof_attack

went on strike ? I don’t think so mate! he did another year when asked by the boss when he could have acted up and been a berk about it, but he just got on and gave one more year of cescy football.

Tommy Caton

Fabregas also played with Van Persie, Nasri, Hleb , Rosicky, Adebayor, Arshavin … how does that compare with the dross we’re putting out there now? A Denilson-Song midfield sounds fantastic compared to watching the likes of Ox, Xhaka, Coquelin and Ramsey stumble around this season.

Santori

RVP was rarely available for large spells.

Ditto Rosicky.

Arsharvin was hot and cold in his position out left.

Nasri had one good season ditto Adebayor.

Denilson less said the better. Song again one good season when it clicked.

Its easy (LAZY) to hark back and pretend they were salad days.

Arsefull

Not sure of the veracity of the “bust up” story but where there is smoke there is often fire and the team is playing uninspired, incoherent football, which is emblematic of a bigger problem. I will say that of all the criticisms waged at Wenger, for me the most damning is that he never replaced his leaders from the team’s glory days. Despite Arsene’s many attributes and achievements as well as his wonderful eye for finding untapped talent, the really good players he either groomed or acquired since our last title lack leadership and character. Sanchez is an amazing and unique player, but it is his singularity and dare I say, selfishness to succeed individually, that is both his best and worst quality. Alexis’ selfishness is what makes him a fantastic offensive players but it also makes him a shitty team leader. Similarly, Ozil for all his sublime/subtle talents, leads the team in exasperation and has replaced his best bud, Flamini, as is the new king of pointing at his teammates. Again not an inspiring, pull your team’s spirits up kind of guy. Ultimately the manager is responsible for the acquisition of players and selection of the team, and in this regard Wenger is most accountable, although the Board may ultimately be pulling his strings. However, the players must also hold each other accountable on the pitch, they too are culpable and consistently fail to grab each other by the scuff of the necks during the game (as opposed to the training facility) and do the heavy lifting required to win at all costs. The “bust up” if true is one more nail in the coffin of what now is resembling a Shakespeare footballing tragedy.

Santori

Replacing leaders. Its not for want of trying.

Certain players he expected to assume the mantle like RVP and Fabregas ultimately disappointed the gaffer.

He brought in Granit and Mustafi recently, vocal players to say the least and aggressive individuals.

But you can’t have your cake and eat it.

When he brings players with fight, gullible fans will tow the media’s Arsenal disaster mongering line and say they are liabilities.

All these qualities (bust up on training ground if true), propensity for red card (Granit) are just as much a liability as they are potential positives to be harness.

As we remember, a certain Viera suffered plenty of red cards in his career for more than dodgy tackling.

Similarly whilst some laud Koscielny ad tedium, and are all too ready to brand Mustafi as ‘mediocre’, we should do well to remember the number of red cards, Own Goals and penalties conceded by the Frenchman in his first season with us.

A bit of even handed criticism needs suffice me thinks.

Wenger is a manager who like the proverbial DIY geek knows how to buy his tools and get best quality for bargain prices at times.

BUT not saying he’s a mug, he sometimes doesn’t use the best tools (he has bought) for the job…there are other master craftsmen who can build better because they know how to combine tools with more practicality.

But the other issue is Whilst Wenger can be suspect at tactics, he still flatters to deceive in general because he buys so well and despite all the ‘failings’ as all too readily promoted by the press, he is still within contention.

Given the press are more than ready to say United have a shout at catching the title leaders, surely we have every bit as much of a chance proviso we put things right quickly.

If we fall to the doom mongering, then nothing can be achieved this season.

As poor as we have been (and Wenger IS accountable), we can still finish in top 4 MINIMUM and the FA cup is still in contention.

Granted its not good enough given our potential (which in itself is a reflection of the secret hope most fans still felt Wenger had with his rebuild), we should avoid being too despondent and over exaggerate the ills.

Die hard gooner

Would every body stop treating us like we are a small club. We have the same potential as the likes of bayern munich. Sanchez and Ozil can go if they want. We have lost the likes of henry pires viera and dennis bergkamp and we are fine. Players are always replacable. but that musnot distracting from the big issue. Wengers time at arsenal must come to an end at the end of the season. Any one person is never bigger than the club. Whatever happened with sanchez and wenger doesnt matter. The fact is we have gone stale and we need a change.

Santori

There has to be some truth to it but as per usual the media will want to plan crisis in the head of certain Arsenal fans, stoke the dissenssion, gleefully rub their hands and watch our season crumble further.

That Alexis wants more appetite from his teammates is a positive.

Wenger is trying to harness this and forget the negatives but he has also to remind his right hand man that you need the entire team to work not one superhuman man alone.

You are only as strong as your weakest link.

Sometimes trying is not enough.

You also need to get the tactics right and it is here where Wenger is culpable.

Our defense has been too narrow and the midfield relationships I’ve been speaking of for some time now have not worked.

I mentioned Coquelin’s strength chiefly in concert with Santi for several seasons now when many felt he could do no wrong and were on the backs on Flamini.

Flamini for all his weaknesses held together with Ramsey (and we know how difficult that is) last season through an extremely difficult patch when we were without many of our best players including Santi and Alexis. Together they saw through wins over City and Olympiakos in a high pressure crunch match.

Ironically it was when our better assets returned that we dried up up in front in terms of goals. Ramsey tried to be more ‘adventurous’ to make up the difference and the two became dissassociated leading to a couple of lob sided score lines.

BUT when Coquelin returned, he struggled with Ramsey (or Elneny) and they leaked 14 goals in 7 matches!

Now with Granit, I feel the gaffer has to readjust him to both defense and midfield better.

Granit is better as the apex of the back 3 triangle just ahead of the two Cbacks.

This also allows the fullbacks slightly more license to patrol wider (but the wide men have to be more diligent still)

BUT it also means Coquelin does not have to sit as flat and deep where he tends to struggle.

Coquelin tends to work well with Santi because the older man tends to sit deep and dictate (something Granit can do), whilst Coquelin plays to his own best attributes which is to harry higher up (and frankly closer to the AM).

Against Bayern, we ceded control in midfield and allowed them to come at us. Disaster.

We need to press higher in concert (something Alexis was struggling to communicate to the midfield)

The same can be said of Ox. If he should start in place of Coquelin, he needs to be less timid and press higher together with Alexis and the wide men.

If we can assert pressure higher up, our attacking assets can take advantage and it keeps the ball away from our half.

When we dropped against Bayern (and we will have to for spells as there is no way to keep up the energy levels all game) we need to close them down quickly and not allow them to pass or cross into the box. We did not do that as many players were ball watching trying to maintain positional discipline which actually cost us.

Of course this sort of high pressing game is dangerous and a quality team like Bayern can always catch us out of position.

BUT if we simply try to remain static and shuffle across like a fussball table, they will have more propensity to pick gaps.

I feel with Ozil out, Alexis is best played just behind Giroud (if available) or Welbeck so he can give some energy to the midfield and allow either Ox or Coquelin to come forward to help him hunt the ball, put pressure on their deep midfield.

If we don’t control midfield, it will be extremely difficult.

Fight is important but we also have to get some basics right.

Zelig

Not Arsenal related but this story just goes to prove sports writers are more gossip columnists than journalists.

They are stealing a living churning out stories without providing any proof to back them up.

If sports writers were journalists every transfer story would be factually accurate but instead 99.9% of transfer stories are just click bait for the naive & gullible.

BODMAS

I never see Sanchez complained about Barca even though he was playing well but Wenger revived his career and now people think he is bigger now because of his work rate. IN WENGER I TRUST. HOW MANY MANAGERS CAN COPE WITH ALL THE NEGATIVE VIBES ABOUT ARSENAL AND WENGER AND STILL STAND? SUPPORT THE TEAM… I SUPPORT THE ARSENAL WIN,LOOSE OR DRAW. COYG

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