Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that Alexis Sanchez is so pumped up for the North London derby that staff at the training ground have had to tell him to take it easy.
Revealing that Arsene Wenger’s entire squad looks extra-motivated ahead of Saturday evening’s neighbourly joust, the England midfielder confirmed (with a wry smile) that the Chilean was forced to undertake a second post-match recovery session despite asking to partake in full training.
“Alexis and Jack played 90 minutes the other day and they’re usually on second-day recovery,” Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.
“But today Alexis really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy.
“That just sums up how much everyone wants to be around the squad and training, and I think he knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend and, as a new boy, it’s good that he does know that.
“Obviously everyone else that’s been here and been involved in a north London derby knows how big it is, so that just proves the intensity goes up in training and everyone just wants to be around and pushing for a start.”
We’re not sure if Lukas Podolski was chomping at the bit as much as Sanchez, but the German being every bit a caricature of himself didn’t waste the day. He managed to snap a selfie with the ex-Barcelona man as they ‘chilled out’ in an ice bath. If you think our pun is bad, check out Poldi’s.
Sanchez’s free-kick against Southampton was his fourth goal in Arsenal colours since arriving from Barcelona in the summer; a quietly impressive total that bodes well for the rest of the season.
It remains to be seen whether he’s handed a starting berth against Spurs given he sat on the bench as his teammates dismantled Aston Villa last weekend.