Wenger: Alexis Sanchez was always committed

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Wenger refutes suggestions Sanchez was forced to play

After his move to Manchester United was confirmed yesterday, Arsene Wenger says that Alexis Sanchez was always professional and ready to play, even in the days leading up to his transfer.

The Chilean was in the squad for the 4-1 win against Crystal Palace but late developments saw the manager give him permission to leave the team hotel and go to Manchester to complete the move.

Wenger wouldn’t be drawn on suggestions Sanchez had previously agreed an extension with Arsenal before changing his mind, but insisted that the 29 year old was a ‘good guy’ who always gave his best for the team.

“Look, I don’t want to come back on the history of his negotiations, but maybe one day,” he said.

“Alexis is a great guy and has always been committed, did the negotiations go well or not well?

“It has never affected him and I would just like to remind you I took him to the hotel on the night before the Crystal Palace game and he was completely focused and ready to play the next day until I told him, look you can go home, the deal is over the line.

“So, that’s what he did. No matter how the negotiations went he was always focused on football.”

The Frenchman also spoke about the financial side of the deal, which was obviously favourable to Sanchez, but said it wasn’t simply about the money.

“Of course the financial aspect is important, but he could combine both. I think he’s going to a great club and he gets a great contract, so you can understand that a professional player can combine both aspects.

“Alexis combined both. At the end of the day, we are a serious football club who have responsibilities and we want to spend the money we can afford.

“The maximum we can afford, we do, but as well you have some decisions to make at some stage – are you responsible in your management or not?

“If you cannot afford, you have to say ‘No, sorry, can’t do that’.”

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60 Comments on "Wenger: Alexis Sanchez was always committed"

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Faisal Narrage

Totally fair.
Not gonna on the Sanchez revisionism that seems to be going on right now. Some fans will have you think he was hated at the club, only cared about money and gave the ball away all the time. They won’t tell you they were the same people asking for him to be kept and Ozil sold last season.

The Loon Ranger

I will miss the guy but understand why he didn’t turn down 400k a week. Our contract negotiators screwed up that’s where the fault lies.

IamaGoober

Listen Alexis Sanchez has essentially taken more money just to play in the Champions League, because he isn’t going to win the league this season, nor do I expect him to win it next season. I’d be extremely surprised to see Man United win the league whilst is Sanchez at the club. Man City are absolutely miles ahead of them, and everyone else for that matter. United also aren’t good enough to win the Champions League with their current squad either.. so.. I’d be surprised if Alexis finds himself lifting anything other than the FA or League Cup during his time there.

And that’s the truth.

Northern Gooner

While you are there, could you give me the euromillion numbers for this friday, please?, Ta.

IamaGoober

@Northern Gooner

Well its the truth.

United wont win the league under Mourinho with their current crop of players. Especially whilst Pep Guardiola is given an open tab at Manchester City.

Nor will they win the Champions League. Because they just aren’t good enough, and there are much better teams out there than them.

I am not suggesting we will get any closer than United to winning either.

And I know that their fan base has all of a sudden magically reappeared over the last 72 hours, saying how they’re the biggest and best club in the country because they signed a player off of us. But lets not forget, we comfortably finished above them last year, and correct me if I’m wrong, but if they do manage to finish above us this year. Wouldn’t it be the first time they have done so since Fergusson left?

So I’d hardly say United are leaps and bounds ahead of us. I know we have our problems, but they don’t score a lot of goals. They love drawing games, and we still have to play them at Old Trafford. I know it probably wont happen, but its not completely out of the realms of possibility us catching them up.

Its only 10 points, it is doable. Especially if Mkhitaryan hits the ground running, and we get Aubameyang over the line. Those guys combining could be the shot in the arm our season needs.

Northern Gooner

You are talking about what may happen in the future as “the truth”, when it’s just your opinion.

I hope you are right and I’m wrong but somehow i highly doubt it.

This club has no ambition and as long as Wenger remains in charge nothing will change. Bit of cherry picking when pointing out Man U finishing behind us since Ferguson left without mentioning what happened while he was in charge.

santori

United are closer to winning the league than us.

And you get paid more.

I don’t see why Alexis will not move to United.

Pep at City is not going to develop him any further. At 29yrs, he is a complete player and this is his last pay cheque move.

I don’t see the problem.

IamaGoober

It’s not cherry picking, it’s just highlighting the fact that right now, they aren’t too far away from us.

And yeah it’s an educated guess, but the truth was more based in the fact their squad is nowhere near as good as City’s, and Mourinho has lost that aura about him in recent years. He’s not the same guy after that second spell at Chelsea when the players chucked the league subsequently getting him fired.

I just don’t think he has the ability to stop City under Pep. I don’t think anyone does in all honesty.

John C

@ IamaGoober

That’s some serious delusional stuff you’ve written there!!

I for one is happy Sanchez has gone there, at least 1 team is trying to put up a fight against City, it’s just a shame it’s not Arsenal.

Whilst no one will catch City this year, United have got a pretty young squad and are committed to spending more to at the very least try and bridge the gap, which can’t be said of Arsenal.

More you look at the respective squads of the top 6 the more you worry for Arsenal as ours is far older the the others. I personally don’t see any promising youth in our team unlike the others.

IamaGoober

@John C

I don’t think what I’ve said is delusional at all.

Uniteds squad is nowhere near as good as it’s being portrayed. I genuinely do not think they will win the league whilst Sanchez is at United.

And I stand by what I said regarding they’re not un-catchable, it’s only a 10 point gap. I know we’re a complete shit show at the moment, and I’m obviously siding with extreme caution when I’m saying this. But we do have a track record of going on strong runs in the second half of our campaigns. And as I alluded to in my previous comment, I think if we get Aubameyang in, and him and Mkhitaryan can make things click again, who knows how we can end the season.

John C

@IamaGoober

In your very bias opinion their squad is nowhere near as good as it’s being portrayed but in the real world with the exception of Ozil all of their players are better than ours, all of them.

But putting that aside Utd are in fact 11 points ahead and 19 goals better off in goal difference, even in the best case scenario we’ll drop at least 10 points in the next 14 matches, however I honestly can’t see us getting more than 70 points. That’ll still require and upturn in our current points per match rate.

It’s pure wishful thinking to think that replacing a player like Sanchez who’s shear will to win often dragged this team up by its bootstraps with one whose a know flake in Mkhitaryan will lead to a significant improvement in results.

IamaGoober

@John C

In my very bias opinion? I think you should go and read through my comment again. All I said was they’re not as good as they’re being portrayed to be. I don’t think you can start saying its a biased opinion. I think what you said below is far more bias then mine;

‘All their players are better than ours’

That.
Is.
Hogwash.

The only players I would take from their squad excluding Sanchez would be Pogba, De Gea, and Martial.

They can have the rest.

Oh, so sorry, 11 POINTS, not 10. Such a huge difference that one extra point makes in the grand scheme of things.

And I am not suggesting the arrival of Mkhitaryan will have anywhere near the same impact that Sanchez had. But I think IF we get Aubameyang in as well, I think the pair of them together have the potential to make a huge impact on the way we play.

Also with Ozil there, I would back Aubameyang to score absolutely truck loads of goals for us. Mkhitaryan had an unbelievable relationship with Aubameyang at Dortmund, I don’t see why the two of them couldn’t make it happen again.

Twisted cuntloks

Fair point and it could turn out to be correct.
However, Man utd are much closer to being able to challenge for the title and the champs league. They will be even closer with Sanchez and who knows what other signings they will make during the next 6 months.

We do not have a cat in hells chance of challenging for the title for some time…

santori

Not the way we go about improving our squad.

Expect Ozil more than likely to leave even if Aubameyang signs.

he won’t be impressed by mhkitaryan. Only some Arsenal fans who want to make themselves feel better can delude themselves that it was an even exchange.

Twisted cuntloks

Correct, it was far from even excahnge.
United essentially got Sanchez for 26m in a straight swap deal. We basically got a good player in exchange rather than nothing at all in a few months.
A good deal compared to the alternative…

John C

I think in taking on Mkhitaryan we’re basically subsiding Sanchez wages to the tune of £200k a week

Twisted cuntloks

Of course the pay increase was tempting. But a player of that calibre must play in the champions league and play for a club that is serious about competing for the major trophies. We are not that club, we are years away in terms of competing for the title and probably at least 5 + years away from competing properly at the later stages of the champions league…

Kwame Ampadu Down

Exactly Twisted cuntloks. I think Alexis’ final decision on joining Man Utd came down to money but let’s not kid ourselves that was his original reason for leaving Arsenal. He left because he knows we’re stagnating as a club.

Twisted cuntloks

Stagnating is putting it mildly(!) , we have been in a slow footballing decline under wenger for a very long time. If you look at wenger’s record at monaco, it follows an almost identical path in terms of league position albeit on a much smaller time frame. (1987.1994) Once the team dropped off significantly, he was sacked.
Once the honeymoon period is over for the new signing(s) reality will set in again that he is finished as a top manager and we will not challenge for the title until a new manager is in place.

However, I would dearly love to be wrong and see our great club compete once again…

Mein Bergkampf

Pfft. Don’t care. Not interested. Onwards and upwards. No more Sanchez stories please blogs, we’ve had almost a year of them now!

Gooner1987

PS – Sanchez is a cunt

Zel

And you’re a fool

mik

glad these week long 48 hours are over. now, bring on Mkhitaryan tomorrow!

aberinkula

cup tied tho

ArsenalManitou

Good servant to Arsenal and will be missed. But he’s gone, let’s move on. Mkhi will be great for us. Now let’s go at Chelsea like we did in t he FA cup final and get one step closer to a cup final. If we’re a cup team this year, fine, let’s win a damn cup!

Jedi Master Yoda

Can’t fault the Boss – never does he come out and stick the knife into these guys that leave, such a class act.

Fletcher

Never see the need to trample in a man’s grave…

eternalflamini

Maybe this is revisionism, but while Sanchez was a great player, I don’t think he was a great player for US. We were playing this tiki-take, short-passes based game and when we bought him we had to switch to a more pressing/counter attacking style of football which I’m not sure AW knew how to get a handle on.
At the end of the day, the number of points we got with Sanchez is not materially different from the number of points that we got without him. Maybe it’s best to get in some players who the manager knows how to get into his system now; and I hope Miki is one of them.

Faisal Narrage

Some impressive revisionism there.

eternalflamini

On second thoughts, I take it back – this is not revisionism, it’s something I’ve been feeling for awhile now. I’ve been missing the old Arsenal for awhile now (Wilshere’s goal against Norwich, the all too brief chemistry Ramsey and Ozil had in THAT Ramsey season, for example).

This is not to say Sanchez hasn’t been an amazing player while at Arsenal, I just don’t think he has massively improved us as a team – and that’s not his fault, it’s more to do with the manager not knowing how to fit him into the team. At least that’s what I think.

Da Boss

You can’t deny that he always tried, always wanted to win, and he was absolutely magic.

Good luck to him.

I, for one, will not be booing this man when he comes back, the booing is tedious at the best of times – I agree with what blogs said though, this one doesn’t really leave me feeling anything. Henry leaving hurt, RvP was a bit of a stinger but this is just business and not Sanchez’s fault.

Onwards and upwards, and good luck Micki – and hopefully Auba….

heihaci

I don’t blame Sanchez at all. Arsenal have looked like clowns.
We should have sold him to Man City for 60 mil in the summer

V is for Vic Akers

The question then is: Mkhitaryan or Lemar?

ArsenalManitou

Lemar, but Lemar didn’t want to come.

Simon

Had we sold for 60m in the summer our position now whatever it was would be blamed on his absence and City’s success (assuming he got in the team) would be atributed in part to his purchase. That not being the case he can leave and for the most part fans I know are relieved to have the whole saga over and to have got a potentially decent player in exchange for a couple more months of Sanchez. While work rate and commitment never in doubt effectiveness has definitely dropped this year. PS we looked great against Palace.

Twatsloch

For a while perhaps and then his committments shifted. Enough regurgitating. He’s where he belongs now.

Db412

I’m quite optimistic now he’s left. I remember in the past when arsenal have lost their talisman their performances improve and they play better because they’re not just passing to the guy who can make something happen out of nothing. In particular in the 07/08 season after Henry’s departure we were leading the league by around this time of the year due to such a strong start when I was expecting much worse. Less said the better regarding the collapse after that though! ?

Northern Gooner

I agree, the number of trophies they won after Henry left was impressive, Champions leagues, Premier league titles, you name it!.

I just find it so depressing that fans have got used to Arsenal losing their best players and challenging for nothing. Lack of ambition doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Even that chelsea lot won a champions league by some kind of fluke. Not to mention Leicester Premier league title which completely destroyed the Wenger rethoric that you need lots of money to win the title.

Lord Bendnter

Let’s be real. We are a club that lacks ambition. No one at the club likes the club’s owners. Before, there were only few games in which we played like headless chickens running around. Since the previous season, we’ve been playing more like headless chickens, competing in some amateur poultry league.
SO, with Sanchez gone, don’t for one moment tell yourself he’s left a sparkling gem of a club.
Sanchez is 29 yrs old. This is probably his final major contract. Do you think that Sanchez, a man with a strong winning mentality, would like to have signed a new contract with Arsenal, a club heading to only God knows where?

As for Sanchez choosing Man Utd over City, here’s what I think: So what??
Why should I blame him for opting for a super high salary? Money is money. Heck, his agent should be given a pat on the back, he’s just made Sanchez the highest payed PL player! Does Sanchez really deserve to be the highest paid player? Hell no! There are a bunch of other players in the PL who probably are more deserving of that status.
So, I don’t care about him signing for ManUtd.

At the end of the day, he was a 29yr old exceptional player who could see our club has some major problems and we’re probably headed nowhere.

Well shit, it’s about time our club addresses these problems and tries to actually fix them…

Olivije Žirod

Has anyone noticed that probably not a single Arsenal player has written on Twitter or instagram a goodbye post for Alexis. That says a lot about him. Even Arsenal web didn’t write much about.

Lord Bendnter

lol yes just a lil while ago i was searching players’ instagrams. and yes, i didnt find any prominent player from our club mentioning anything about him
but also maybe it has to do with that he’s gone to man utd to play under mourinho?

gibir

the guy was rubbish tjhis season

Bazza_wicks

Pep never played him at Barca no other clubs fancied him Wenger took the plunge along with Arsenal give the manager and club some respect we turned him into a wannabe commodity enough for pep to want him now players are still just that it’s the greed of the agents that’s killed the game but holly fuck why Man U and Maureen that hurts

Kwame Ampadu Down

‘Pep never played him at Barca’….other than just the 31 starts & 10 sub appearances in his only season with Pep in charge which was his first season at a new club in a new country, a season which when it started he was 22….

A Different George

Facts, what can they possibly have to do with opinions?

Shambles

Please stop! It’s getting pathetic! Wenger didn’t “take the plunge”. Wenger was lucky to get a very good player who wanted out! And now moaninho has the same luck.

Zel

I’m beginning to wonder why we have soo many brainless fans like you. With idiots like you, the club can never move forward.

btw

“The maximum we can afford, we do, but as well you have some decisions to make at some stage – are you responsible in your management or not?

Yeah, that is the question you should be asking yourself Wenger. Arguments could made that your caution and player loyalty amount to irresponsible management. Also, there is a total fear at AFC of investing in sporting success to build financial success. You negotiate bigger commercial deals and sell more shit if people like your football, thus creating an upward spiral. Arsenal have been cashing in on Wengers’ early success for the past decade, eventually the well is going to run dry.

LongRoadtoRuin

Stagnating, regressing, who’d want to come to a club in decline….Miki and Auba haven’t balked yet….lucky for me they do not have the high standards of mind-reading blog commentors…tally ho and onwards chums

Shambles

Mikhi is only here because his ex didn’t want him. Auba is not even here yet. If that happens, i’ll give us kudos for actually doing something right.

Rectum Spectrum

Arsenal are in a difficult position with how the club is being run, from team coach to boardroom.

Alexis is 29 and wants to try to win the champs league. He went somewhere were he has a chance at that, more clearly in the future than with Arsenal. And he gets a huge contract at the same time.

When he played for us he always..always gave 100% and was sometimes the only player on the pitch obviously doing so. It was magic when we signed him. now he’s moving on….best of luck. nothing more to say. We are not yet a club that can convince the Alexis’ of this world to stay…never mind money. Its about ambition. He was surrounded by lower tier professionals. too many.

As for us fans…if we can add aubamayang to Mhiki then thats an exceptional window for us. All we need to do is follow up in the summer with maybe 2 more 1st team players and we could transform the squad. This jan has made the summer far easier…far more focused. So it has been a good window for us. There is reason to be very optimistic regardless of what happens to Ozil – who I hope stays.

Northern Gooner

I commend and admire your optimism and positive thinking, wish i could feel the same.

Fuhgedaboudit

I’m sure Alexis was committed, to himself and money. If it wasn’t for money, why didn’t he go to his supposed old friend and coach, Guardiola? Instead he made a deal with the devil and went to play for the devil himself, Mourinho. I’m not a bit unhappy about his departure. I have always disliked him for his lack of team harmony.

A Different George

I think it was Arsenal, not Alexis, that demanded more than Man City was willing to pay, while United agreed to our valuation. Alexis could, of course, have stayed at Arsenal through this season and then gone to Man City on a free, but I suppose staying, after all the transfer drama, was just not tenable by that point.

He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...

It’s not a case of saying he was hated or it was all about the money but it is a case of him being a gigantic penis for saying he’s moved to the biggest club in the world. Factually and historically a load of manure. Dick.

santori

He gave us 110%, was a key difference maker with his dynamic style and his ability to take on two or three players for us. It made us less static and far more unpredictable.

The issue with him losing possession (which he did) was at some point, he began to try to shoulder too much and did not trust his team mates as much in part in fairness because we did not use the ball as well.

BUT Wenger would have been caught in a tight spot because whilst you want him to retain possession better, you don’t want to inhibit his natural risk taking either.

He scored 80 goals for us and more importantly was involved in numerous key chances.

Its disingenuous to say he wasn’t making that much of an impact.

Fans need to take perspective and not simply try to make themselves feel good.

RVP to some extent (although he was a complete prat), was also 110% effort for us but at some point both these players realised we were :

1) Unwilling to solve systemic defensive issues.
2) They were incapable of carrying us.
3) We were not buying sufficient quality and the right ones for the right positions to make up the difference.

So they left for a team to match their ambition (and of course their pockets)

And in RVP’s case he was right. United won the title next season. I doubt we would have even with him remaining.

In Alexi’s case, he’s given it four years and he’s seen us now slip out of top four and this season not gotten any closer. It doesn’t seem we will reinforce either with sufficient quality if we should not make top 4 this summer.

So aside from the money (which is a given, don’t know why its all that shocking), we are as a club losing our branding.

You can try and guise it and blame Alexis or over inflate Mhkitaryan etc but we are where we are for a reason.

Twatsloch

Although still good and effective he’s looked half asleep this season. Hardly 110%.

Northern Gooner

@Santori

Wish i could hit the thumbs up button more than once.

Ausdrexler

He is an ambitious player no doubt. But I have said before, if it was all about ambition he would be at Mancity. Clearly, end of day, money trumps ambition.
Good on him though, he has a right to earn as much as he can from his limitted time in the sport as a player.
Still, I hope he and Mourinho dont get along and it affects the dressing room at Old Trafford!

Etoile Brilliant

The Jews have a word: Mensch. It means “a person of integrity and honor” – George Weah said it of Wenger. Whatever you think about Wenger’s management skills, you can’t deny the man’s a gentleman.