Johannesburg [South Africa]: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is under fire following his side’s 1-3 defeat against Liverpool, has insisted that he no regrets at leaving Alexis Sanchez out of Arsenal’s starting line-up.
Wenger brought on his top scorer at half-time, with his side 0-2 down, and he provided the pass for Danny Welbeck’s goal.
However, the Arsenal manager, whose future at the Emirates is a subject of speculation, defended his decision, saying it was as a purely tactical one and claimed he did not regret his selection.
“I have no special regrets, the only regret is to have lost the game,” Sport24 quoted Wenger as saying.
“Look, the thinking was that we had to go more direct. We wanted to play two players who are strong in the air. After that to bring Alexis Sanchez on in the second half.”
“Of course, I believe in the second half it was easier for the strikers and you could see the difference in the performance of (Olivier) Giroud and (Theo) Walcott because we dominated midfield much more,” he added.
It was only the fifth time in his Arsenal career that Sanchez had started a Premier League game on the bench, with the Chilean so often has been a vital player for the club. He has been directly involved in a league-high 26 goals in his 26 league games this season, scoring 17 and assisting nine.
Dubbing Sanchez as a great player, Wenger said that it was not an easy decision to make.
“I don’t deny Alexis Sanchez is a great player. I bought him, I always played him and he has developed well. A decision like that is not easy to make but you always have to stand up,” he said.
Liverpool are now up to third in the league standings, level with Manchester City on 52 points – but Arsenal are now in fifth trailing that pair by two points. (ANI)