Arsene Wenger's weak handling of Alexis Sanchez problem shows Arsenal need a new manager ASAP

Deepak Vikraman
Arsene Wenger, Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal, EPL, Liverpool

So, the real truth over the reason behind Alexis Sanchez starting the game against Liverpool on the bench is out – apparently, the Arsenal striker stormed out of a training session after an argument with another player and then exchanged words with his teammates later in the change room.

C'mon Arsene, you know it is time to leave

Arsene Wenger's reaction to that sulk from Sanchez was to leave the Chile international on the bench for the first half of their pathetic performance against Liverpool, before giving way and bringing him on in the second 45, where the Gunners performed much better, only not remotely well enough to leave Anfield with something.

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Wenger's explanation for leaving Sanchez out was to say that it was "tactical" and that he wanted Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud to play in order to bang in the long balls to the tall strikers to avoid Liverpool's high-press.

Rows with Wenger

There was no proper reason given, however, as to why Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were preferred to Arsenal's undoubted best player.

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So, that "tactical" excuse did not quite hold water and reports late on Sunday suggest that the striker had a few issues during training in the lead-up to the match against Liverpool. The Daily Mirror also claim that Sanchez has had various rows with Wenger this season and his time at Arsenal looks done.

No player is bigger than the club

No matter how frustrated Sanchez might be with his teammates and his never-changing manager, acting out in the manner he did – if the reports are true of course – is not justified. And Wenger has every right to take action against such behaviour.

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The problem, though, and this is where Wenger's weakness comes to the fore, is that the action taken was so half-hearted that it might as well not have been taken at all.

If Sanchez had indeed caused problems and has had issues on the training ground with his teammates and/or his manager, then either leave Sanchez out of the matchday squad as a way of sending a message to the superstar player and the rest of the squad that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable, or try and sort out the problem and come to an amicable agreement allowing the 28-year-old to start the game against Liverpool.

Strength to make the difficult decisions

To name Sanchez in the matchday squad and then bring him on at halftime, with Arsenal 2-0 down, shows that Wenger does not have the strength of mind or force of will anymore to make the really difficult decisions.

It just looks like another of many signs that the manager is losing his dressing room; that not a single thing he is saying is reaching the players.

Hector Bellerin and Petr Cech came out with comments after the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool questioning the players' attitude and frame of mind. If the manager cannot get his players into the right frame of mind, having had 12 days to prepare for this one game, then there can only be one possible solution.

Wenger, if he is as lucid as he keeps saying he is, will, himself know that.

And the sooner he understands it, comes to terms with it and takes the decision, the better it is for Arsenal; otherwise all it will end up doing is hurt the club he keeps saying he loves.

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