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Martin Keown recently spoke about our talismanic forward Alexis Sanchez, suggesting in his column in the Daily Mail that the Chilean’s determination to play every minute of every game could be causing real problems for Arsene Wenger.
Alexis lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps football. He gives 110% every time he’s on the pitch, and even when he’s supposed to be resting he can usually be found training in one shape or another. He insists on taking to the field even when he very clearly needs a rest, and Keown clearly believes that is where the problems stem from.
“I get the feeling that Sanchez can be a player who is hard to handle. The last time I visited the training ground he was on a day off and he had actually come in to train. He is always so desperate to play and that can be quite tricky to manage,” he wrote.
“But I wouldn’t take too much notice of that reaction – sometimes you don’t want your players to be happy about coming off. When I played we all wanted to play every minute and that’s the case with Sanchez. As long as you don’t go over the top I think it’s ok to show your disappointment.”
While Keown is obviously right about the positives of your players to wanting to play every minute, Alexis’ insistence on playing so often could understandably cause problems. As one of the club’s best players Wenger obviously need to keep him happy, and benching him regularly obviously won’t do that.
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He doesn’t seem to be the type of player who really understands when he needs to be rested for his own good, which can eventually result to him succumbing to injury. He’s not exactly an injury prone player, but as he gets older injuries are more and more likely to sneak up on him.
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Many of the best players have a similar thought process, but Alexis needs to accept that sometimes rotation can be a positive thing.