Petr Cech has defended Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean was pictured laughing on the bench during Arsenal’s 5-1 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
Sanchez was pictured sitting next to Cech smiling and laughing as the Gunners crashed out of the tournament with a humilating home defeat to the German giants.
However, Cech insists that Sanchez was deeply hurt by the defeat and says he was disappointed at the criticism his team-mate received for the incident.
“It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him,” he said via Standard Sport. “Unfortunately when you say the sentence, ‘had we scored the second goal, everything could look different’ and then you say ‘ooph’…you know, but in the end, the reality is you are 5-1 .
“I found it very disrespectful to the player. But obviously you can take the picture and you can interpret it the way you want, unfortunately.
“But the players we know exactly what he said and we know how he was hurting. He was as disappointed as anybody else. It is unfortunate and disappointing.”
Cech has also defended Arsene Wenger who has come under increasing pressure following the defeat to Bayern with some supporters calling for him to step down.
“In a way the manager plays as big part but you as a player are on the pitch. He cannot make you run if you don’t want to; he cannot make you make the right decision in the heat of the moment,” he added.
“The players obviously have to share the responsibility, everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out [of it].
“This is the way it is. We have been…this week after Bayern especially was a difficult three days, we had to make sure we got ready and we got ready and this is the reaction you need.
“In football, everything goes fast and as fast as you can go up, you can go down. So basically every day you work to be ready.
“In football you only work for the things you can control, you cannot control the outside world. You can only control your preparation, your performances.
“So as a player you focus on that and I believe as a manager he does the same thing. This is going to be the key now, be ready, be prepared as a team and then do the best we can do. Then I think if you bring the results, the atmosphere will change.”
Cech’s comments are fairly revealing and may go some way to placating fans who were left frustrated by the sight of Sanchez smiling in the face of such a heavy defeat. They also suggest that the Chilean is far from the “outcast” that some tabloids have claimed he is becoming at Arsenal due to his recent behaviour.