Back in 2012, Pep Guardiola rested Alexis Sánchez.
When you’re manager of Barcelona you have that kind of luxury. Alexis had played 90 minutes for Chile the previous midweek before flying halfway across the world and declaring himself fit for the game against Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou.
Just two days previously, Chile’s match had been played in front of 7,000 people. Why was Alexis playing the entire game in a friendly against Ghana? Was it worth it? Coming off the bench to help Barcelona to a 3-1 win, he had to come off towards the end of the game and left his teammates with nine men.
A groin injury and two weeks out. Will Alexis ever learn?
He recently played the full game in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay despite Chile being 3-0 down. He also played the whole game in Munich and the whole game against Dinamo Zagreb when Arsenal’s results were all but confirmed.
Some of the blame has to go to Alexis, some has to go to the manager. Player management can’t be easy and the temptation to always play Alexis must be huge, but he can’t play 50 full games for Arsenal and 10 for Chile every single year.
When it comes to playing him, we’re going to have to be a bit smarter going forward.