Arsene Wenger loves to talk in circles; sometimes I’m not sure whether he actually understands what he’s saying or whether he’s deliberately trying to confuse his audience.
When speaking about Alexis Sanchez facing his old club Barcelona on Tuesday, the boss agreed that the Chilean would be up for the game and could shine… as long as he was in the right ‘zone’.
“He will be fired up, but that doesn’t mean he will be in the right zone,” he said.
“The performance zone is where you are focused and relaxed and that is what is difficult in sport.
“Sometimes when you are too focused you are not relaxed, so it’s a zone where everything looks easy and sometimes when you play against your former club you are not necessarily in that zone.”
Alexis hasn’t exactly been at his best lately and Wenger previously admitted that perhaps the forward wasn’t ready to come on against Hull in a frustrating game which ended 0-0. Saying this, the boss insists he will have a bit of a word with the player ahead of the game, just to see where he is mentally.
“[I’ll have] A little word, yes,” Wenger admitted.
“He can help us to win the game. But I know that not one player will win us the game.
“We need a top level team performance where everybody is spot on in the discipline and sharp physically and ready to work for the team.
“If everyone does that then maybe Alexis can make the difference but it’s not especially on him. We need all our players.”
Alexis could have the game of his life against his former club. There’s no doubt that he’ll be ready for the occasion, but will he be ready to perform under the watchful eye of his ex-teammates?