When Alexis Sanchez was dropped for Arsenal’s 3-1 loss away to Liverpool, Arsene Wenger claimed it was a tactical choice.
Most Gooners were pretty confused when the team lineups ahead of Liverpool v Arsenal were released. Alexis, the Gunners’ best player, had been left on the bench. However, after going 2-0 down before halftime, Wenger brought him on at the break to help Arsenal potentially get something from the game.
After the match, Wenger insisted the choice to leave him on the bench was purely tactical, saying, “The thinking was that we had to go more direct and I wanted to play two players who are strong in the air, because we decided to go more direct.
“After that, to bring on Alexis in the second half. Of course, I believe in the second half it was easier for the strikers and you could see a different performance from Giroud and Welbeck because we dominated much more of the midfield.
“Everybody will come to the same conclusion, but I’m strong enough and lucid enough to analyse the impact.
“And I don’t deny that Alexis is a great player. I bought him and I always played him. This decision was not easy to make, but I have to stand up for it.”
However, reports have now emerged that the Chilean was apparently left out due to a training ground spat.
According to the Guardian, there was an incident during a training session in the build-up to the trip to Anfield in which Alexis stormed off and players confronted the 28-year-old in the dressing room with one having to be held back. Supposedly, as a result of this, Alexis was dropped for the Liverpool match.
As with all stories of this nature, take it with a pinch of salt.
Considering Alexis is already thought to be leaving in the summer, whether something did or didn’t happen, the media are going to jump all over it.