Thierry Henry admits he’s surprised by Arsene Wenger’s tactic to make Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez work for their places in Arsenal’s first team.
Alexis has made just two Premier League starts this season and Henry believes that making both the Chilean and Ozil work for their places in the starting XI is tactical.
“Listen, there’s something I’ve seen that I didn’t see for a very long time with that Arsenal side and Arsene doing what he did,” Henry said on Sky Sports.
“More often than not, when Alexis Sanchez was back, whether he’s fit or not, he plays.
“Mesut Ozil, whether he’s fit or not or if he trained a lot or not, he plays.
“The other day I saw something at Chelsea, okay he (Sanchez) didn’t start at Chelsea, but when he came on they put him up front because they were so well organised.
“Today, he comes off, Ozil comes on. Maybe we’re reading a bit too much into that but this is something that Arsene wouldn’t have done back in the days. ’You’re back, you’re the man, you play’.
“The other day was like ‘hang on a minute, that team has been working hard, we’re going to go to Chelsea like that’.
“Now Ozil comes on and Alexis Sanchez comes off.
“There’s something I didn’t see before that now he said at the beginning of the game ‘the team is playing well, so he’s like any other player, he has to wait a bit’.”
Alexis made his second Premier League start of the season against West Brom on Monday night and Ozil came on for him in the 83rd minute, backing up what Henry says about not playing both stars at once.
However, the German is just returning from a knee injury so it’s understandable that Wenger would be introducing him gradually.
When fit, the playmaker still usually starts.
Both players have under a year left on their current deal with Arsenal and while it’s more or less always been assumed that Alexis won’t be staying past this season, fans believed that Ozil would.
If Wenger starts to play the midfield less, this could indicate that he’s leaving after all.