‘All substituted players are frustrated'

Arsène Wenger shrugged off Alexis’ reaction to being substituted late on in the 4-0 win over Swansea, preferring instead to focus on his impressive stats so far this season.

The Chilean scored our fourth goal – his 16th of the season, and 14th in the Premier League – sealing a comfortable win in south Wales.

Alexis was clearly frustrated at being taken off shortly after scoring, but the boss praised his excellent recent form, while explaining his decision to withdraw him with 10 minutes to go.

on Alexis’ performance…
He was very sharp. You know I rested him for two weeks and gave him a little breather. I think he benefitted from that and I gave him another rest today so he will benefit from that as well.

on Alexis’s contribution…
Look, he is hugely influential, Sanchez. You look at the numbers, he had scored 13 goals, seven assists, now 14 goals. So he was involved in about 25 goals in our team. But we also had players on the bench who are strikers, who need competition. We were 4-0 up. Ozil as well comes back from sickness so it was a good opportunity not to be stupid.

on Alexis’ reaction to being substituted…
All the players are frustrated when they come off, some show it, some not. I am long enough in the job to know that. I just make the decision I feel is right and that’s it. Nothing more than that. He’s a good guy who gives a lot and wants to do well, always, for the team. There is no problem. But every culture is different. Some South Americans are a bit different to Europeans, Southern Europeans are different to northern Europeans. You have to respect that. That’s why we are a multi-national team.

on whether he prefers that kind of reaction…
No, I prefer nothing. I prefer to score goals and not to concede goals, that is all I like. But all the players like the game, I think after you are more extroverted. That’s minor. I think looking at the game tonight, that’s really minor, minor, minor.

on whether he will speak with Alexis…
We speak always, about everything. Honestly I cannot even answer. I don’t look, I don’t look at that. I look at how well the players do who come on, how comfortable they are, because Danny Welbeck has not played for two years. That’s for me much more important than an individual response. That is vital when a player 25 years of age with regular play in the national team comes on, you have an opportunity to give him game time - that’s something that is vital when you come back from such a long injury.


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