Alexis Sanchez could return for Sunderland clash: Arsene Wenger

Reflecting on the achievement in the build-up to Tuesday's clash with Sunderland at the Emirates, a match Alexis could miss after receiving a kick to his thigh on Saturday, the boss played up how much the £35 million signing from Barcelona has improved. "It could be a possibility that he recovers for tomorrow".

Wenger explained the attendance with reference to it being "Tuesday night against Sunderland" and also repeatedly pointed out that his team now have 72 points; a tally that would already have guaranteed them second last season. "Overall that is in a very short spell where we have paid for it", he said.

Sanchez is now in a contract stand-off with Arsenal and is demanding a huge pay rise to even consider staying at the Emirates beyond this season. He has 26 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. The player was in full team training yesterday, but it would still be sensible to rest him, though I wouldn't want to be the one to tell the Chilean that he's not allowed to play football.

"With him, I feel he had something still left, but once he's on the pitch and gets the ball, he always becomes a devil and forgets his pain", Wenger said in the press conference after revealing that he only made a decision to play the Chilean at 4pm on Tuesday (16 May).

His comments came a day after West Ham were thrashed 4-0 at home to Liverpool to leave Arsenal's top four hopes out of their own hands. The "Sunderland" very serious problems with the performance and the "Arsenal" in the last home games just surprised reliable in defense. I want to make sure, absolutely, that we are in there but let's get to 75 points and see what happens. Getting 75 points would be four more points than previous year.

"I thought the team showed great character, we set up to try and make it difficult for Arsenal and for long periods we did do but not only that but we created opportunities and the players worked really hard". But if you don't want this situation (depending on others to get results), you have to win more games yourself. "It looks like we've been getting stronger every game".

Wenger again dodged questions about his future. I'm not influenced by that at all, all I do is give my best.

  • Julie Sanders