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Arsenal News: Alexis Sanchez is in “difficult”state after World Cup sorrow – Arsene Wenger

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez won't be going to the World Cup.

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez won't be going to the World Cup

The 28-year-old superstar saw his country fail to qualify for Russia thanks in part to a terrible error by club-mate and Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina that gifted Peru a 1-1 draw.

Now Wenger has told Sanchez he must put that despair behind him and get back to his best for Arsenal despite concerns over his future.

The playmaker, out of contract in the summer, has not scored in the Premier League this term after finding the net 30 times in club football in 2016-17.

His body language has been equally unimpressive in the wake of a failed £60million summer move to Manchester City.

Wenger is almost certain to leave Sanchez out of his side for the trip to Watford tomorrow amid concerns over both his physical and mental state having only returned from South America at 5pm yesterday evening.

“I believe to play at the top level, part of it is dealing with that kind of disappointment,” said the Arsenal manager.

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I believe to play at the top level, part of it is dealing with that kind of disappointment

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

“If you want to make a big career it’s a bit of a roller-coaster, because you have sometimes on a high then three days later you’re on a low. It’s part of our job. Some deal better than others with it.

“He is in a very difficult mind. Chile just won the Copa America twice, and now they don’t even go to the World Cup.

“Sanchez is 29 at the end of the year, so the next one he will be 33. He expected to go. Certainly a big disappointment for him.

“I have no doubt that he wants to perform. He never goes on the football pitch to lose a football game, never. Sanchez is a winner type.

“I watched the game with Brazil, what a physical game it was. He played against Dani Alves, that was a real battle, believe me. It’s worse to watch.

“You want your players to be in a positive mind, and as well to have positive experiences. To go to the World Cup is the target of every single player who plays football.

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“You have always to set targets when you’re a football player. When one is gone, you focus on something else.”

Wenger knows Sanchez needs to react quickly with the possibility of a player lacking in motivation affecting the whole dressing room.

But he does sympathise with what the forward has been though and has compared his situation to that of David Beckham, who became England’s talisman for a 10-year period around the turn of the century.

“You have in every generation a player who carries the pressure of expectation of a nation,” said the Frenchman.

“In France it was [Zinedine] Zidane. In England it was Beckham. We had other players in the team, but it was Beckham. Why not Gerrard? I don’t know. But it was Beckham.

“In Chile it’s Sanchez. In Argentina of course it’s Messi. It looks like that there is somebody there in a national team who has to carry the pressure and absorb it and protect a little bit the rest of the team.

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“What does that do to that person? It’s someone normally who likes it a little bit. They like to be on the front line.

“Overall what does it mean? It means they have to deal with the lows as well.

“Remember 1998 when Beckham has been sent off after Diego Simeone, he has been slaughtered here, he’s not been picked for the first two qualifiers after for the European qualifiers and he has been treated in this country like a guy who has killed somebody.

“They have to take both the positives and the negatives.”

Despite such a major error from Ospina, who palmed Paolo Guerrero’s indirect free-kick into his own net, Wenger is adamant that will not impact on his goalkeeper’s relationship with Sanchez.

“I don’t think that will be a problem, but of course it happens sometimes, the coincidence of the competitions,” he said.

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