Weight of a nation
Arsene Wenger has backed Alexis Sanchez in the wake of Chile failing to qualify for the World Cup.
The player is someone who carries the hopes of the nation according to the Arsenal boss, and should not have so much pressure on him.
Wenger likened it to David Beckham, who of course had the weight of England – and Lionel Messi for Argentina.
The Evening Standard report: “I would say you have in every generation a player who carries the pressure of expectation of a nation.
“In France it was (Zinedine) Zidane. In England it was Beckham. We had other players in the team but it was Beckham. Why not (Steven) Gerrard? I don’t know. But it was Beckham.
“In Chile it’s Sanchez. In Argentina of course it’s (Lionel) 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 the rest of the team.
“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 (kicking) Diego Simeone, he has been slaughtered here, he’s not been picked for the first two qualifiers after for the European qualifiers.
“He has been treated in this country like a guy who has killed somebody. These players have to take both the positives and the negatives as well.”
Alexis is of course no stranger to carrying sides, and has…