January 31, 2023

Arsene Wenger says he moved Alexis Sanchez up front as he has ‘similarities with Luis Suarez’ and insists Arsenal will have a go at the title

October 3, 2016
  • Arsene Wenger spoke to Thierry Henry about his 20 years at the club
  • The Arsenal manager is confident his team can end their wait for a title
  • The Gunners have won their last five games in all competitions
  • Wenger also discussed the decision to move Alexis Sanchez up front

Arsene Wenger has revealed that it was Alexis Sanchez’s likeness to Barcelona striker Luis Suarez that prompted him to try him up front.

The Arsenal boss sat down with Thierry Henry for Sky Sports in celebration of his 20 years at the club.

And he told his former striker why he decided to switch Sanchez to a central role this term.

Sunday’s last-gasp win at Burnley means the North London outfit have won five games in a row in all competitions for the first time in 19 months.

A key factor in their impressive run has been Sanchez’s newfound striking role.

‘I love Sanchez playing up front, he gives the team another dimension, why play him there this year?’ questioned Henry.

‘First of all I had big competition up front. I thought Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud would play there,’ replied the Frenchman.

‘I reflected at the end of the season and I decided to try it with Sanchez. He has similarities with (Luis) Suarez. He goes at you.

‘Remember at the start many people questioned the decision. The few times I had tried him there before he was not convincing. In the first two games I was not convinced but now game after game he is growing into this position and getting better and better.’

Wenger also believes his squad have what it takes to seriously compete for the Premier League this season and end their 12-year wait for the title.

The Arsenal boss insists that the current crop is ‘more mature and better equipped’ than in previous seasons.

‘We have a squad that is not anymore made up of kids but made of mature players who have experience’, he explained.

‘It’s down to how consistent we will be and it’s down to producing performances every three days now.

‘The team looks more solid, they have a good team spirit but you know you have disappointments during the season and it’s all about how champions respond to those disappointments.

‘We have to show we can do that but lets not forget the competition is of a very high level. You have many teams now who can really compete for the title.

‘Boss I wanted to ask you, how are you? 20 years, what’s the secret?’ Henry asked, turning attention to the man himself.

‘The secret is my passion for the game, I think I am an optimist and I think I have a good resistance to stress,’ the 66-year-old responded. ‘People underestimate this. I am a little bit a dreamer. I want each game to be perfect.’

‘Boss thank you and all the best for the title… please! Henry said as he wrapped up the interview.

‘We’ll push, we’ll have a go!’ replied Wenger with a smile.

 

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