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Arsène Wenger

'Desperate' Wenger could live to regret Sanchez decision, claims Redknapp

4:52 AM GMT+4 06/03/2017
Alexis Sanchez - cropped
Jamie Redknapp feels the Arsenal manager may have made a fatal mistake in leaving out the Chilean for the defeat at Liverpool

Dropping Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal's 3-1 loss to Liverpool could be the beginning of the end for Arsene Wenger, according to Jamie Redknapp.

The Gunners' best player, Chile striker Sanchez was unexpectedly named among the substitutes as Arsenal lost a crunch meeting with their Champions League qualification rivals at Anfield on Saturday.

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Reports have since emerged suggesting the omission may have been prompted by the attitude of the former Barcelona player in training and during the crushing 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich late last month.

Regardless of the reasons behind Wenger's risky call to axe the 28-year-old, former Liverpool, Tottenham and England midfielder Redknapp has identified parallels with other bold but ultimately costly selection gambles. 

"Dropping Alexis Sanchez for the trip to Anfield was Arsene Wenger's Ruud Gullit moment," he wrote in the Daily Mail.

"Ruud left [Newcastle favourite] Alan Shearer on the bench for a Tyne-Wear derby in 1999 and it proved to be his downfall — he resigned three days after the 2-1 defeat.

"When things start to go wrong managers can get desperate. [Former Chelsea manager] Andre Villas-Boas left out Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien for a Champions League first leg against Napoli and in his last full season, [Ex-Liverpool boss] Brendan Rodgers did not pick Steven Gerrard for a trip to the Bernabeu.

"When you make the big call to leave out your best player for such an important match you have to win. Arsenal played into Liverpool's hands on Saturday and Wenger could live to regret his decision."