Arsene Wenger: “I never force anyone to play”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he would “never force anyone to play” after facing accusations that Alexis Sanchez was pushed through the pain barrier before picking up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City last weekend.

After the game, Wenger was forced to defend his decision to play Sanchez against the Canaries. Laurent Koscielny and Santi Carzola also picked up injuries at Carrow Road, but Wenger has hit back at claims that they are his fault. “We compare our injuries across Europe and I don’t think we have more injuries than anyone else,” he told reporters.

“Sanchez had four weeks holiday, he was rested in some games. We had five days between Dinamo [Zagreb] and Norwich.

“No one said he could displace his hamstring or back when he was shoved into the cameras [by Ryan Bennett]. “If you want to blame me with the injuries, I have no problem with it. I never force anyone to play.

We are in a job where you have to give 100% so I wouldn’t do that.” Koscielny is expected to overcome a minor problem to face Sunderland on Saturday, while Theo Walcott might also return after a spell on the sidelines with a calf injury.

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