Emmanuel Petit: Are Sanchez and Ozil only playing because the transfer window is around the corner?

The former Arsenal midfielder queries the timing of the wantaway pair’s return to form and adds that Paul Pogba’s ban is a ‘huge blow’ for the title race...

Emmanuel Petit


Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are coming back to the way they should be playing for Arsene Wenger.

It’s great news for Arsenal that they’ve returned to form, but is that just because the transfer window is around the corner?

Who knows if they still want to leave?

I really hope they remain at the club but, if they do, they need to show the same commitment to help Arsenal to a Champions League spot.

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Arsenal’s title race isn’t run just yet

The Gunners showed huge passion on Saturday and they need to hold onto that mentality moving forward.

The way they played with desire and offensive flair reminded me of how we used to play. In the second half, I saw a great Arsenal team on the pitch – they showed fantastic character and personality.

Arsenal will definitely make the top four if they keep that level of performance up.

They are probably out of the title picture, but anything can happen – in 1998, we were 12 points behind in February and pulled that back.

If City lose at United and then Spurs, it could be wide open again.

United so much weaker without Pogba

Manchester United are a weaker team without Paul Pogba – it’s so disappointing that he won’t be able to play in the Manchester Derby, as he was their best outfield player against Arsenal.

They’re a stronger team when he’s in the line-up.

Nemanja Matic is a much better player with Pogba alongside him, because he’s trying to do a similar job to that of N’Golo Kanté at Chelsea.

With Pogba, their jobs are very clear to see – the Frenchman is a box-to-box player who always wants the ball, even in a dangerous area, because he’s amazing technically.

Meanwhile, Matic is the master, who controls the team tactically, just like he did at Chelsea.

Without Pogba, United aren’t the same side. That’s shown the last few months when he’s been injured.

They lack creativity, physicality and personality on the pitch when he isn’t there.

He can do whatever he wants on the pitch.

He can defend and win back second balls or he can sprint with the ball at his feet and break through the line. He can do it all.

Pogba’s sending off was the correct decision – mainly because he wasn’t in control – but it’s a huge blow for United and the title race.

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What do you think?