The former Gunners midfielder has accused the Chilean of “going into hiding” after chasing a big-money salary at Old Trafford
Emmanuel Petit has accused Alexis Sanchez of going into hiding after receiving his big pay-day at Manchester United, jokingly suggesting Jose Mourinho signed his brother instead.
After a disappointing 2-2 draw at Southampton that has seen the Red Devils slip further behind in the race to finish in the top four, United will look to bounce back when they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
With the pressure already on Mourinho, defeat to Unai Emery’s side, who were so impressive in their 4-2 win against Tottenham, would add further uncertainty over the Portuguese’s position.
And Petit, who won a Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 1998, believes Alexis should take a large slice of the blame for United’s failings in 2018.
“The manager is on the bench, so you need to show pride in your own performance when you are on the field and the first one who has gone into hiding at United is Alexis Sanchez,” Paddy Power ambassador Petit told Goal.
“He wanted to leave Arsenal because he was chasing the salary United could offer. Now he receives so much money and in nine months what has he done? Nothing. I have not seen him. I think they signed his brother.
“I understand that players believe they deserve certain financial rewards when they reach a certain level, but what we have seen from Sanchez at United has not been acceptable.”
While Mourinho has taken the brunt of the blame for United’s worst ever start to a Premier League season, Petit believes he has been let down by players who have been too sensitive to accept public criticism from their manager.
Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw are among those who have been questioned by the former Chelsea manager in public, with Petit arguing they need to answer such criticisms on the pitch.
“Maybe some players are irritated or tired by the way Mourinho does things, but this guy knows what it takes to win trophies,” Petit added. “Like how they play or not, Mourinho’s record proves he is one of the great winners.
“Look at the case of the France national team during the World Cup last summer. They didn’t always play well, but when you look back in the history books of the game, it will say France won World Cup in 2018. This is all that matters in the end.
“The record books will not say they didn’t play well in this game, or this player was poor in this game, or the keeper made a mistake in the final. Who cares about any of that? It’s all about winning the big trophies.
“It doesn’t matter how you get there. Mourinho knows this and he has won more than almost every manager in the game.
“What I would say is that some players are hiding at Manchester United. I bet some are quite happy to hear the criticism of Mourinho and say it is all his fault.
“They hear the media saying Mourinho is doing this wrong, doing that wrong and they smile, but he is not on the pitch. He puts you on the pitch for one of the biggest clubs in the world and it is your responsibility to play well. Too many of them have been hiding and it is not good to see.”
Emmanuel Petit is a Paddy Power ambassador and you can read his views at news.paddypower.com