Petr Cech leapt to the defence of Alexis Sanchez, who was criticised for laughing during the Champions League drubbing to Bayern Munich, insisting the under-fire Arsenal forward is hurting like everyone else.
Sanchez was pictured laughing with goalkeeper Cech on the bench after being substituted in the 5-1 loss to Bayern last week as Arsenal crashed out 10-2 on aggregate.
But Cech denied claims Sanchez – who is reportedly considering his future at the club – was laughing at Arsenal’s plight, labelling the accusations as “disrespectful”.
“It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him,” Cech said.
“Unfortunately when you say the sentence, ‘had we scored the second goal everything could look different’ and then you do ‘ooph’ [exhale] you know, but in the end the reality is you are 5-1 down and somebody twists it and says you are laughing on the bench.
“I found it very disrespectful to the player. But obviously you can take the picture and you can interpret it the way you want unfortunately. But we the players, we know exactly what he said and we know how he was hurting and he was as disappointed as anybody else. It is unfortunate and disappointing.”
Cech also defended manager Arsene Wenger amid growing calls for the long-serving Frenchman to leave the Emirates Stadium.
Out of contract at the end of the season, Wenger’s future in London is far from certain with Arsenal 16 points off the pace in the Premier League and without a title since 2004.
Cech said: “In a way the manager plays as big part but you as a player are on the pitch. He cannot make you run if you don’t want to he cannot make you make the right decision in the heat of the moment.
“The players obviously have to share the responsibility, everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out of it.
“This is the way it is. This week after Bayern especially was a difficult three days, we had to make sure we got ready, and we got ready and this is the reaction you need. I think in football everything goes fast and as fast as you can go up you can go down. So basically every day you work to be ready.
“In football you only work for the things you can control, you cannot control the outside world, you can only control your preparation, you can only control your performances.
“So as a player you focus on that and I believe as a manager he does the same thing. This is going to be the key now, be ready, be prepared as a team and then do the best we can do. Then I think if you bring the results, [the] atmosphere will change.”