Arsenal face Carpetbag in Azerbaijan tomorrow evening, and on Sunday at noon travel to Craven Cottage to play Fulham in the Premier League.
It’s a tricky schedule, and many expected Unai Emery to travel without a number of key players, but the Gunners travelled to Baku earlier today with a very strong squad for their second European encounter of the season.
The time between the games, and the travel, makes it a less than ideal scenario, but the Spaniard was keen to play that down, urging his team to continue the winning run they’ve been on recently.
He admits it is different from the Champions League, but refused to use it as any kind of excuse.
“I had a very different experience, when you play Wednesday or Thursday and then Saturday or Sunday,” said the man who has won the tournament three times.
“There are very few days to recover physically and also the mentality of the players to play again in a few hours another match.
“In this experience, I won, I lost and I played better in the second match. We are one team with every player with this experience and also with the habit to play, to recover for another match and continue playing.
“It’s the reason, for me, that I prefer more time to have to recover physically for the players. But for me, it’s good and we are okay tomorrow with every player to play.
“We are going to be also perfect to play against Fulham on Sunday.”
Some eyebrows were raised at how strong the squad is for this one, but maybe we’ve become so used to the idea that these guys need to be mollycoddled when the reality is this is their job, and they should be capable of doing what’s necessary.
Let’s flog them like the worthless horses they are!