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!

Or something.

16
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Why not
Why not

I think this is perfectly within reason at certain points in the season.

A Different George
A Different George

Sure, with an international break coming immediately after. Completely different than, for example, in December.

Dr Zebra
Dr Zebra

Maybe it’s more difficult to play when you don’t expect to play. And, so far, Emery has been using the full squad for each match, regardless of the competition. I guess this can help us keep up our match sharpness and rhythm more than just having two completely different starting 11’s.

I just hope that we can avoid silly injuries during less competitive matches!

Irrational Gunner

Yes, no “A” team or “B” team. Everyone is fighting for a position, and everyone endures the shit of long airplane rides. Seems a bit refreshing.

gooner1981
gooner1981

The sooner we get to 9 or 10 points, the better. I could see half the squad rested when it’s time to go on another long trip to Ukraine. We also have the momentum, so it’s good to try to put out strong teams and win the games we have. A few key players should start on the bench, especially Monreal.

Legrande
Legrande

Exactly my thoughts. Players could be rested when we have qualification in the bag. Fixture pile up excuse is just another room for complacency, after all it’s not an Arsenal only thing.

Vonnie
Vonnie

By travelling together and being together the squad becomes closer and everyone feels more involved, this way he avoids that awful split that we had last season where we effectively had two teams, and half the squad were marginalised. It also keeps the momentum going, and everyone keeps training and progressing together, I can see the reasoning.

santori
santori

I expect we will rotate heavily for this match. The PL is the priority this week.

Probably Welbeck will feature, Ramsey too. Iwobi needs to get more time Smith Rowe can come in and do a job.

In midfield maybe Elneny and Guendouzi should be enough for this level of competition.

At the back we can bring on Kolasinac and Lichsteiner. Only worry is at Cback bc Sokratis is still 50-50. Not ideal to have Mustafi-Holding again without rotation. i suppose if Sokratis can mend for weekend he can come in for Mustafi on weekend.

Keeper, ideally we play Martinez but I wonder if there is merit to continue with Leno just to keep him in the groove.

Hantal
Hantal

Ramsey hasn’t travelled and sokratis is fit again

Hantal
Hantal

Last seasons A and B teams was a worthwhile experiment but didn’t really allow for movement between the two (jack wilshire aside), I’m all for playing the best available side at least until we’ve qualified and can take more risks

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

I’ll never understand why it is harder to play Thursday/Sunday than Wednesday/Saturday. Never!

Hantal
Hantal

I wondered about this too. The only difference is the europa league has a higher number of far flung teams so there’s a little more travelling, but those first class flights help to balance that.

Otherwise it’s just the pressure of having seen most of the other teams get their results on the Saturday

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

I’d guess the reality too is being as champions league games are “the big teams” they typically play more frequently on the Sunday

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

As you can expect Arsenal and Chelsea to get pretty far in the Europa League the Sunday will be more or less blocked for them.

Dazjay
Dazjay

I know it’s a long time ago but in the 70s and 80s we also played 1st division, FA Cup, league cup and either UEFA or Cup Winners Cup and we pretty much used to field the same team in every competition in the days only one substitute was allowed. All that before all the sports science and fitness coaches and a lot of the players used to drink and smoke. Just saying……

Rams
Rams

The only thing that we want is to win the match agaist Qarabag.The possible win from todays match increase morale to win against Fulham.
Its for Arsenal fun to CELEBRATE😂