Following European away games, Arsenal usually fly back the same night to London, but after tomorrow’s encounter with Olympiacos, the team will stay the night in Greece and return to England the next day.

It’s a significant change in the travel routine, and one that Mikel Arteta has given some thought to ahead of this weekend’s game against Everton at the Emirates.

He feels the players will benefit from a good night’s rest, allowing them to sleep and eat properly, before they make their way back to England.

“We have two games in four days,” he said. “It’s a long flight, with two hours difference as well.

“We’re going to play at 10pm local time and after that, if we had to take a flight, we would arrive to London really, really late.

“Apart from that, I believe that the first window – the first hour to hour and a half – is really important for the players to eat with the quality of nutrients that we need.

“I think it’s better to do it in a hotel. I think it’s better to rest in a bed, rather than stay in a flight when you are travelling and the next day, everybody does some recovery together and we fly back in the afternoon.

“We try to adapt the trip in the context that we have at the moment and we bear in mind that we want the players in the best possible condition after the game, to be able to recover as quickly as possible to play against Everton.”

It will be interesting to see if it helps, and with Everton coming into Sunday’s fixture off the back of their two week winter break, we’re already at something of a physical disadvantage.

Nevertheless, Arteta is looking for his players to respond after their own break, having recharged their batteries.

“We’ve had a break of 15 days and we’ve played just one game,” he continued.

“So tomorrow I’m going to put out a team that I think is the best to play. Then the rest of the games will take care of themselves.

“You cannot control that sometimes you are thinking about resting somebody and in training he gets a little issue or he gets sick.

“Tomorrow we are going to put out the team that we think is the best to play Olympiacos and the rest of the teams and games will follow.”

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HelderHughes

Someone booked the wrong RyanAir flight and can’t get a refund.

RedCurrant

All Ryanair flights are wrong 😉

RedCurrant

And my reply should have had a wink emoji after it..!

HelderHughes

Ah, now I get the tone. 🤭

HelderHughes

And my reply should have had a Bergkamp emoji after it..!

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

God damn it, Mustafi!

Rob67

Actually I think that is sound thinking.

Santori

So long as you’re not Bergkamp…that would be truly revolutionary…

Venga Bus

This guy thinks outside the box

Ray Parlour's ice cream van

Fortunately I’ve been involved at elite level in another sport – this is exactly the preparation and thought put in at the top of every sport ! It’s about time that Arsenal raise their game.

Paul Roberts

I’d do the same. We could be in trouble here..?? 🙂

PuffPuffThroughPass

Silly that the fixture computer can’t match teams against each other coming out of their respective breaks so as to avoid this rest imbalance.

para

I think TV loves the imbalance for it causes upsets and mixes it up a bit.

Verrazano Gooner

Arteta is a really impressive individual with his attention to detail. I seem to remember those “Teammates” questions where his colleagues raved about his preparation routines.

David Gooner

Because of our links with Emirates, I wonder if we have to fly with them via the Middle East, rather than a direct flight to Athens? That would add a lot of time to the journey, likely doubling it.

Dubai Ham

I am sorry what?
we are advertising for the airline. Emirates have the largest private airline collection and they don’t need to have a stopover in Dubai.

shokim

To add on, that’s what private jets are meant for – to fly their privileged passengers directly to their destinations via the shortest / quickest routes.

Freddy

That is a private jet, flies directly

Nosferatu

I’ve seen similar changes to travel in the past few years for the teams I follow here in America, as they’re on the west coast and frequently have to make long flights after games that end rather late. They’ve cited studies that seem fairly logical. Can’t say it’s a surprise Arteta is tuned into this kind of thing as well (whether it’s something he or someone at City figured out, I’ll take it).

Highbury

I was actually thinking about this the other day /, after watching CL. For me that makes perfect sense, even if their travel arrangements are likely a smidge more comfortable than mine usually are.

Teryima Adi

To be or not to be, that’s the question.