Mikel Arteta has 100% backed the call to allow Premier League clubs to use five substitutes, and suggested that clubs again be allowed extend their squads to deal with the hectic schedule and increased prevalence of injuries.
After lockdown, a manager could select five substitutes with nine players named on the bench, and that’s something the Arsenal manager would like to see return.
Not only does it give him more options, and a way of dealing with fatigue, injuries and other absences, he feels it will help players who, for now, might feel excluded when they’re not part of a matchday squad.
“I am all for it,” he said with regard to the return of the five subs option.
“And not only that, also to extend the numbers in the squad because at the moment we have big squads for different reasons, and we have to leave 7/8 players here at home.
“And at home means ‘at home’, because from the training ground you go home, and from home you go to the training ground.
“Mentally for them to feel involved, you are travelling away, you are two days away, without the squad, without your teammates.
It would be really helpful for them, so let’s make them involved at least in what we are trying to do here, and I think these are easy decisions.
“Let’s hope we can change it.”
The Gunners face Leeds on Sunday without Thomas Partey who has yet to recover from a thigh injury, as well as Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac who tested positive for Covid-19.
On the Ghanaian, Arteta was cautious after the injury he sustained against Aston Villa, saying, “He picked up an injury very early in the game, he tried to carry on and wanted to continue in the second half.
“But we knew it was a significant injury. He’s done really well, he’s working very hard, he wants to be available, hopefully we can get him back soon, but it’s an area in which we have to be careful and a bit protective of the player.”