Due to a lack of European football and a relatively settled starting XI, Arsenal have several first team members who’ve barely played any football this season.
That situation could well change in the build-up to Christmas with the Gunners facing a hectic run of nine games before the turn of the year.
Acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead, Mikel Arteta says proactive squad rotation is already front of mind and that all his players need to be ready to perform off the bench and if injuries and suspensions also come into play.
In a breathless answer given during his pre-Newcastle press conference, the boss said:
“Absolutely, the minutes and the performance level of the individuals and the impact that you can have off the bench, the moment you want to change the team, the alternatives that you need because normally in this period injuries start to come, suspensions, we already have a few players close to that*, so everybody has to be ready because it’s going to be key, the contribution that they can make to sustain the level and results.”
Given how good they’ve been since coming together in September, Arteta will be no doubt be hoping he can continue to call on first choice keeper Aaron Ramsdale and centre-back partners Ben White and Gabriel when the matches come thick and fast.
Put to him that the trio have all the qualities to be key players in the club’s long-term future, Arteta said:
“Obviously their age, how they complement their qualities and as well the chemistry that they are building it’s really important and it’s rare to see it that early, but they are enjoying playing together and this is something really important and we have to keep evolving, not only with them, but with every player that is involved in those positions.”
*As far as we can tell, Sambi Lokonga is the only Arsenal player currently at risk of a one-game Premier League suspension for reaching 5 bookings before the 19-game mark. The Belgian has four cautions to his name. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has two yellows while 11 Gunners have been booked once each.
We have the chance for another good run. Let’s hope we beat the United’s in the next two games and pick up our confidence again
A win against Newcastle and a draw at Old Trafford would be a very decent return.
I’d take that, for sure. ManU will be very difficult with a new manager in place and the eyes of the world on them, so keeping that game tight and taking a point would be proper work in the grander scheme of the season. If Chelski hammer them this weekend, we’ll be in for a serious correction.
That’s my worry. I fully expect Chels to flatten them this weekend & they’ll be under massive pressure to respond at home, against a club that hasn’t won there in the league since days of yore, for a new/interim/interim’s interim(?) manager.
Obvs hoping for all 3 points, and I think we can do it, but I’d definitely take a point.
It’s funny how even a defeat against one of the best in the world has just pushed open that door of uncertainty a fraction again. People are taking about xG and ball retention and Thomas Partey and temperament and our inexperience…. So yeah, these next 8 or 10 games are just so, so important. We are very vulnerable fans. We have experienced our club being brittle for so long and I think it has taken its toll. The minute things don’t go quite right, the neurosis kicks in. And I’m no different. But I think we need to remember too… Read more »
Well put, Johnny.
We’ve spent the most money – Arteta has spent the most money in our history as a club. We are entitled to expect more. If teams like Burnley are taking points off Chelsea while Crystal Palace are winning at City, surely it’s not too much to expect us to compete against Liverpool. We had an experienced team last year so we really use youth as an excuse.
But look how we’ve spend the money. For us to challenge for a title, we would’ve needed to pay triple or quadruple that. Yes, it’s a lot of money. But everything needs context. And the context of this spend is that we have put our money in shares that we hope to cash in on in 2 or 3 seasons.
The way i see it was that we spent money to correct the many mistakes in our squad building since 2014/15. The next on that list is a replacement striker. Wenger probably didn’t plan to retire when he did and left alot of imbalances in our squad that he may have wanted to fix moving forward but we’ll never know. Added to this was the departure of senior pros Kos, Nancho, Santi, Ramsey and maybe Wilshere all in a short period of time. Post wenger the club tried to quick fix things with Unai’s appointment and bad judgement signings like… Read more »
Never really got the arguement that we should be consistently beating teams like Chels & City as Burnley & Palace take points off them once every blue moon. If that’s the case, we beat Burnley & drew with Palace, so we’re better than City & just as good as Chels, right?
Surely at this stage of the season, when the table’s starting to take shape, that’s a slightly better indication of where we are?
… and at least we are not sp*rs
A Mura-culous result.
Not sure I’ve ever seen Conte look more deMuralised.
Tottenham lost 2-1 to Mura. If you don’t know who they are, they’re a small team from North London.
We’ve lost four games so far and the only one we should be ashamed of was Brentford. And to be honest, there was a special situation there and I think a lot of clubs would have struggled in that new stadium, newly promoted club and a tonne of injuries
Both Chelsea and Liverpool have done just that, so I don’t really mind about the Brentford result either
Lokonga is walking in the shadows of Vieira in terms of bookings.