Friday, June 14, 2024

Arteta: We use data, but robustness is in your mind

One of the themes of this week has been Mikel Arteta talking about the need for his players to be ready to perform every three or four days.

The manager spoke about it after the win over PSV on Thursday, referenced it in his pre-game press conference too, and expanded on it in the embargoed section.

He was asked about how he determines when a player is ready to make that step, and said, “Well, because we have so much data right now. And we know what the player has done and what they can do, how they respond. When they play every three days, when we play three, four or five consecutive matches where the risk can be.

“But still, nobody has a crystal clear ball. I haven’t heard anybody say this is going to happen in two weeks time!

“But obviously we want to protect our players and our way to protect our players when when there is a risk to overload them and get them into that frame where they can get injured, don’t do it.

“But to protect our players as well means that they need to have the robustness to play those matches when is necessary, because it’s going to be necessary and after the World Cup it’s going to be absolutely crazy the amount of crucial games that we’re going to have, and we need to be prepared for that.”

Nevertheless, Arteta insists that decisions are made on a collective basis, using input from all concerned.

“It’s a really open discussion,” he continued. “You know, everything adds a lot to the table; the nutritionist; the sleeping specialist; what data there is and how we interpret the data as well.

“What does the momentum of a player say? What does the personality of a player say to us?

“There are factors that we do it all together. I don’t have all the answers, the fitness coaches don’t have all the answers. The data doesn’t have all the answers.

“It’s something that we have to do together, and this is the way we work.”

For Arteta, the issue is more about mentality than physicality, and in reference to Bukayo Saka, who has started over 50 consecutive games in the Premier League, he made it clear that’s where it matters most for him.

“Here,” he said, pointing at his head. “The robustness is in your mind. How much you want it, how tough you want to be with yourself. How pushy you want to be yourself, and what do you do to get to that level?”

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The team spirit is the key at the moment, makes a huge difference. The combined squad mentality beats any individual data.


Spot on. The top players play all the games. If we were playing champions League and not Europa League, they wouldn’t be getting rested anyway and we wouldn’t want them to be.

Boy Bastin

Yes, but ideally the squad should be strong enough so that “top” players can be rotated by bringing in other players of roughly equal ability, so the overall team effort isn’t diminished. I’m not sure that our squad is strong enough to do that which is why Arteta needs to play “first choice” players more often than perhaps he’d wish to (as against PSV for example where he certainly would have rested players if he could have afforded to).


Bukayo seems to have grown up a lot more quickly than ESR. Not everyone gets to full adulthood at the same pace. Saka’s been amazing, but last season the sight of ESR charging forward with the ball on the break, in one of the inside forward channels was a sight to behold. When he’s fit, Mikel is going to have a nice selection headache, and Saka and Martinelli might get a deserved rest from time to time.


I don’t agree with Arteta that every player is fit enough to play 70 games a season. Always think back about how Jack Wilshere’s career will play out if Wenger did not overuse him as a 17 year old kid.


He was 18. And the reason he played a lot has to do with Abou Diaby getting injured. And no, at the time it was anticipated that Diaby Had put his injuries behind him, due to him enjoying relatively injury free periods in 08/09 and especially 09/10 seasons (that was why he ended up at the world cup). Also Jack Wilshire got injured during preseason, not during the season


How do we k ow for sure he was overplayed and not just unlucky with injuries. Cesc played just as much at just as young an age and was fine throughout his career. Some people are just unlucky


To Jack’s injury record, I’d more attribute the fact that he was allowed to have his ankles smashed in by refs on a weekly basis, with a media narrative we are weak, and “he just holds onto the ball too long” and “invites tackles”, than Arsene’s usage of him. Yes, he played a lot, but that wouldn’t have been the issue if he wasn’t being scythed down and kicked to bits whenever he had the ball.

Gunner J

I would like to be coached by Arteta


At some stage you have to accept that life is fundamentally a risky business and just get on with it. Yes, manage your risk, but don’t shy away from trying things and taking some chances. I’m terrified of doing an ACL in 5 a side, but it’s life, we have to live it.

Brian K.

Sleeping specialist? Didn’t know about this but I guess it makes sense

It’s 7 games in the next 3 weeks before Qatar, but it could ease up slightly at the start of the new year. First of all, if we win our Europa Group, then we don’t play in Europe again until the second week of March. There’s two FA Cup rounds in January – with a bit of luck of the draw could get a League One or Two club. The League Cup tie against Brighton is hard to call. Depends how serious Mikel treats it. Brighton aren’t in Europe, only have a handful of players going to Qatar, the new… Read more »

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