Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arteta explains how Arsenal have coped with fixture congestion

Mikel Arteta says a solid pre-season, lots of rotation and the buzz from winning matches has helped his squad deal with a hectic run of 11 matches since the start of October.

When the fixtures were confirmed earlier in the summer, there were many who questioned if Arsenal’s tight squad would be able to cope with so much football in such a short spell of time.

The answer, so far, is an emphatic yes. Top of the pile in the Premier League and into the last 16 of the Europa League, things couldn’t have gone much better.

While performances wobbled for a couple of weeks, only PSV Eindhoven and Southampton have stopped the Gunners from winning since the last Interlull, injuries have been kept at bay and the players have avoided suspension.

“They are dealing with it really good,” Arteta told Arsenal.com when asked about the condition of his players.

“We had a really good pre-season and we put the boys in a really good condition to be able to face these congested fixtures. They have responded extremely well, especially with the way we play which is really. really intense. They’ve coped well.

“I think we have rotated a lot, we are the team in Europe that has rotated the most. That has its benefits. As well, when you are winning obviously the energy is better, the mood is better, the preparation is a bit easier. Overall they have coped with it really well.”

Arteta also said he was thankful for the attitude of players who’ve not necessarily played as many minutes as they might have hoped.

He didn’t namecheck specific individuals but the list could easily include Matt Turner, Rob Holding, Cedric, Fabio Vieira, Sambi Lokonga and Reiss Nelson, all of whom will be hoping for game time against Brighton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

“I think it has been really good because when they’ve been used they have performed really well. Whether it’s for periods of games in the league or when they started in Europe or when we’ve needed them to start in the Premier League. Overall, they’ve been really, really consistent.

“We call it ‘competition’ – it’s compete but cooperate. You need to understand on the day what your role is but in training everybody has the same role which is to train at their best and keep improving and make the most out of the sessions. To be fair, it’s a joy of a group to work with because they are really at it every day.

“The ones that haven’t played they obviously want to have their chance and feel they are contributing to the team. The positive thing is everybody has played games and everybody has been important. We have two games to go [Brighton in the Carabao Cup and Wolves in the Premier League] and the focus has to be there because afterwards, we have a big break.”

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Ric

I fucking love this club

GoonerJust

Mikel should be manager of the month!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

It’ll go to Eddie Howe. Newcastle had the advantage of an extra game, but they won 5 out of 6, were top scorers in October, and had the best goal difference.

Tobi6footplus

We are top of the leagues say we are top of the leagues!!!

C.B.

We are lucky to have him and Edu, the club has worked really well with them two at the helm. The attitude of the players seems to be excellent throughout te squad and that helps a lot, plus the increased physicality does as well.

Hope we have a good couple of matches (especially the Wolves one) and then can relax in the break happy that we are up the top of the table having had our best start ever to the season.

Rincewind

Coopertition.

William Nilliam

Sounds like a Wengerism!

Graham

I think we have a generational coach. He has almost single-handedly reconnected the fans to the club, even winning over troglodytes like Piers Morgan. And this has mostly been done by the below points: Identified and recruited excellent talent both on and off the pitch with, primarily, the right mindset. Talent alone doesn’t cut it. Coached an attractive, but ruthless style of football which has an enormous ceiling. Nutured a number of very young players to perform at an elite level week in, week out. Has us Trusting the Process! It doesn’t seem complicated but if it was easy everyone… Read more »

Dada

There is this particular arsenal.blog, quite popular too and if you follow it you would think Arteta does zero rotating. The blog is good but can be quite churlish in its presentation.

I wasn’t aware That we had rotated the most, just goes to show how the eye test of an average fan can be fatalistic.

Saffergunner

“we are the team in Europe that has rotated the most”
Are there any stats or metrics online by which we can verify this? Man city seemed to have a lower man per minute ratio….

Saffergunner

Should read minute per man

Ealing

I have used the data from transfermarket
Man city have played one extra game, the community shield,
Both team have used 23 players
arsenal second 12 have played a total of 4734 out of 18810 = 25%
city second 12 a total of 5386 of out of 19671 = 27%
so very similar but not entirely correct

Ealing

by the way, KT is in the first 11 for minutes played, just edging out Tomi by one appearance and 59 minutes played.

Moronic Inferno

Man per minute sounds about right for Citeh considering the amount of players they’ve bought.

Saffergunner

Lol! This made me chuckle while having my breakfast 🥐 on a cold 🥶 morning here in south Africa

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Of course we rotated a lot more players because our level of opposition were a lower level than City’s.

In our six Europa games, we rotated from the previous league fixture – 7, 8, 7, 6, 5, 7.

City rotated 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7.

Boy Bastin

A lot of our “first choice” eleven still played across those games at one stage or another during the 90 minutes (eight of the eleven against Zurich in the last game of the EL group, and it would probably have been nine had Xhaka not been suspended). I don’t have the stats, but it would be interesting to see how many of City’s first choice played in their games (albeit against better opposition) or did they actually rotate players (so the first choice didn’t play at all which is what the term should really mean I think). I don’t know,… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

That same blogger pretty much wanted Arteta gone seven months ago saying the project had failed after the defeats to Palace, Southampton, Brighton.

Arsenal won 4 of their Europa games by a single goal – which indicates that the level of rotation was generally spot on, not too heavy but not too weak.

wrightstuff8

Yes Arteta and Edu have been fantastic. we are blessed to have them.
I would also like to point out that the owners, the Kroenke’s have played their part in this as well. correct me if I’m wrong but from my eyes, they have backed Mikel, stuck with him and put there money up for transfers 2 summers running. I would say the whole club from board to fans are in complete harmony, something we haven’t experienced since the Wenger / David Dein days.

Death by 300,000 Passes

We call it ‘competition’ – it’s compete but cooperate. “

I thought he pronounced it “coompetition”, a mixture of the two words.

Boy Bastin

Interesting comments by Arteta. I’m not sure that there’s actually been that much real rotation overall though. It’s true that we’ve started games with “squad” players rather than the first choice eleven. However, in those games (and the last one, against Zurich, is a good example) many/most of the available first choice players actually ended up playing at some stage during the match. Eight of the ten available, Xhaka was suspended, against Zurich I think. So, it’s not a “full” rotation in the sense that players were able to be completely rested. The fact is that Arteta has I read… Read more »

Arsenalfanthem

We’ve only dropped 8 points so far this season, and 3 of those in the Europa League no longer matter. While the league title is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ll need some backup, the squad has to be commended for their work so far. They’ve put themselves in a great position to continue to push for a top 2 finish and secure Champions League next season.

Boy Bastin

Everyone should be commended for their great effort so far. You’re right about the season being a marathon of course and we’re not halfway through yet. I agree that we must get additional players during the January window if we can. Despite all the talk of rotation, we’re basically using a small core of players most of the time in many of the games played. I don’t see how we can continue to do that and participate in four competitions (assuming we want to, and I hope we do) because we’ll almost certainly come unstuck somewhere sooner or later –… Read more »

Joy

If we had got the stonewall penalty for the foul on Jesus at 1-0 v Southampton, and we weren’t robbed of the opening goal against Manu by VAR, we could be looking at maximum points in the league.

Cedric

That penalty denial vs Southampton is a blow…. Newcastle dismantled them we should have too nd we would have been boldly 4point above man city…
But Thank God we are still in First position…. I pray and hope Premierleague officials stop robbing us and they don’t cost us our trophy because it will be very hard to stop arsenal if officials ref a fair game…#Coyg

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