POSITIVES FROM ARSENAL GETTING KNOCKED OUT OF THE EFL CUP AGAINST THE SAINTS by OM
The Arsenal side that lost 0-2 to the visiting Southampton side in the EFL Cup tie has been eliminated from the competition, in what many describe as a disappointing game for the Gunners on the night.
Even with the defeat of the Gunners at the hands of the Saints there are still some positives to pick out from the game despite the defeat on home turf. Let’s take into consideration some of these positives as Arsenal looks to keep their season intact.
OPPORTUNITY TO REST PLAYERS
The EFL Cup tie saw Arsenal lose 0-2 to Southampton despite the presence of regulars like Ramsey and Alex Iwobi in the side but there were a number of absentees. Manager Arsene Wenger took out time to rest some of his wards like (Mesut) Ozil,(Theo) Walcott and (Alexis) Sanchez, to name a few, for the crunch Premier League clash against West Ham United at the weekend.
These aforementioned players have put in fantastic performances week in week out and thus have accumulated game time under their belt and it was necessary they were rested to avoid fatigue and burn out. These rest was needed as any sort of fatigue makes the players susceptible and prone to injuries as the muscle tissues are usually stretched, due to fatigue leading to hamstring problems.
CONCENTRATION ON THE TITLE RACE
The Gunners who were earlier competing in 4 competitions prior to this game would now have 3 competitions to look forward to ahead of the current campaign. This will bring a level of focus and clarity of what lies ahead of them in the season.
With Champions League qualification guaranteed alongside Paris Saint German irrespective of the group position and with the FA Cup not in sight as regards the fixtures, it will enable the Gunners to concentrate on the title race and keep up the pace with the leaders Chelsea who are just 3 points ahead. Bearing in mind the Manchester City and Chelsea clash over the weekend gives us a hope of taking advantage of any likely slip from Chelsea as the Gunners set their eyes against the West Ham United side away from home.
EVALUATE THOSE ON THE FRINGES
The Southampton match gave us one of those opportunities to fully assess the Arsenal players on the fringes and take proper evaluation of their development in a proper competitive environment rather than just in an Under-21 game which cannot be used as real measure or test for a team of Arsenal’s pedigree.
Players like Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez, who have returned from long layoffs, and Jeff Reine-Adelaide were in action from the start and hopefully the Coach have taken note of one or two things worthy of recognition as regards to player selection in the coming days, bearing in mind the return of the Arsenal absentees as the West Ham game looms at the weekend.
WE HAVE LESS GAMES
With the EFL Cup off Arsenal’s season timetable following the 0-2 defeat against Southampton, this will entails less games for Arsenal. This has always been a worry for Arsenal as injuries and fatigue may hit the team at the crucial part of the season. Less games would afford the players more time to rest and prepare for every game, just like Chelsea who are evidently reaping the fruit of less ECL and EFL games and can concentrate on involvement at the top of the Premier League table.
At this time towards the year-end, limited injuries are what Arsenal need to flourish at their best, and the lesser the number of games the more players will be off the treatment room table.
See? It’s not all bad news!