William Saliba’s return by Dan Smith
If Mikel Arteta feels the need to rotate his squad due to three games in 8 days this festive period, then fine.
If our manager wants to play Rob Holding on to Boxing Day and save William Saliba for the two (on paper) tougher fixtures, okay.
If he wants to protect Saliba from the yellow card which would rule him out for the trip to Brighton, that makes sense.
What I don’t want to hear is that our defender is unavailable this Monday due to a ‘rest’.
At the very least, I expect him on the bench.
It would show a lack of leadership in our dressing room and leave me questioning the mentality of the player.
Arsenal’s protocol for those who played at the World Cup is they don’t have to return to training for 7 days. Thankfully most have chosen to ignore this offer.
Tomiyasu is the only individual to publicly desire a break but that was put down to the emotion of having just lost a penalty shoot-out.
He soon did a U turn and joined the squad in Dubai.
I’m not grateful for those who returned to work earlier then they had too. We are top of the table by 5 points, we have a chance to send Man City to Leeds 8 points behind us!
Shouldn’t the players be excited about that?
Shouldn’t they want to all be involved in an opportunity that might never happen again?
Shouldn’t they want to not give the team any kind of disadvantage?
It’s also common sense.
Ramsdale and White didn’t play a second of football in Qatar while Martinelli and Tomiyasu started one match.
So those 4 have had essentially a mid-season break in lavish surroundings.
Come kick off against the Hammers, it will be over three weeks since Partey and Turner kicked a ball, 20 for Xhaka and over two weeks since Saka was knocked out in the Quarter Finals.
Any other season, these players do not get that kind of period in December where they are not playing.
The only Gunner to still be involved in the WC beyond the last 8 was Saliba ……who didn’t play a second of the knockout stages.
In fact, our defender only played approx. 40 minutes against Tunisia ……on the 30 th November!
He’s had his rest because he’s played 40 minutes since the 12th of November.
If anything, I be more worried that he’s gone rusty rather and he’s fatigued.
Update: William Saliba is due to resume training today. pic.twitter.com/YNcQjEqUJx
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) December 23, 2022
I would struggle to keep a straight face if the 21-year-old asked for rest…. he’s had more of a holiday then those who didn’t go on International duty.
A Tony Adams, Keown, Dixon, Viera, etc wouldn’t be needing a breather because they played 40 minutes in 6 weeks, and they would be pulling up anyone who tried to do.
Arteta has always talked about the principles of the club and not accepting anyone who doesn’t want to not follow his ethos.
Saliba needs to be in our squad against West Ham.
If Mbappe (who has a poor attitude?) can return to training straight away, then so can Saliba
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