Can Arsenal reserves handle a cold, wet, windy Thursday night in Bodo?

Arsenal are on an amazing winning streak, but with the glut of two games a week stretching our reseources, the game tomorrow night against Bodo/Glimt ccould be an extremely tough test for our reserves. In fact I would not be surprised if Mikel Arteta left some of his biggest stars at home, happy with the knowledge that if we beat PSG next week, we should be assured of top spot in the group whatever happens in Norway.

But Arteta just wants to win every game, and I must admit I’m worried he may be asking a bit too much of our youngsters.

I have checked the weather for Bodo tomorrow, and it will be a very chilly 4-5 degrees in the evening, practically guaranteed to rain all day and maybe even snow, and with 20 MPH winds to contend with as well. On top of that they will be playing on an a heated articial turf, so the ball will be difficult to control and be sliding on the wet pitch.

The Norwegians are of course used to these conditions, and in front of their home crowd they will be playing with more confidence and we can expect to see a tighter more disciplined game, like they showed in the second half last week at the Emirates.

For me, I want Arteta to make 11 changes from the weekend, and playing youth players like Matt Smith, Amario Cozier-Duberry and Lino Sousa so as not to risk any injuries for the far more important League games at the weekend. But as long as have our usual backups like Holding, Soares, Vieira, Lokonga, Nketiah, Marquinhos and Reiss Nelson on the pitch, we should be able to come away with a draw at least.

Do you think that our reserves can handle a cold, wet, windy Thursday night in Bodo?


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  1. I guess so, because they’ve been playing in winter in England. I also wish Arsenal leave our key players on the bench

    1. Agree. Let’s not injured key players. Maybe Odegaard can lead the team. Since his country. He know the game there.

      1. Yes, we’ll still need a leader on the pitch and Odegaard will be the best option to replace Xhaka

  2. Yes this game is not an easy set of choices. It’s tempting to play younger players outside the squad, or on its fringes, but there are two reasons not to do that.

    1. The group is not over yet by any means. Bodo drew with PSV in Holland and we still have PSV to play both home and away. A loss tonight will mean a 3-horse race.

    2. How will the youngsters feel if they get injured on that snowy artificial surface? The whole academy would start to feel like cannon fodder, taking on injuries to protect their “betters”. Not the spirit Edu/MA are trying to create.

    My feel is to choose the team you think will perform best in the conditions, while doing the usual resting of “first team” players (but only the usual amount, no more).

    If some people are particularly good in tricky conditions, this may the time to play them. I imagine Odegaard knows what a bit of snow feels like.

      1. Haha yes another hardy type from the frozen wastes of the north 😉

        Suitably bolstered with Irn Bru and a fried Mars bar, he shouldn’t have any problems. In fact, he might be a bit warm – maybe half a Mars bar.

        Joking aside, you reminded me that he should be a concern for this match since artificial grass is infamous for ACL and hyperextension injuries – and Tierney’s long-term injury was a hyperextended knee.

    1. You are right; Ødegaard has played on many artificial turfs all over Norway since he was a kid.

  3. I would not risk the players we depend on for PL games. We have the quality to get points from the remaining games and top the group.

    Imagine losing Partey, Martinelli, Tomi, Tierney, or Saliba to injury in a game against Bodo.

    The juice ain’t worth the squeeze in my opinion. Nelson, Nketiah, Holding and the like can get the job done.

  4. I did wonder if we had been elevated to the CL for a second
    However, I would agree with IDKWIC
    I know it makes sense to rest players but allowing a situation to develop that puts pressure on the club is not ideal if the A team then have to do battle later on in the qualifying process. Sew it up first is generally my motto

    1. I had to think about the CL part, then I realised… I said “tonight”!

      Good spot, not sure what I was thinking there. 🙁

    1. Yes Siamois, the use of the word “reserve” in the context of Assoc Football, implies that we have a reserve team.As such a thing no longer exists in the UK the use of the word is no longer appropriate.We have a pool of players from which the Manager will make a selection to suit the occasion which will no doubt take into account the mental and physical condition of the players and the demanding schedule they face as a team.Sorry to be long winded but the word “reserves” is not one I would have used.With regard to playing in the “far North” during the latter part of the Wenger era, I recall our first team struggling at places like Bolton and Stoke, no disrespect to these fine cities.

      1. I partly agree and partly disagree about reserves. The use of the word “reserves” is nowadays an inaccurate one.

        However, most Gooners would consider such as Holding , Elneny(even though unfit) and Soares etc to be second string players.

        So the use of “reserves” becomes sheer semantics and is still broadly understood to mean our lesser squad players.

        Even as a language pedant , I feel its not a matter worth making any fuss about, TBH!
        Personally, I am pleased that the word “reserves” has largely disappeared from verbal use, as players should never be made to feel second class, even though the more realistic fans are fully aware which ARE and which are NOT second class.

        But there is no need and nothing sensible to be gained by verbalising that word, I feel.

  5. Playing on artificial pitches can be a recipe for injuries. Especially to your first 11 or even to your first 12. It is true that players train indoors. But Playing on artificial pitches is a totally different ball game altogether,, especially when you are mainly used to playing on naturally turfed pitches week in week out. May explain Bodo Glimt’s good home record. I can remember Queens Park Rangers going for an artificial pitch back in the late 70s early 80s. They ended ripping it up and going back to natural turf. When I did time at Hamburger SV I played in end of season tournaments twice on artificial pitches. And twice I needed a wheelchair ♿ to assist me off the pitch. Being a goalkeeper I hated it. Even taking goal kicks felt so different and unnatural to me. Sliding down at a player’s feet felt awkward. As for outfield players going in for slide tackles,,, not nice at all. Synthetic grass burns to your upper thighs can be horrific and are extremely painful,,, especially when showering after the match. They take longer to heal and more prone to infection. Similar to having a skin graft. Your playing football boots are totally different. You don’t wear studded boots as you would on natural turf. Those who don’t wear in their boots properly will most probably be complaining at half time of blisters. To put it in simple English,,, if you owned a racing thoroughbred horse that has won you millions of dollars in prize money,, would you risk racing it on a artificial racetrack? It’s as simple as that. No doubt Arteta and his coaching staff will be weighing up the situation as to who will play and those who will be better off staying behind in London to rest up for the Leeds United match. A draw would be a good result. One good thing about artificial pitches is that the ball bounces consistently. Plus, Matt Turner being an American may very well be in his element playing on an artificial pitch. It’s going to be different and interesting in how Arsenal adapts. Should any of our players score, let’s hope they are not silly enough to do one of those sliding on the knees celebrations,,, because they will only do it once

    1. The turf will probably be very wet to increase the speed of the ball.

      Modern artificial turfs arent how you describe them; we have many of them in Norway. Most Elite clubs play on relatively new artificial turfs, less than five years old. We have many players just playing on artificial turfs and they are not more injured than other players. But changing between different kinds of turfs (grass or and artificial) can be challenging.

  6. All I see is a bodo win or draw trust me that bodo team is taking the second spot in our group

  7. I don’t think the B team is match fit enough to handle the situation. Then again, I might be wrong. We’ll see in the night…IJS

  8. Ask José Mourinho; he and Roma got trashed 6-1 on Bodø/Glimts artificial turf in October last year. Not a nice place to visit during the autumn. Bodø/Glimt hasn’t been at the same level this season, but they are not easy to play against in Bodø.

  9. There’s a new format in the EL this year that makes it worth getting top spot in the group.

    There are now additional knockout round play-offs prior to the round of 16 between the eight UEFA Europa League group runners-up and the eight third-ranked teams from the UEFA Champions League groups.

    1. So basically you get to skip a whole round against the CL repochage teams – if you win your EL group.

  10. I have one eye fix on Leeds.

    We should make 11 changes for this game later, in my opinion, a draw wouldn’t be a such bad result while gaining some much needed game time heading into the fixtures pile up ahead.

    We should not risk our starting eleven just yet

  11. First of all, we are not playing PSG but PSV in our next EuL match after Bodo, a world of difference between the 2 teams. That said, I am confident Arteta will have a right mix of youth and experience to handle Bodo and I am sure we will do well. Of course, Nelson, Marquinhos, Nketiah, ASL, Turner and Vieira must all start with well deserved rest being taken by the more experienced stars to be prepared for the tough PL matches ahead.

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