We are all aware that the Christmas schedule is very gruelling every winter, with Arsenal having just played their first game of the month, with another seven to fit in before the New Year.
Mikel Arteta didn’t make too many changes last night at Old Trafford, but the big surprise was to see Mo Elneny in the midfield alongside Thomas Partey. When asked why he was chosen to start, Arteta revealed: “[To be able] to play a player like him, with that experience that he has playing in this arena. He was incredibly good last year when he played here as well. He way he has been training, and the way he behaves, and because I believe that sometimes we have to rotate things for the game.”
The fact is, with Granit Xhaka out for at least another month, and Sambi being very inexperienced, it made sense to bring on Elneny, or possibly Maitland-Niles. But, other than Martinelli replacing the injured Saka, that was really the only bit of rotation by Arteta. This must certainly change in the next game with just 3 days before we visit Everton, so who can we expect to be given a rest on Monday?
The one thing we all want to see (ok, most of us) is Aubameyang rested, with Saka returning and Martinelli playing down the centre, but I have this strange feeling that Arteta will never drop Aubameyang for some reason.
Martin Odegaard definitely needs rested, and Arteta can choose between Pepe or Lacazette to replace him.
As for the midfield, I would like to see Thomas rested, and my preference woud be for Lokonga and Maitland-Niles to face Everton.
And lastly, the question of Tierney coming back must come back into the equation. What’s the point of having two great left-backs if only one plays?
So who do you think Arteta needs to rest or rotate for Monday Night?