Arsenal would be taking on Watford in their last league on Sunday. The Gunners head into that game with nothing to play for, but Watford need the points to avoid being relegated from the English top flight.
Because Arsenal have nothing to play for, the Gunners can afford to rest their best players for that game, after all, they would face Chelsea in the FA Cup final at the start of next month.
However, Mikel Arteta has revealed that he would not be fielding a weakened side because he has nothing to play for. He insists that he would field the strongest team he can play for the integrity of the competition, and he doesn’t care that much about who gets relegated at the end of the day.
He remarked that they have to show respect to the other teams in the relegation battle by ensuring that they do their best when they face the Hornets. “I want to play as strong a team as I can,” he said as quoted by The Guardian. “We have to respect that there are a few teams in the relegation battle and we are responsible for that as well.”
Pushed further on his obligation to Watford’s competitors, he said: “It is our responsibility. A strong side doesn’t mean that players who have played less will not participate. For me, it’s more about how we approach the game and how we go into that game to win. That is not 50/50, there is no lack of intensity, anything like that. We cannot do that.”
If Watford lose they are not absolutely guaranteed to go down, they just have to lose by two goals less than Aston Villa who are away to West Ham. But if Bournemouth somehow win at Everton, then Watford are certain to be relegated if Arsenal win by any score….