Arteta really needs to start rotating the Arsenal squad quickly

Arsenal’s squad rotation 

We are a month into the new season and Arsenal fans have been left with the same concerns we had last season. With Arsenal competing in four competitions this season, Including the long-awaited return to The Champions League, squad depth and squad rotation is going to be key for us to get far in all four competitions. 

With Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey already picking up injuries early, we’ve already been left short. Timber having Champions League experience with Ajax, looked to be the perfect addition to Arteta’s backline this season, but after causing damage to his knee against Nottingham Forrest in our opening match, he is set to miss the whole season. Partey, who had been playing a deeper role for Arteta at the start of the season, to give us more options at the back, ended up picking up a groin injury in training is set to be out till October. 

With so many games this season, Arteta is going to need to be able to look to his bench for reinforcements, but for one reason or another, Arteta doesn’t seem to want to do that. In the back end of last season Arteta made some surprising calls, which left us open to injuries and after such a great first half of the season, injuries were ultimately what caused us to fall short of the title. 

Does Arteta not trust his bench players? Or is it just the fact he prefers to start his strongest side? Either, either, with a game almost every three days, the squad needs to be rotated and our squad players should and need to be given minutes. Arteta can’t be picking the same side week in week out, or again like last season, will open us up to injuries and problems.  

We should be aiming to get silverware this year and I know some put their noses up to the likes of the Carabao cup, but I don’t think we can dismiss any chance for silverware, Arteta needs to come away from this season with at least one trophy and having a strong squad with minutes in their legs could be the key to success.  

What’s your thoughts Gooners? Are you worried Arteta won’t rotate the squad enough, opening us up to problems? Or do you think everyone will get their shot throughout the season? 

Daisy Mae 


JustArsenal Show NEO discusses Arteta’s evolving tactics and discusses whether Kai Havertz could be considered a flop after his four games…

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  1. He said that he would be more tactical in his choosing this season as well as adding more physical type players to his squad ( this became noticeable last season when Arsenal were bullied at times due to lacking strength attributes in their side against more physical opposition). He is also aware he needs to keep players fresh and match fit, so he may rotate more in the cup games rather than the league. Liverpool and chelsea were rotating their team the most last year due to tinkering and injuries and they finnished below expectation, where as Arsenal kept an almost consistent team and finished above expectation!

  2. Agree, Saka looks tired, and needs a rest we have ESR, who should be given his chance before his injury he was scoring freely, Arteta’s error was not having the quality to rotate, now he does and he should be doing it, he can be quite stubborn and he needs to make changes. Glad Ramsdale had a good game last night for England Ally was creaming himself about the pass he made

    1. If he doesn’t have the quality of players to rotate, how can that be his error?
      ESR was doing pretty well before the injury. However, since his return he has not been at the same level even if one allows for his limited game time.

  3. I don’t think one has to rotate the entire squad, like an A team and B team for example.

    I would advocate for rotating players, perhaps several to a “normal” starting 11.

    For example, replacing Jesus with Nketiah, and either Trossard or Nelson for Martinelli or Saka. That way you still have 2 top attackers in the lineup along with Odegaard.

    Jorghino and Elneny could swap out with Rice, but not both Jorghino and Rice playing together in midfield.

    Rotate Tomiyasu in a CB to rest Saliba and Gabriel, and can alternate playing with Kiwor and Tomiyasu at FB; ensuring that either White or Zinchenko is paired with them on the other side.

    IMHO this would field a solid team, rest players, while keeping the bench players sharper than only playing every few weeks for cup games.

    Not sure what Arteta has planned, I just hope to see some rotation and not players getting rusty after weeks on the bench, then getting a game and expecting a quality performance.

  4. Rotation is good especially for cup games and UCL. UCL at certain level of progression. I would not encourage absolute rotation for Epl games but one, two or at most 3 players depending on the fixture. Rotating players can affect the team cohesiveness when done early in the season. I guess that’s why coaches wait till mid season or after playing about 10- 15 matches. For Arsenal, the team is still trying to gel properly with the injection of new signings; I guess the Arteta would stick with his first 11 baring injuries to any of them.

  5. This season Arsenal have used 22 players in the Premier League, out of which 7 have started (but not all finished) each match, and only one outfield player has not featured at all, so it seems like Arteta is using the squad quite liberally.

      1. Sorry, I think you were right the first time with the word HAVE and not HAS.
        Arsenal ARE a great club and not IS a great club.
        No doubt someone will disagree with me but this is my opinion on correct use of the English language, though it’s possible that both are correct, but I know what is correct from my schooling.

        1. I’ll accept your correction of my correction, but I doubt if it would have gone unnoticed by the degree waving academic who’s on my case lately.

      2. Technically , the rule says that “has” , not “have” , IS correct, as Arsenal is one entity only.
        But using “have ” is so common that I care nothing, whichever word is used.

        Personally, I usually use- or misuse in truth-“HAVE”.

        1. Depends on whether you consider it a singular noun referring to the organisation, or a collective noun referring to the people who make up said organisation. Most people in the UK would use the collective, personally I find it really jarring when I hear or read “Arsenal is” as well, etc. but both are technically correct and neither is a misuse.

          1. ArGooner, you are incorrect. I need to inform you.that a singular entity, even though comprising plural people, as a football club does, is exactly the same as a family is also a singular entity comprising plural people .

            Some singular pronouns do use have; eg I, you, we, she, he. But singular plural entities are EXACTLY as I OUTLINE.

            The grammatically correct use is, in such cases and in those examples, exactly the same and uses ” The family has….” or Arsenal has…”.”or FIFA has…”

            However , this is merely a narrow grammatical fact and it is common to misuse “Arsenal have” OR “the family have, or “FIFA have”.. I even do so myself.

            Even though those are ALL incorrect English. There is not doubt about this either.

            I feel bound to add, for full context, that such minor grammatical errors are hardly “crimes” and no one will put you in prison for misusing English.

  6. There will be some big decisions to be made
    Do we play a weakened team in the league for a stronger team in the CL or visa versa
    A strong team on both side and weakened in the cups
    And yes I would take the Carabao Cup as part if the silver
    Whilst it is the lesser of the 4 trophies on offer nevertheless its a trophy
    Would still like the other 3 to accompany it though 🤔

  7. I think you have a very valid point. If Arteta does not rotate and incorporate players soon, they will have to come in and perform immediately. I doubt if that is possible. I feel for such high level players such as Leo Trossard and Jorginho if they are not going to get games. At City Pep was very brave and rotated regularly and players were ready to come in a perform. I hope that Reiss Nelson and others get some game time or we will definitely have the same old burn out as last year. Players have finite resources.

  8. It’s only 4 games into the season. Moreover the players just finished their gruelling pre-season training 6 weeks ago. Everyone is still not 100%. Let the manager to decide and let us enjoy.

  9. I think Arteta is more of a Fixed XI kind of guy. He believes in having a fixed core starting players and looks to augment that team and tweak as per necessary using the bench. I agree with Arteta on the fact that, you can’t play the same kind of football with different players. Trossard can start before Martinelli but he won’t provide what Martinelli does, offensively and defensively. Same when Trossard starts ahead of Havertz. Story is the same, we can’t have too many starting lineups. It’s better to always start with one lineup that is balanced in all aspects of the game, versatile, and comprised of players who are less INJURY PRONE. That should always be the criteria for the starting eleven. All other players are to provide options, as and when necessary. You can’t rely on someone to start if they are injury prone. You can’t base your core strategies around such players. You have to start with players who can play together for the maximum period of time without being laid off by injuries. That’s the recipe for a winning and cohesive team imo. And Arteta seems to understand that. You can’t have a lineup that keeps changing because somebody may have to be replaced every other week or so.

    People here have been asking, why Havertz? I will ask why was Xhaka picked by every other manager? Because he was always there, the one cog that you rarely will be without. You could always count on him to be ready and there, even when he wasn’t playing well. Only issue with him was he wasn’t employed in his right position.

    And I have to say, Arteta has found someone to really fill up that impossible shoe in the modern football, and it’s Havertz. He is not injury prone and to me that’s the main criteria for a starting XI. The more a set group of players play together, the more refined and cohesive the team will get. That means less errors of all kinds, an almost seamlessly automated passing, great anticipation among players, and myriads other benefits.

    People here are complaining, Arteta must start with ESR, or Trossard, or Viera. But I think that’s a very short sighted approach. ESR isn’t reliable in terms of his injuries. Trossard and Viera provide very similar profiles as most of our forward line, both tactically as well as physically. I am afraid, we don’t have anyone who can dismantle Havertz from the starting position and his age, his height and his very different profile from the rest of our forward line cements his place in the starting lineup, and he can be relied to play most of our matches like Xhaka.

    Imagine, Arteta decides to start with ESR for a stretch of games and let’s say we achieved a great run of games, great performances and suddenly ESR gets injured and he now needs to be laid off for months. Rest of our team has been accustomed to having ESR in the team and suddenly their performances start dropping. Rang any bells? That’s how we suffered last season, with Partey and Saliba, and Zinchenko getting injured and most of our crucial gameplan depending on them.

    I think what Arteta is prioritizing players with better injury record for his starting eleven. And I can’t fault that. It seems to be the right way to think about the starting XI choices. Simple and utilitarian.

    1. Fair enough regarding injuries, so that means no Jesus, Partey, & Zinchenko in starting lineup, because they are injury prone.

      I actually agree with you, and have said several times we need a ST that is a 20 goal threat, a LB that can defend, and a B2B midfielder that stays fit and can do a job on both sides of the ball.

      1. Well, the fact that despite being injury prone, Jesus, Partey and Zinchenko are all high performers for the team. It’s not perfect yet, but Arteta will probably look into getting more robust players to replace them in the future. We already have Rice for Partey. I think CB and DM absolutely require robust players who don’t get injured much. Then the Full backs, and then AMs, and finally wingers and Strikers imo. But I tend to value reliable defense over reliable offense though. Forwards are the most rotated positions rather than CBs and DMs so they can managed even if they are injury prone. CBs and DMs shouldn’t be rotated much.

    2. In the real sense, the teams that master the art of rotation are always the successful once. Man City is a typical example.(won the treble by rotating often).
      You risk your first 11 getting fatigue or injured by over working them, whereas, others are match rusty after seating on the bench for a while.
      1/2 changes to a team doesn’t stop cohesion in a team, but playing players that haven’t played in a month in carabao cup or fa cup is the reason we haven’t done well in cup competitions under Arteta

  10. I think we’ll see plenty of rotation, once the cups kick in. We are in four competitions, so plenty of opportunity for everyone.

    We must go with our strongest XI against Everton, but I would like to see some rotation for the PSV game, as we’re at home. Something like:

    White Saliba Gabriel Tomiyasu
    Rice Jorginho
    Saka Vieira Trossard

  11. The expected and required rotation starts this week when Champions League football makes a welcome return – we have 4 games over next 11 days, I wouldn’t be surprised if +20 players are used in that period.

    Regrettably this forum seems to have transformed to ‘Just Havertz’, so I will start elsewhere.

    Vieira could barely have done more, but perhaps less suited to physical contests, I can see him start two of the four games perhaps starting with PSV.

    I can also see ERS getting minutes, he deserves them and needs them.

    With Jesus return trip to South America (and within as Lima is a long internal flight) there is a case for Nketiah (high on confidence from England call up) to start vs Everton, Jesus then prime for PSV.

    If there is a priority call to be made, then I expect Arteta will towards the League at this point in the season as we can not afford to lose touch with Man C so early in the campaign, and we have been handed a favourable group for qualification in Europe.

    Therefore Saka, Odegaard, Saliba, Rice, Martinelli, Zinc all start vs Everton.

    It does seem sometimes though that Arteta can’t resist throwing in a surprise – I actually think it is part of his strategy to keep the opposition guessing to mess up their preparation – so not impossible we see Raya start with Ramsdale earning his Champions League debut on Wednesday.

    Unfortunately the impact of the Timber injury is only going to build, with rotation required we are already exposed – Tomy has to protect Zinc in two of these four matches for me, an injury White and/or Zinc and we are looking vulnerable. Time give some academy prospects a some valuable match experience rather than thrown in the deep end against the likes of Man C in the League. The Cup game and even CL look like the best opportunity to do that in the coming weeks.

  12. I think it’s too early to be thinking about burnout -unless a player is carrying a knock it is not imperative that we rotate right now. The season has just started. Also, the extra minutes in games are helping some of our backups to get minutes and when the cup games come up they’ll have a further chance to show us what they’re about and aim to shake the rust. When players get up to full speed and then eventually get a little leggy that is when we rotate for the purpose of freshness or precaution. Arteta will have his eyes on it no doubt

  13. I have read here, and on other websites, several times recently how Arsenal are competing in 4 trophies ‘this season’, and therefore need to rotate more and require more depth in squad.

    It’s not wrong … but I wonder how it is different from last season when we also competed for 4 trophies. Granted, the Champions League is bigger and far more difficult than the Europa League … but we play basically the same number of matches depending on how we progress in each competition.

    We did need more depth in squad, which we got, and I would love to see players like ESR and Nelson playing bigger roles in the team this season but we are not playing more games than last season unless we go deep in both domestic cups.

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