The League matches are coming in a relentless stream at the moment, and there is hardly time for teams to draw breath never mind get some rest in between matches. Having played on Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday, the Gunners need to prepare to go again this Tuesday at Wolves, and Arteta will have little choice but to rotate once again to try and keep his players fresh for the long gruelling season ahead.
Hopefully Arteta won’t have to make as many changes as he had to against Southampton in the FA Cup, but today’s team news is hardly optimistic for the boss.
He sounds very pessimistic about Saka and Tierney being ready after missing the last few matches. Arteta told Arsenal.com: “We don’t know yet [if they’ll return]. Today we’ve got a training session and they haven’t been able to train with us yet, so I think it will be really difficult for them. But I don’t know, we’re going to try to last-minute see how they are feeling.”
Aubameyang has also missed the last few games due to his mother’s sickness and then he had to go into self isolation. He probably hasn’t been able to train much either, and Arteta is not sure if he has finished all the protocols anyway. “There’s still some things to clear up. Maybe yes, maybe no. We don’t know. We’re still doing some paperwork at the moment.”
Even more worrying is that he inferred that there were even more players that may not be ready either, as he said (when asked about Odegaard!): “Let’s see today how everybody is. We have some other issues in the last few days as well, so today we’ll have a better picture of who is available to play tomorrow. Then we’ll put the players who are completely fit to start the game.”
The fact is though, that even if there are no added injuries, there will definitely be fatigue setting in if players are forced to carry on players every three days.
Oh well, it’s the same for every team I guess…