Unai Emery explains his thinking behind the constant rotation of the team
Unai Emery made six changes to the Arsenal team that beat Napoli last Thursday for the game against Crystal Palace only to see us lose 3-2, and obviously there are questions to be asked why so many changes and why so often.
Clubs around us have the same sort of fixture congestion and yet on the face of it do not seem to make as many changes on such a consistent basis, and even with fatigue it is hard to fathom why the likes of Carl Jenkinson was preferred to Ainsley Maitland Niles and why Mohamed Elneny was selected instead of Lucas Torreira.
When asked about the constant rotation Emery said the following: “We have had some injuries, like with Aaron Ramsey, and we need to protect the players,”
“For example, Xhaka asked to change in the second half against Napoli and could have played (against Palace), but with some risk.
“We need to protect our players and to use other players.
“We are playing with a lot of players and they give us the performance; we lost but we could also have lost with other players on the pitch.”
I can understand why he wants to protect the players but using the injury to Ramsey or possibly Xhaka does not clarify why certain other players were selected and some not and why it happens so often.
Other top clubs get injuries, they have players that are tired and so on and yet they still tend to put out their strongest team as often as possible, that does not appear to be the case with Emery, sometimes it feels like he is rotating for the sake of it.
I have always taken the attitude that if a player is fit enough for the bench he is fit enough to start. I am sure that we can all think of quite a few games when players have been substitutes when they clearly should have been selected from the start.
I am not going to try and second guess Emery, he is the manager and knows the team far better than I could ever hope to but a clearer explanation would be appreciated because, as things stand right now, I never have a clue from one match to the next who he will pick and his reasoning behind it.
Is he tinkering too much when he have so many important games?