Mikel Arteta will have to learn how to rotate very quickly next season…

This transfer window has been kind to Mikel Arteta; he looks set to get what he requested. All indications suggest he has gotten his top Arsenal targets as I believe Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, and Jurrien Timber were top of his list.

The trio, plus one or two other arrivals, make Arsenal a better squad, but even so, they give Arteta a major headache as they all will need game time. How will the Spaniard keep all of his players happy? A player’s happiness comes from playing.

In Arsenal’s attack, Arteta’s favorite picks could be Martinelli, Jesus, or Saka. That leaves Trossard, Nketiah, and Reiss-Nelson on the bench.

At midfield, it is being speculated that we can expect a Havertz, Odegaard, and Rice set-up. Smith-Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Lokonga, and the new mystery midfielder (tipped to join) could warm the bench.

At defense, Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, and Timber (at right back) may start. But upon their starting, quality defensive options like Kiwior, White, Tomiyasu and Tierney (if he stays) would be relegated to the bench.

Summarily, Arteta has a risk of having unsatisfied players. Next season, he has no choice but to rotate his team, especially if we want to go far in all competitions. Everyone will need to stay match fit. Sometimes, bench Timber for White or even start White at center back. He may also have to sometimes rest Martinelli and Saka for Trossard and Nelson.

Saka’s form dropped towards the end of the season, probably due to fatigue At midfield, the new mystery central midfielder should be afforded game time. Smith-Rowe, who’s also dazzling in Euros U21, should be allowed to fight for a starting role. The Arsenal No. 10 is keen on battling for a starting spot, as he told The Sun Sport: “I see what happens, and obviously, it’s good for the club to add strength to the team.

“I feel like the additions we’re making are going to really help the team progress again.

“It’s really exciting, so hopefully, we can go one step further next season.

“Of course (it is extra competition with Havertz’s arrival), but this is football.

“You’ve just got to get on with it. I’ve got to keep working hard, and it’s healthy competition. I’ve got to keep fighting.”

Next season, Arteta ought to be ready to rotate his squad more. It may not only keep his squad happy, but it may also be how he introduced an element of surprise about his team, and now that he will have a host of talent on the bench, Arteta will have to learn how to keep them all fit and happy next season….

Sam P

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Tags Arteta rotation


  1. Strong believe the gaffer has learned a great deal from last season as it relates to the rotation, I remember in the previous campaign that was littered with square pegs in round holes and he correct that perfectly.

    He never stop learns it appears myself included.

  2. As much as I like Magalhães a lot, I think the starting duo will be Saliba and White because Saliba can play on the left… I hope Rowe has opportunities this season, he has more than enough capacity to be in the starting lineup and I think if he wasn’t So vulnerable to injuries, we wouldn’t need the Havertz… Fábio Vieira should be loaned to a team from the 1st division to have a sequence and adapt to the intense pace of Prem

    1. John I am so SURE you are profoundly wrong in believing White will start as CB first choice ahead of GABRIEL, that I am prepared to bet whatever sum of money you wish – IF you wish – that no such thing will happen.

      White has not the aerial power or dominance in physique to play CB regularly.

      It may well happen at odd times, but NOT by first choice. I am sure of that.

      1. I think so too, and I even prefer that Magalhães remain in the starting line-up, but I don’t remember where I read that White doesn’t want to continue as a winger and wants to go back to playing as a defender. I like White’s versatility and I think he would be an excellent starting midfielder. but if he wants to go back to playing as a defender I think Magalhães is more likely to go to the bench than Saliba.

        1. Are you talking about BEN White, as I dont understand your winger reference at all? He may have once played as one in his very early days but has never been seen as one for us.

          So what do you mean?

          He already IS a defender, as he is a fullback!

        2. I foresee Arsenal playing with an established Back 3 next season, with White/Timber occupying the RCB berth and drifting into midfield to form a double-pivot with Rice.

          Zinchenko may continue in the inverted LB role but it seems increasingly unlikely, with Arteta being aware of his defensive shortcomings. I suspect he may move into the recently vacated Xhaka role which will suit him much better imo.

          I could be wrong of course, and MA may choose to stick with the system that worked well for us last season. Tierney would be a fabulous option to cover the LCB role in a 3 as he is a natural defender.

    2. Gabriel is better than White at CB. And he is left footed. I don’t think any defender at the club is as good covering for Zinchenko and pairing with Saliba as the Brazilian. I can say the same about his bravery, desire and passion too.

  3. If Tierney stays, we’d likely play with inverted-LB again. I think he’ll be happy to play in cup competitions next season, because we will have UCL games

    Havertz has been playing false-nine for Germany, so Smith-Rowe wouldn’t really need to worry about his game time

    1. Tierney would be an great option to cover Gabriel in the LCB role in a back 3 as well, as he does for Scotland. We have a collection of excellent defenders now.

      A 3-2-2-3 formation suits us so well. White/Timber as RCB. Saliba/Kiwior as CB. Gabriel/Tierney as LCB and Tomiyasu can cover all of those positions.

      1. Yes, Tierney could also play left CB in the cup competitions. But he seems to prefer running forward than sitting in the back like that

      2. I think so too. Timber’s transfer and his ability to play inverted RB will allow Tierney to play traditional LB. Arteta probably bought Timber to save Tierney’s career. Our defence seems to be very strong now on papers.

  4. To add more this season if Arteta continue not to rotate the players as early and looses games like he did Arsenal fans won’t keep quiet . They will do what they did to him . Rice and Karl Bette perform with their highest price tag otherwise they will feel the heat from media and fans hope they know where they are putting themselves to . Not sure if Arsenal can win the league this season . Clubs are also strengthen their teams

  5. With Havertz, Rice and Timber on board, and on the assumption that only Xhaka of our regulars will be leaving,we will have more strength in depth than we had last season.That said, life will not get easier for Arteta in that he may well have to make more unpopular decisions which may impact on the playing time of certain individuals who were first choices last term.It’s all about managing the ample resources which he now has available to him, and from a fan’s point of view I can only hope he is up to the job in the face of severe competition particularly from a stronger Liverpool side.

  6. If all three of Havertz, Timber and Rice joins us, I can see us selling at least 4-5 players. Chopping block:

    Partey, not because of performances but probably because of his wages, fitness issues, age and the supposed criminal case?

    Xhaka, I think his journey has come to an end.

    Holding, very likely to get sold or loaned because of Timber arriving.

    Pepe, can’t see him staying unless we just can’t find a buyer for him.

    Balogun/Nketiah, one of them will be sold. I have no idea what’s going on with these two at the moment.

    1. Of all of them I would miss Xhaka and Nketiah the most.
      Xhaka overcame what could have been easily a permanently damaged relationship with the fans and became a favourite and his output is fantastic.
      Nketiah did really well when Jesus was injured at the World Cup – in fact, for quite some time he had a greater impact.
      The others I would be happy seeing leave the club – let’s do to Balogun what West Ham did with Rice – bend us over a barrel.

  7. Looking at baloguns stats from his loan he doesn’t get into the arsenal team. Placing the goals he scored to one side, his conversation rate was barely 50%, passing completion wasn’t great and he doesn’t tackle. Maybe it was the system he played in but we play a very different way, can he adapt to fit. Ben white is interesting, could he be moved forward to accommodate timber. Ben has been brilliant for us wherever he has been played so far and with his passing, ball carrying and defensive skills would it be a stretch to far for him to fill a partey role

  8. When there’s a quality bench, rotation tends to be seamless for a manager that knows what he wants to do. We should not begin to portray the addition of good depth to the team as a potential problem. We should rather be enthused that the deficiency most people agreed is in the team is somehow being corrected.

  9. The rotation is what Areta needs to be good at. Had it been he has been rotating when he noticed Saka wasn’t in form, we wouldn’t have bottled the league. Cus I remember when he benched Martinelli in a game like that and the next game he picked his form and started performing again. So, in my own opinion, I prefer we sell Xhaka, Holding, Tavares, Pepe, Cedric, Lokonga, and maybe Vieira. Then the team will be balanced and then we can challenge for trophies next season. #COYG💪

  10. I just wonder if Arteta will try to do with White what Pep did with Stones.
    He has that ability – he has the passing range, there is a midfielder in there somewhere.

    1. Arteta doesn’t need to throw white in midfield when he has partey tailor made suited to that regards who should fight for he’s place alongside rice. IMO

    2. Agree. Benny Blanco seems to be the most outrageously talented of all our defenders. Well, after the equally unique Zinchenko of course. I’m waiting for both to produce rap videos after this.

  11. u forget Partey ,jerginho,and eleney. I think arteta didnt sell all three at the same time

  12. Totally agree that Mikel has to be bold and rotate when necessary. There’s a reason why saka, martinelli even partey always suffer late season fitness issues from burnouts and loss of form. Giving adequate game time to Tierney, nelson, Esr is essential to the team as a whole

  13. This is exactly my thoughts and I am totally convinced that it was this and lack of any form of surprises in tactic and formation that cost us the premiere league this concluded season. He should have learnt that also from PEP, It was that element of surprise selection and tactical changes that won them the treble.

  14. He really wasted tierney and Nelson. They did not deserve the little game time they got. kept playing saka even when he was off form. Basically kept the same dam team constantly.

  15. Squad rotation is very important but can be overrated. I always believe a player will become better physically, technically and tactically the more he plays. Martinelli, Saka, Odegaard and the rest played non-stop because their experience and confidence will grow exponentially throughout the years. More of a long term reward than short term solution.

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