Rotation is the now the way forward for Arsenal but is tiredness a problem?

Unai Emery took many of the Arsenal first-teamers on the 12 hour return journey to Qarabag, which seems like a big gamble ahead of the tough trip to Fulham on Sunday, but he left quite a few on the bench and used many peripheral players but still got the result. The coach doesn’t think the travelling will affect the squad too much. He said: “For us it’s not a problem to play on Thursday and then on Sunday because we want to play a lot of matches and a lot of competitions,”

“We also want to give the players the chances and opportunities to play, to give them confidence, responsibility and rhythm like today for all our players.

“Today, the players who sometimes don’t play played, and for us it’s very important on Sunday to produce the best performance. But then also, maybe, players who played today can play on Sunday too. We can do that with some players.”

So it is obvious that we will need to rotate some more on Sunday, and Emery admitted that it is not going to be a simple derby for the Gunners. “Fulham is a very big challenge for us, first because it’s away and second because each match in the Premier League is very, very difficult,” Emery said.

“Fulham bought very good players like Seri, like Anguissa, and they have Mitrovic and Schurrle too. It’s a very good team and I think their coach is a very good coach with experience in England.

“We need to push against them on Sunday and also show our best performance. Our idea is to be focused on Sunday with all of our players.”

If we do get our ninth win in a row at the weekend it would be an amazing feat, considering that even the players that were left on the bench still had to do the gruelling journey and didn’t arrive back until Friday morning. Could tiredness have a big effect on our players at Fulham?



  1. gotanidea says:

    He rested his key players at Qarabag, except the CBs and Ozil/ Lacazette/ Torreira that came in as subs, therefore most of them should have enough stamina to face Fulham

    I liked what he did to test his players’ fitness and to improve their teamwork. I expect Lacazette, Aubameyang or Ramsey to score first at the Craven Cottage

    1. ken1945 says:

      Why on earth are you expecting Ramsey to score on sunday?
      If Emery has any sense (which he has) the man should be nowhere near the first team squad.
      He’s made his decision clear, good luck to him, now bu**er off and let’s get on with players who want to wear the shirt with pride.
      Surely Sanchez showed precisely why this should happen?
      I will be amazed and, quite frankly, very disappointed if Emery names him in the squad.
      Whoever scores first, Ozil at “No 10” will probably have assisted in it.
      At last we will, hopefully, see the man being allowed to play the role he was born to football for, the provider of great goals.
      In my humble opinion of course!!

      1. gotanidea says:

        Because Emery would most likely assign Ramsey as a no 10 and Ozil as a right winger

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Ozil was in Ramsey’s shoes last season. He used the Alexis commotion to wrangle a whopping big contract for himself, because fans would’ve went ballistic if the top two highest priced players had left in the same window. That’s not what I’d call playing for the shirt @Ken. Ozil was more sly in the way he wrangled his deal. But most people don’t blame players for wanting as much as they can get, because most people know that they’d do the very same if given half the chance.

        2. ken1945 says:

          What even after he (allegedly) withdrew the contract offer?
          The only reason that he MIGHT be selected is if Unai thinks Ramsey might become more realistic in his demands now that he sees the position he has found himself in.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Ken, I’m with you on Ramsey. He got greedy, gambled that Arsenal would blink first and lost.
            Ozil should start centrally or not at all. As Arsenal has players such as Mhikataryan, Iwobi and Welbeck (as well as Ashley Maitland-Niles on his recovery) to play along side Ozil, Ramsey should now be relegated to the reserves.

      2. jon fox says:

        Humble Ken? The great minds on here should never be humble, cos I’m not and I totally agree about Ramsey. Mind, I sometimes pretend to be humble, as a bit of self deprecation always goes down well. Sometimes I do it so convincingly I almost believe it myself! Three one to us is my forecast.

  2. LENOhappy says:

    I think our first goal will be score by a defender,probably sokratis or monreal,one thing am very sure of is that their will be goals in this match,1:3 or 2:4 to arsenal

  3. Innit says:

    Emery has won the Europa League 3 times – 3 consecutive years
    He is an “expert in success” in this competition
    He knows how to play this competition and who to play
    He knows who to rest and which players are enough to win each match
    I think he is achieving the perfect balance so as to give some of our best players rest for Premier League matches
    Not to mention that we are on a large winning streak

    Exciting times

  4. waal2waal says:

    …it only takes a goal and the player who will score at craven cottage is lacazette – our archiles it seems has been to keep a clean sheet… Enter Leno our No1 goalkeeper elect. Emery’s diplomatic too, because on closer inspection its clear the cottagers are among the worst at conceding goals. Though we’re far from our very best – we really need to equal to our worst to lose against fulham, and so, if we are being sincere here – we all know the expected outcome… and fulham fc do too.

  5. waal2waal says:

    OT: i understand the proprietor of fulham is in some way seeking to acquire wembley stadium? in order to do so perhaps his fulham contingent might perform in spurts tomorrow as if they were in the shop window intent to enhance each their transfer stock (individually). Other than attempting a damage limitation that is the sum and total fulham players can expect to achieve against emery’s irrepressible arsenal. Again, we’ve no excuse not to wipe ’em aside. Not arrogance just confidence.

  6. Innit says:

    Fulham are at the foot of the table 17 I think
    BUT they can beat us if we don’t play our best
    Metrovic, Schurrle and Seri are quality players
    Its good we rested a few players
    Lets keep our winning streak alive


  7. LENOhappy says:

    Yes ken1945,am waiting for the next ozil direct assist like those once he’s been given since the start of this season

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Well hopefully Emery won’t do what Wenger constantly did, by using the old ‘players are struggling physically’ excuse every season, well before even Christmas!

    I really like what Emery’s doing with the rotation at the moment, and fact he’s actually taking the EL seriously.

    1. ken1945 says:

      And Wenger didn’t take it seriously?

      A semi-final loss to the eventual winners by the odd goal, and a tie over two legs we should have won.

      Imagine what might have happened if Wenger had actually taken it seriously?

      1. Do you think that Kos and Mustafi would have made the same mistake at the Emirates, giving Atletico the vital away goal? No, because that was a joke wasn’t it?

      2. Do you think that we might have put away the many chances when we played them away if Wenger had taken it seriously? No, because we would have been in yet another cup final wouldn’t we?

      3. Do you think we might have won if the players hadn’t followed Wenger’s instructions not to take it seriously as it would have meant us qualifying for the CL if we won the final? No, because the players were not to blame were they?

      Such simple questions to an equally simple statement insinuating that Wenger didn’t take the EL seriously.
      Would love to have your replies to those three simple questions, as I actually thought we tried to qualify for the final by playing our first team in both legs.

      If I remember correctly, Wenger also rotated his squad and finished top of the group, but don’t let FACTS get in the way of changing history.

      Perhaps you might check the FACTS and let me know if I got anything wrong ThirdManJW?

      As for “excuses”, let’s hope that Emery doesn’t need any.
      If he does, I’ll be sure to imply that he didn’t take it seriously, just for the record and to rewrite history.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        First off, I didn’t even say anything about Wenger not taking Europe seriously, so I do not understand your unwarranted rant! I only said about Emery taking it seriously, as a lot of manager’s don’t when it comes to the EL. If we’re taking about FACTS! So I suggest you properly read a comment, before going nuts!

        Not quite sure why you also think we deserved to beat Atletico over the two legs? Did you even watch the games? They gave us an extra man for about 80 mins in the first leg, and their manager spent the majority of that game banished to the stands, as he also did for the entirety of the 2nd leg. Yet despite this MASSIVE advantage, we couldn’t win, or even keep a clean sheet! And the 2nd leg was a COMPLETE EMBARRASSMENT! We need just one goal to stay in the tie, and I think we only had ONE SHOT on target the whole game! Awful performance! Atletico deserved to go through, and with ease in the end.

        And again, let’s use some FACTS shall we. Wasn’t it Wenger that refused point blank to drop our consistent under performers such as Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi? Would we not have had a better chance by trying other players?

        Finally, in terms of FACTS, yet again! Try watching Wenger interviews. The guy was infamous for his excuses!

        Have absolutely no idea why you’ve gone mental at me, but clearly there’s still some unstable AKB’s around! I was hoping with Wenger gone, it might unite the fan base!

        1. ken1945 says:

          First of all, you brought Wenger in to your post by actually mentioning the man himself at the beginning. FACT
          Of course I read your post and that’s why I challenged you about Wenger taking it seriously, as that was what you insinuated at the very least.

          So at least we agree that Wenger took EVERY game seriously, despite what others might insinuate. That’s one point cleared up then.

          I certainly watched both games, being present at the home game and watching us dominate them the whole ninety plus minutes. Were you there?
          They did not “give us an extra man” as you say, but had a man sent off. FACT.
          Diego was sent to the stand for his protests and banned for the second game because of it.
          This is the first time ever that I’ve been told that a manager being sent to the stand was part of the reason for not winning over two games or keeping a clean sheet.
          So do you think Atletico deserved anything from the first leg? Then you were watching a different game to me and most others from reports that followed.
          Their goal was a mistake by Kos, nothing to do with their superior play, manager being sent to the stand or a player down.
          FACT…watch it again if you dispute it.

          The second leg saw a typical Atletico performance, total defending at all times and hoping for a break. Remember?
          An easy win? 2-1?
          We were in it right to the end and to say they won it with ease just doesn’t make any sense at all.
          Just like Real and/or Barca, we found it nigh on impossible to get anywhere near to having a goal scoring opportunity.
          Have you ever watched Atletico play? It’s in their DNA to defend and they do it superbly well.
          That just goes to show how well we played at the Emirates doesn’t it?

          So what did Wenger do wrong when choosing the players that had performed so well in the first leg for the return match? They were the players that were currently fifth in the league and, between them and others early on, had got to the semi-final anyway.

          Have you ever thought that Wenger was actually doing exactly the same thing Ferguson did at his press conferences? Or any other manager come to that? They ALL protect their players, thought that was an obvious deduction and one that Iv’e never seen other clubs fans criticise their manager for.

          Finally, you hoped for a united fan base? Yet you still manage to ensure that his name is mentioned in a derogatory manner.
          Even if you didn’t mean to insinuate that Wenger hadn’t taken the EL seriously, it most certainly read like that.
          What even when we were winning trophies, finishing in top four, winning cups and CL participation?
          THAT’S the kind of rhetoric that divides the fanbase, but it seems that certain unstable WOB’s just can’t resist doing it.
          If you REALLY want a united fanbase, stop making up examples that are patently untrue regarding Wenger. It’s that simple, it really is.

          I would love to discuss Unai Emery on his merits and achievements, not having him compared to Wenger at every single opportunity.
          He is a great manager/coach in his own right and deserves to be recognised as such by all the supporters of this club.
          But while this comparision happens and in such a way as to belittle the greatest manager this club has ever had, rest assured this “unstable AKB” will question every false accusation made.
          That is why I went “mental” at you.

          1. Phil says:

            Ken-I think it’s fair to say nobody wanted Wenger out more than I did ( and of course the other 88% front this forum) But even I would never suggest Wenger ever did anything other than wish to win every single game he managed.In fact I wish there was times he shut-up shop to get a single point rather than demand we play to win at all costs.
            I believe the way he managed the Europa And Carabao Cup games last year was perfect up until the last games we played.We went into the Wembley final with a side capable of giving City a game but delivered a performance that typified our season.And there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that if Kos had not had gifted Griesman his goal at the Emirates the second leg would have been a completely different game.Athletico would have NEEDED to score so would have to have come at us.As it was it was us having to score so had to push forward and we left ourselves open just the once and were punished for it.That is Cup football and we paid a very heavy price for the Kos mistake.
            It seemed to sum up our season and ultimately Wengers too.
            But surely nobody can ever accuse Wenger for not wanting to win can they?I certainly wouldn’t.
            In regards Wenger continually being compared to Emery I believe is inevitable at this early stage of our new Managers career at Arsenal.There is no doubt Emery has made some mistakes but this is far too early for him to be criticised (other than playing Ozil too wide).
            Emery’s doing a good job in my opinion.We are winning without necessarily playing well.Too often we have dropped points to lesser teams when we have dominated so we can see an improvement immediately.One thing I am encouraged over is the players seem to want to play for Emery.There are signs that we can improve while still picking up points.The next three games are a good yardstick to judge the season so far.Two London derbies Both Away And a decent Leicester side at the Emirates on a Monday evening.There is no reason we can’t win all these games before we head into November and December with a tougher run of fixtures.If Emery feels he wants first choice players in the two cup competitions then it’s his call.Wenger did not do this and was proved right.But who is to say Emery is wrong if he does include them?
            It’s early season still so the players ought to be fit enough if they are handled correctly.

          2. ken1945 says:

            Phil, I have nothing to add or take away from what your sensible post describes as the actual facts regarding both Atletico and Wenger.
            As you were ACTUALLY at the away game, the fact that your views echo mine makes it all the more satisfactory for me.
            Of course others will / have disagree and that’s what debating is all about.

            I really believe Arsenal have got the Emery appointment spot on.
            He looks like an Arsenal manager, he acts like an Arsenal manager and he most certainly has taken our club forward in the short time he has been with us.
            I believe we should be judging the man on his performances, NOT comparing him to anyone else, no matter who they are.
            I am fairly certain he would agree with that.

            Having just got back from a day out, I note that Utd are losing to Newcastle whilr spuds beat ten men Cardiff by just one goal.
            To me that confirms there are no easy games in the premier league and Emery should be receiving all the accolades he deserves.
            Long may it continue…and I personally believe it will.

            Why this constant comparisioncontinues with Wenger is beyond me, but if someone feels they need to do it, let them at LEAST just get the facts right.
            It’s the way a positive, reaching the EL semi-final, is turned into a “Wenger” disaster that really does my head in.
            Just like the cup win over Chelsea being their mistake not a “Wenger” success.
            Everyone has a right to a personal opinion and/or view, but when they make such ridiculous sweeping statements, they should expect to be questioned or challenged.
            I couldn’/wouldn’t challenge anyone who said the last two years of Wenger were a disaster and he got everything completely wrong.
            They are the facts as far as I am concerned.

            Everything on this site should be of a positve nature, it’s been two long years of awful football and now the club and players (ramsey aside)are giving us something to be proud of.
            At least I AM getting this feeling, just can’t understand others who want to go down memory lane and make things up.
            If they want to wallow in the past, so be it. Just don’t make stories up

          3. Phil says:

            Like you and many others Ken we appreciate that Emery will be compared to Wenger no matter what at this early stage of his Arsenal career.Its inevitable and understandable at the same time.But I di believe that Emery is being given his chance by the fan base which of course is helped by the winning streak we are on.After all winning comes first.But I also believe that the supporters agree we will not be competing for the title this year.A top 4 spot will be a fantastic achievement in my opinion and a cup run always gives fans something to smile about.The positives are far outweighing the negatives at the moment.Woth every performance being compared to past seasons under Wenger will only dampen the mood when there is no reason to.We are competing well in games if not dominating and that is the single biggest plus in my opinion.Not once have I thought players were going through the motion.Emery deserves great credit for this

          4. ken1945 says:

            Phil, again I agree with all you say, with one added comment.
            I cannot see any comparision of managment during the last two Wenger years versus the first few months of Emery.
            He has a completely different way of setting up his team, team selection, player responsibility, touchline technique and treatment of players.
            That’s why, in my opinion, comparisions are completely irrelevant.
            Jon called me an optimist( and I probably am), but I honestly think we have “discovered” the right person to carry the club forward under the new Kronkie ownership.
            Hope you see another win tomorrow, even if it’s against your “second club”!!

          5. jon fox says:

            Nothing wrong with optimism PROVIDED it is tempered with reality and not fantasies, as so many on here have(though not you Ken). I am also optimistic but only in the medium to long term. Kroenke will always keep Emery short of the funds he really needs, which is an unfair handicap compared to all our top rivals, barring the Spuds.

          6. ThirdManJW says:


            I don’t want this to sound mean or anything, but I genuinely think you need help!

            You have gone off on some epic rant because of one tiny sentence about Wenger, that was FACTUAL!!!!!!!! You make a comment about me mentioning his name, as if to warrant your verbal abuse. So am I, or anyone else not allowed to ever mention Wenger’s name again? Or we can only mention him, if it’s in a positive light? Which would mean ignoring factual historical events regarding Wenger’s tenure. Or is it freedom of speech you’re against? Because it seems to be one of these that gets you so worked up.

            You do realise that Wenger was in charge for 22 years, he’s only been gone for 3/4 months, the majority of the squad is his, and he’s our most successful manager ever? Which means that it’s almost impossible to NOT mention his name when discussing most topics in relation to Arsenal, whether they be positive or negative.

            The TRUE FACTS about Wenger are this: He had a very mixed time at Arsenal. Very successful in that first decade, pretty awful for the majority of the 12 years after that. It’s been 14 years since we won a league title or even challenged for one, and 9 years since we did anything really meaningful in Europe! So how dare you have a go at me for mentioning Wenger in bad light, when I had every right too! Are you that delusional, that you only think Wenger did great things, and that he deserves zero criticism? Stop cherry picking, and live in reality!

          7. ken1945 says:

            ThirdmanJW, thanks for your concern, I will consider that a genuine thought process, if a rather disingenous one.

            Unlike, however, your claim, that you now seem to forget, regarding Wenger making excuses every single season for this or that.
            That “tiny sentence” ridiculed the most successful manager in our history and that was what you intended it to do, otherwise WHY make it up?
            I’m pleased to note that your views of the Atletico semi-final seem to have died down, as have the idea that it was all Wengers fault that we lost over the two games.
            But that’s not the crux of the matter is it?

            Cherry picking? Pretty awful for the latter twelve years?
            Okay, lets go with that and digest those years shall we, with ACTUAL FACTS that are not an opinion but ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
            If you know Arsenal’s history, there can be NO DISPUTING THE FOLLOWING;
            Out of the twelve barren years we had….ten years of top four premier league positions…ten years of CL football…three FA cup wins.
            Very true we didn’t get anywhere near winning the CL, but did finish 2nd to Leicester (better than the other 16 clubs).
            However, how did we manage to achieve even that in those “pretty awful years”?
            What the likes of Liverpool,spuds would give for even a SNIFF of that FACTUAL HISTORY in their club’s DNA.

            This was achieved by the way, and for your information, even when the oil money, russian roubles and the american dollar was contorting the playing field against our club.
            But let’s not cherry pick the facts as to why we couldn’t compete with this game changing scenario, let’s take the easy way and just blame the man who held on to their shirt tails with limited budgets and having to sell first team players on a regular basis.
            But even that’s not the crux of the matter is it?

            I am pleased that you are now saying YOU DID mention Wenger in a bad light, even though you then say it was FACTUAL!!!
            So where’s the proof that Wenger made excuses every single season before Christmas during his 22 years tenure?
            Utter rubbish that any gooner with half a brain knows is a complete misinterpretation of the ACTUAL situation.
            But that’s still not the crux of the matter is it?

            Finally, you ask me if I am being delusional about Wenger?
            Well, read my reply to Phil, something that I have said so many times before by the way.
            I ACTUALLY see the bad times as well as the good times and do not have any reason to try and distort events to suit my views.
            But that’s NOT the REAL reason for this exchange is it?

            This is the crux of the matter:
            I called you out for saying something that was untrue and something that eluded to Wenger not taking games seriously.
            Why is it that someone who thinks they can say anything about another person, then becomes indignant when challenged about it?
            In your world,why can YOU say anything you want, but go on a”epic rant” when I challenge your statements?
            Isn’t what I’ve done the definition of freedom of speech?
            How dare you try and deny me that when I HAVE every right to do just that?

            I know I can make a comment regarding Emery and his work so far, with no comparision to WHATEVER Wenger achieved or didn’t achieve.
            If we have a fruitless season, would I feel compelled to compare it with anything Wenger achieved? No, but I would comment on the positive strides Unai had made as an individual person.

            Now, I don’t want this to sound mean or anything, but try and do what I have done….move on with Emery and forget your obsession with Wenger and his many misquoted faults, along with, of course, his many genuine faults.
            That’s when we will have the united fan base you supposedly desire.

          8. jon fox says:

            Third Man, I agree with this and have had my own battle trying to convince Ken and some others of this truth too. Ken and I have a mutual respect, based mostly on shared values and our long lives(as well as being long time Gooners) but on WENGERS LAST DECADE WE ARE POLES APART. KEN THINKS HE HAS ONLY LOST THE PLOT TWO YEARS AGO; I SAY A DECADE. But as you say , his leaving is so recent and his main players are almost all still here, so he is bound to be mentioned in the context of what is happening today. When Emery finally has ALL his own players in , Wengers name will be less prominent in posts. That is just common sense, I would have thought! In any case no one has the right to tell others what not to write about on an Arsenal site( as long as it is Arsenal based or at least of Arsenal relevance)

  9. Break-on-through says:

    I would’ve preferred if some players did not travel in Europa match. That’s a long flight and it could effect preparations for the Fulham game. But it’s great that Emery isn’t trying to use any excuses here, he says its not a problem playing an away game two days after the last game. If we lose its still unsure whether he would blame fatigue. I don’t blame any managers who do that because some of their job is to try and keep players confidence levels up. So its normal to try and blame something other than our players. I do get the impression though, that Emery will at times say its us we should do better, that’s not acceptable and so forth.

  10. Break-on-through says:

    On the Fulham game….

    Hoping we don’t take them lightly, we have no reason to feel over-confident. Another win is really important we need to make the most out of these type fixtures, because, and I know I’m not alone here, but I fear a little for when we face some of the biggest sides. So this Fulham game is massive, all those teams in bottom half are so crucial to our season.

    1. Sue says:

      Every game is crucial to our season. No team should be taken lightly

      1. waal2waala says:

        when we were kings it wasn’t because we afforded the opposition any greater respect than they deserved. We understood that in every department we were a finer winning machine than those we faced at home and away – admittedly we’ve recently been in a state of flux, or been shown to lack lustre but have we declined to the point to date that we need threat over fulham? if we had cajones to win watford then it stands to reason we’ve the same for fulham. if we expect to go to the pinnacle of english football we’ll want to show up at craven cottage.

        1. waal2waal says:

          we’ll all be smiling come end of the game 😀

  11. Wiggy says:

    Better go for Qarabags player. Called Zoubir – He terrorised arsenal defenders. Good dribbling skills and good shooting power. Lichetnstein was pissing when he kept on going past him, yesterday.

    1. stubill says:

      Are you serious?

      After watching him once, you think we should sign him, have a look at his history before making statements like that, his career has hardly been eye catching.

  12. GunnerSince2004 says:

    People… travelling and not playing should have no effect on these professional players as they’re probably travelling on first class, watching a movie or 2 or sleeping. Its not like they’re training on the plane. So its more like they’re resting away from home. So as far as i’m concerned unless you actually played 60 mins or more in that Thursday game you should be 100% for Sunday.

  13. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Okay guys. Let all AFC fans be calmed and remain calmed not worrying if Arsenal might not beat Fulham because of the fatigue suffered to the Gunners after playing far far away to FK Qarabag yesterday night. And because Fulham have signed Seri, Mitrovic and Schurrie from where? Jupiter? No! No!! No!!! You guys are kidding me. I want you guys to be assured of this, Arsenal will beat Fulham hands down on Sunday in the PL at their Craven Cottage sanctuary and take them to the cleaners.

  14. zeek says:

    and if they don’t bro?

  15. ozziegunner says:

    In the EPL if Arsenal or any other team does not bring their “A game” there is a good chance they might lose.
    Given Arsenal’s fire power, if the team turns up committed to win, they will.
    The harder Arsenal work under Unai Emery, the luckier they will get.

    1. Phil says:

      Good point that OG-There is no doubt that we are fitter this season.We seem to be finishing games stronger and look to have more pace about us when attacking.Full credit to Emery for that.
      Also-I’m not a great believer in coincidences but the last three games have given us three clean sheets.Rob Holding was involved in those games (60 minutes v Everton and two full games after).Is that a sign we are defending better or that Rob Holding is the better player to have in our back four over Mustafi or Sokritis?

  16. kenya01 Ars fan says:

    on and upwards gooners confidence is growing each week we are getting points even wen not playing our A game

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