Mikel Arteta has insisted that he will not rest his Arsenal players ahead of the international break.
Many teams have had to deal with hectic playing schedules this season on the back of a minimal pre-season after the Coronavirus pandemic delayed the end to the previous term.
The Gunners Europa League campaign has only added to their fixture list, but they cannot afford to give that up lightly as that currently poses as their most likely route into the Champions League.
Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Olympiacos, the manager was asked if he would be considering resting certain players, but he insisted that his only intention was to make it to the international break without damaging his players, but that the international bosses must also protect the players, pointing to the fact that their clubs are the ones who pay their wages.
“It’s true that we have some players with some significant loads there, but our priority now is to win these next two games and then whatever happens with international duty,” Arteta stated in his pre-match press conference (via Arsenal.com) If anything, they will have to adapt to what we want. We’re not going to do it the opposite way around because we are the ones that have to look after our players here every day. But at the end, we’re the ones who pay our players so if anybody has to adapt, that’s the national teams and not us.”
Clubs shouldn’t have to give their players extra rest because of the international schedule, which is also jam-packed this season with three fixtures having been shoe-horned into 9/10 days at a time for some reason, but it does bring further worries as we do head into the break.