Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, March 14, 2008

Liverpool trilogy dictates squad rotation by Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal play Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League Quarter Final at the Emirates on Wednesday 2nd April but the run in to this game is not littered with easy Premiership games.

All games in the Premier League are quite significant from now on as we enter the final 10 games of the season. “Squeaky bum time” as some other manager has called it.

After Middlesbrough at the Emirates on Saturday we have to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and then go North to face one of our bogey teams Bolton Wanderers. Then the Liverpool trilogy will begin.

It’s quite a hard schedule really and one that will inevitably tire minds and bodies, putting Wenger’s squad to test.

One has only to recollect how tired and lackluster were most of the Arsenal players at Wigan, a game considered very winnable but happened to be right after the triumphant performance at the San Siro.

So what Arsene Wenger has to decide really is whether he should prioritise between the two major competitions.

Does he want the Premier league more than the Champions League? If he wants both can the squad last the distance? Can he play his first choice eleven for every game without jeopardizing the team’s chances of winning anything in the end?

Arsene has a few blessings in disguise though. Some of the first team players like Rosicky, Diaby, Eboue and Toure that may feature in the three games against Liverpool have been out with injury and suspension and another, Robin Van Persie, is only now returning from injury.

This means that these players will have had a restful period away from the pressures of playing games continuously and they will be getting into their stride by the time we come to face Liverpool, especially Van Persie.

But the same does not hold for the ever regulars of the Arsenal line up like Fabregas, Flamini, Gallas, Sagna, Clichy, Hleb and Adebayor. Arsene Wenger will want to see how their fitness levels fare during the league games coming up but he may consider resting some of them.

Nicklas Bendtner could come in for Adebayor to play alongside RVP for example and Diaby could replace Hleb or even Flamini in the middle. Hoyte could fill in for Sagna or even Clichy. It will not be a Carling Cup side but there again it will not be Wenger’s first choice eleven.

In other words we may not see a full strength line up for both CL games against Liverpool. Especially since these CL games are preceded or followed by some very important league games:

3 days before the first leg against Liverpool: Bolton away

3 days before the home league game against Liverpool: Liverpool home

4 days before away league game at Manchester United: Liverpool away in the CL

And although I would want to win both competitions, I would give priority to the Premier league, if I had to.


Anonymous said...

It's tasking really.

What we need is injury luck and for some players to come true big time. Hleb, Rosicky, Van Persie, Walcott and Eboue owe us some huge performances.

Anonymous said...

For Bolton we should rest pratically everyone, they're not our bogey team and we don't want to risk injuries. Bendtner, Walcott and Diaby can also play a part in Liverpool.

vs. Bolton:





Who's our creative midfielder?

Anonymous said...

has any1 herd about da draw being fixed.
ArsenalVision has an article about this

Anonymous said...

It was posted 2 hours on a liverpool site and the guy got all the draw correct. the bookies wouldn't take his bet though

Anonymous said...

AW shd know of squad rotation. If somehow the gunners fail to win anything we will know who is is responsible for not strengthening the team.It's no use use kicking up a row over the intensity of cl and epl games. ALL managers know that and must be ready to deal with it.
To win the cl is not easy.I doubt Arsenal/Pool can win all three games when they meet.Same for manure whothink they got it easy with Roma. I could see BC"s wry smile thinking we can win it. They may have mauled Roma 7-1.But do not underestimate a team that beat both RM ha. I expect Roma to go thru and lose to Barca.