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Mikel Arteta’s shrewd rotation policy is keeping Arsenal competitive on all fronts

Arsenal will face Molde in the Europa League on Thursday
Arsenal will face Molde in the Europa League on Thursday
ANALYST
Modified 05 Nov 2020, 17:19 IST
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With almost half of the season played, Arsenal are still in the hunt for four major trophies – the Premier League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

Although the Gunners’ chances of winning the Premier League are slim, they’ve shown in the last 12 months that they are specialists in cup games.

Arsenal won the FA Cup last season under Mikel Arteta and opened their current campaign by beating Liverpool for the Community Shield. The club could repeat those feats this season, mainly due to their manager’s shrewd rotation game.

Despite Arsenal's packed fixture schedule, Arteta has made it a point to challenge for all trophies. A major strategy in this grandiose plan is to rotate as much as possible to keep his players fresh at all times.

In truth, this strategy has served Arsenal well. The club does not have the depth or quality that Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City possess. And yet they remain very competitive.

Arteta has rarely played the same starting line-up this season, but his ability to keep all the players happy is what has been remarkable. Often when players do not get enough game time, they tend to be disgruntled.

However, the Spaniard has managed the situation superbly. Bernd Leno may be the only one who has his position secured.

Hector Bellerin, Kierran Tiernay, David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes have all been rested between games. In their places, Saed Kolasinac, Rob Holding and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have also come in to great effect.

In midfield, Arteta has alternated between Thomas Partey, Danny Ceballos, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, while Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock have eased the pressure on senior forwards Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

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The Arsenal boss’ ability to keep both Willian and record signing Nicolas Pepe happy and competitive despite both players fighting for the right-wing position is fascinating.

It is likely that the team to face Molde in the Europa League on Thursday will be different from the side that defeated Manchester United last week.

“I think now we have the numbers to do that. I think we can rotate players. I think we have enough players in the squad to be able to maintain a really competitive squad,” Arteta said ahead of the Molde game, as quoted by Four Four Two.
“We’re playing every three or four days at the moment and you start to get injuries, suspensions and whatever comes is going to get more and more complicated.
“This is our obligation, to try to compete in every competition and we’re going to be trying to do that until the end. Obviously, the circumstances will dictate how well we can do that.”

Arsenal are currently top of Group B in the Europa League and also in contention for other domestic trophies and it’s all thanks to Arteta’s great rotation policy.

Published 05 Nov 2020, 17:19 IST
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