See How Pep Is Secretly Manipulating Arteta’s Fixture Headache
Arsenal are now approaching the end of what has been a hectic October. The Gunners have navigated the month well, winning every game they’ve played in it so far, but it’s been tough on the legs of the Arsenal players.
The Gunners’ game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, October 30, will be their ninth match of October – a game every 3.3 days on average. Even by the standards of modern-day football – where there are more and more games than ever – nine matches in 30 days is pretty unprecedented stuff.
Arsenal were scheduled to play Manchester City this week, but the game was postponed due to the Gunners’ Europa League commitments. Instead, Arsenal played PSV Eindhoven in a game which had to be rescheduled after it was cancelled last month.
Aside from Arsenal’s game against Man City, there was a full slate of Premier League fixtures this midweek. But with Arsenal playing in the Europa League instead, it means City were the only club in the division not to have a match.
It gave Pep Guardiola a chance to have a rare rest – and that’s exactly what he gave his players. According to Simon Bajowski of MEN, Guardiola gave his players two and a half days off following their defeat to Liverpool last weekend.
In a week where Arsenal – and every other Premier League club – was at full throttle, Guardiola took advantage, giving his players time off to rest and recuperate. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but City should be feeling fresh heading into the next set of games, whereas their title rivals haven’t been allowed that same luxury due to their fixture pile-up.