Happy Thursday to all.
Yesterday we saw a change to our October fixture list with the Man City game due to be played on Wednesday the 19th postponed and replaced by the rescheduled PSV game due to take place tonight.
It was really the only possible solution when you looked at the fixture list, so on that basis it’s good that the game goes on and fair game for PSV for being open to change. However, once again there are people who come from afar for a Premier League game who will be hurt by the postponement. The only thing I would say is that there are plenty of spares available for a mid-week Europa League group stage match that starts at 6pm, so hopefully they can all be sorted out.
It’s not the same to see Arsenal 3-0 Man City (Saka 8′, Jesus 19′, 76′), but as I said, there was no other option to fit in the PSV game. October is still a hectic month, and while there are bound to be fatigue issues, it’s not like we’ve been knocked to the ground in September, and players should be relatively fresh to start.
The teams we play in October that are not in Europe will play 6 times that month, the ones that have European football, like us, play 9. Since the Sp*rs and Liverpool games are at the beginning of the month, are those games later in October where perhaps fatigue will become a factor. We’re off to Leeds after an away game against Bodo/Glimt; PSV’s two games combine a trip to Southampton, and we have Nottingham Forest at home right after our game in the Netherlands.
We also need to remember that the schedule gap is actually an Interlull, so that’s a factor as well. Think of someone like Bukayo Saka, who will probably play two games for England (Nations League ties against Italy and Germany no less) before the North London derby. It’s always a period where you cross your fingers for the player to come back fit and injury-free while you wait for important players for other teams to flex their hamstrings for the kingdom to come, but this one feels particularly important on that basis.
We’ve already seen how one or two injuries can leave this team a bit short, and we’re likely to have quite a bit of the squad out, one of the ‘benefits’ of having a lot of good players these days. I guess the positive side of this particular Interlull is that our three Gabriels haven’t been called up for the Brazil team, so they won’t have to travel or play.
I mentioned last week that Thomas Partey has been called up to the Ghana squad for their friendly matches against Brazil and Nicaragua. On the one hand, he could hope those minutes would get him into game shape, he hasn’t played competitively since Aug. 20; but on the other it seems like every time he’s in shape there’s a doom countdown in the background until he suffers another muscle injury. His return to full training was also reported this week, so you have to assume he’s in contention to start against Brentford on Sunday, but if I were in charge of team training at Arsenal I’d be thinking very seriously about that. position and lack of depth/competence. However, that could be a conversation for another day.
More on the Brentford game in the coming days. Mikel Arteta will give a press conference tomorrow, so we will certainly get some bits of fitness information from that. Other than that, not much has happened this morning, so I’ll leave it at that.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more, and an Arsecast. Until then.