Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has hinted at squad rotation against Hull City and has dismissed speculations about Vermaelen’s future and interest in Pato and Alvaro Morata.
Arsenal host Hull City in the midweek Premier League clash as we enter the busiest part of the calendar. The Gunners have made a flying start to their Premier League campaign and are sitting pretty at the top of the points table with a four points advantage over second placed Chelsea. Arsenal are coming into this match on the back of a convincing performance against Cardiff away from home. The London club, buoyed by two wonderful goals from Aaron Ramsey, got all three points in a stadium where the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United have struggled.
Newly promoted side Hull City are also high on confidence at the moment after their shock win over Liverpool. That win has now propelled them into the top-half of the table and they are in good position to avoid relegation this season.
Arsenal have missed a lot of players this season through injuries, but the return of Theo Walcott and possible return of Lukas Podolski next week means Arsene Wenger will soon have a strong squad to compete during this busy fixture schedule. Arsenal will play in seven matches this month, including though fixtures against Everton, Napoli, Chelsea and Manchester City. Wenger will need to rotate his squad to get through this period and there could possibly be a lot of changes to the starting line-up against Hull.
“I rotate considering the level of fatigue. We have some indications – my eyes, some objective data and as well some positions where it’s more demanding on the physical front than others.
“We have so many games that in some positions I will have to change; the full-back position is one that is very demanding. Central defence is a little bit less demanding on the physical side, it’s more on the concentration side.
“When you play so many games of that intensity, we expect to lose one or two players. In every single game I [will rotate]. I try to limit the number because I do not want to disrupt the balance of the team, so I do that in every single game.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Thomas Vermaelen is expected to feature in the next game as Wenger is likely to rest Per Mertesacker. The Belgium international has had to contain with a role on the bench as Mertesacker and Koscielny’s partnership has blossomed at the center of the defence. Arsene Wenger insists that it has been a tough call to leave out the former Ajax man.
“Yes [it is tough to leave him out] because of his quality, his attitude and his influence at the club.
“It is a difficult decision because he is a top-class player. He certainly suffers but he handles it with great dignity and great professionalism.” – Wenger added.
The Frenchman also faced questioned regarding the future of Vermaelen at the club and has dismissed reports about the defender desperate to leave the club in January in order to gain regular first team action.
“No – if he wants to do that he will come and see me, which he has not done.” – he said.
With the winter transfer window knocking on the doors, Arsenal have already been linked with a host of players. The Gunners are expected to sign a striker in January in order to add a good back for Olivier Giroud. But Arsene Wenger insisted that the return of Yaya Sanogo from his injury lay-off will solve that problem.
“I am not concerned about that. We have at the moment Yaya Sanogo who is a striker we brought in during the summer, who is coming back from injury in January. Hopefully he will help us in the second part of the season.” – Wenger explained.
He has also dismissed reports linking the Gunners with Alexandre Pato and Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata.
“No. There is no truth in that. That is all I can say, I have not been in touch with them [Real Madrid].” –He insisted.
Bacary Sagna is out of contention for the match against Hull City after the Frenchman picked up a hamstring problem in the last game. Carl Jenkinson will replace him at the righ back spot.
“From Saturday against Cardiff we will lose Sagna, who has a slight hamstring problem. He should be out for tomorrow’s game.
“Jenkinson is likely to come back.” – Wenger said.
Lukas Podolski is on his way to returning to first team action, but Arsene Wenger insisted that the German international is still a week away to be part of a match-day squad.
“Lukas Podolski should be back in normal training after the Hull game.
“What he lacks is competition. You would say it will take at least a week with normal training to consider him fit for the squad.” – He confirmed.