Even though Arsene Wenger has declared himself happy with what Arsenal were able to do in the summer transfer market this year, spending more than ever to bring in Lucas Perez, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka and Asuno to strengthen the squad in key areas, the international break did not come at a very good time for us.
The boss told Arsenal Player that it would have been nice if the Gunners were able to carry on where we left off with the fluency and penetration we saw away to Watford but he does believe that our squad now has the quality and quantity that we need to fight on the four fronts of the Premier League, Champions League, FA cup and the EFL cup.
He said, “I believe that we have the strength and the numbers that I wished and that we can compete now on all fronts.
“That’s what we want to show. We can focus now completely on competition, that is quite important and hopefully the victory at Watford will give the belief and confidence to our group of players to have a successful game [against Southampton].
“We want the players to score from crosses but to do that you have to go in the box and go for the goal, so I am pleased that Ozil, for example, gets in the box and scores a header,” said Wenger. “It can only encourage him to do it again.
“[International breaks] are a little bit of a problem [for maintaining fluency], so I have to analyse how everybody came back, what kind of intensity they had to cope with and the fact as well that we play three days later again.
“Certainly, for some players, four games in 10 days plus the travelling is not really feasible at the top, top level. That’s why you have a strong squad and I will focus on the players who could prepare properly for the game.”
That sounds to me like the players that played most recently for their countries will not be risked and the two that got back latest and with long haul flights from South America were Alexis Sanchez and David Ospina, so I think we can expect to see the Chilean on the subs bench for the start of today’s clash with Southampton.
He can always enter the fray if we need him but I think it is a good idea to keep him fresh for the away match with PSG on Tuesday. Wenger still has good options up front with Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Lucas and the Ox so do you agree that Alexis should be rested today?