Arsenal’s head coach Miekel Arteta has warned that the club’s players are starting to crack under pressure of their demanding schedule. He also warned that standards will take a tumble if changes are not made or the squad is not increased to 26 or even 28 players.
“I think there are a lot of ways around it,” Arteta told the Guardian. “We’re not going to please everyone with the decisions that have to be made. What is for sure is that, for players, it’s an enormous amount of games. The intensity is rising every single year, the level of pressure too, and sometimes it’s too much for them. If [there is no change], we have to be allowed to have 26 or 28 squad players, which we are not allowed to do, and even more players on the bench.
“But something has to be done, because you can see players are cracking and cracking every season. You can sustain that for one season, two seasons, but after three or four seasons you end up paying the price and I think the quality at some stage will drop. But we have a history, a massive culture, here with the cup games and to go against that is difficult.”
Arteta also said that unexpected events, such as the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has already caused some game postponements, could contribute to what is already a complex problem. “It’s very condensed and if any event happens that is not considered, like for example the coronavirus, then it will be even more complicated.”
“Some of Arsenal’s players, including Sokratis Papastathopoulos, even abandoned their tradition of shaking hands before their recent FA Cup victory over Portsmouth in favor of fist-bumps. This is a sure sign that the football club is concerned about the threat posed by the coronavirus,” said sports expert Levi Price from thepunterspage.com
“For now, the FA has not issued any advice in relation to the virus, with the medical departments of individual clubs responsible for suggesting any special precautionary measures.”
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