Arsenal Should Rest Players For The FA Cup Final
Tomorrow Arsenal line-up at the Emirates against West Bromwich Albion with their own top four destiny in their hands. Although, depending on the Everton result, Arsenal could be confirmed for next season’s Champions League (qualifiers) and should that happen I would be inclined to say Arsenal should rest players.
With the top four secure Arsenal can turn their attentions to ending the trophy drought and then hopefully wrap up their summer business before the World Cup starts. Arsenal certainly have improvements to make but I’ll leave that for another blog but in the meantime you can follow all of the latest Arsenal news on your own channel on the free Fanzo app http://bit.ly/QB5YXv.
Hull aren’t the toughest of opponents to be facing in the FA Cup final but when you are seeking to end a trophy drought you need to treat every opponent as though they are the best team in the world.
Arsenal are going to need senior players like Ramsey, Özil, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Giroud to be fit and with three of those players having played 50+ game seasons and two of them just coming back from injury we really should be careful with them.
West Brom and Norwich won’t be pushovers, even with our best team, but there is a double benefit to resting players for the FA Cup final. First, it increases our chances of having a fully fit team of players who you can trust to put the game to be. Second, it allows us to play “fringe” and youth players which will help us identify the positions that most need strengthening in the summer.
We all know Arsenal need a defensive midfielder and a striker but we also need a goalkeeper, up to two centre-backs, potentially a right-back, a winger and possibly another box to box midfielder.
Wenger was recently quoted expressing his belief it will be a relatively quite summer at Arsenal with maybe 2 or 3 additions which sent a few people over the edge but if we can trust some U21s to step up then we only really need to focus on 2 positions.
If Everton lose to City tonight then Arsenal could make as many as 8 changes in mind. It would be good to see Jenkinson get some game time as he will most certainly play a bigger role next season. Vermaelen and Hayden could partner in central defence to give Mertesacker and Koscielny a rest ahead of the cup final.
Rosicky, Gnabry, Olsson, Ryo and Kallstrom could all feature and give the first-team players a bit of a rest.
Szczesny in goal, a defence of Jenkinson, Hayden, Vermaelen and Monreal, midfield of Kallstrom, Olsson and Rosicky, and a forward line of Ryo, Gnabry and Sanogo or maybe even Podolski through the middle in my opinion would be dynamic enough to get something out of both games and with plenty of pace running through the team they could play a counter-attacking game.
Ramsey and Özil have shown, since coming back, how much they bring to Arsenal’s attacking ability and keeping them fit for the final should be a top priority.
Sanogo has played most of our FA Cup games but I’d be inclined to drop him for Giroud in the final because he hasn’t scored a goal yet but then again, if we give him some real game time in the final two league games he could demonstrate his goal scoring credentials.
With their forward line mostly cup-tied Hull will be a different beast to the team we beat comfortably in the league and that is why it is imperative we have as close to a first-choice defence as possible and fully fit too. Mertesacker and Koscielny have already played a whopping 115 games between them this season and whilst “just two more” won’t really amount to much in the grand scheme of things a couple of rest days could be the difference between an injury or not.
What do you think? Should Arsenal rest players if fourth is secured for them? Do you think the players ending the season well and being in form for the FA Cup is more important than rest? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
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