In a press conference before Newcastle match, Arsene Wenger stated he will consider rotation, but should he? Considering the absence of Sanchez, Arteta, Cazorla, and Coquelin, rotation in the midfield doesn’t seem favourable. Moreover, resting Mesut Ozil doesn’t seem ideal either.
The German International has become the heart of Arsenal’s attack. Being in the best form with 3 goals and 16 assists in 18 games, Wenger deems it be a bad idea to put Ozil on the bench. Speaking to the club’s official website, he also stated that the player does get the necessary time to rest between games.
“I gave Mesut a one-week holiday during the international break,’ Wenger said. ‘At the moment he doesn’t practice a lot, we rest him a lot between the games. He is a guy who, once the basic fitness is there between the games, he wants to play. There are types of players, sometimes the most technical players, it looks like it demands less energy for them to play – it is just natural for them.”
“Rotation is sensitive more in the centre of the team than on the flanks. If I play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then Joel Campbell, that is not really rotation, but in the heart of the team at centre back or central midfield it is more risky. You also look at the impact Ozil can have on other players. The Premier League is very tight and if you go into the decisive game and [rest Ozil or other key players], the other players think subconsciously “Why?”, and even the player himself.”
“When we lost at Southampton everyone said to me “Why didn’t you rotate?” and then when I did change it, “Why did you rotate?” At Southampton we had five days recovery after Manchester City and that should be enough.”
For now, putting Ozil on the bench would be a bad idea for Arsenal especially when no current player at Arsenal is in as phenomenal a form as Ozil. Wenger might bring in a new quality player in January but it’s highly unlikely that anyone is a good substitute for him.