Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta calls for his side to be equipped ‘physically’ and ‘in the head’ as they prepare to come up against Ivan Toney’s Brentford… as the Spaniard questions logic behind mid-season World Cup scheduling
- Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal could return to the top of the Premier League on Sunday
- The Spanish manager called for his side to prepare both physically and mentally
- The Gunners suffered a now notorious opening day defeat to the Bees last term
- Arteta regrets that clubs had little input over mid-season World Cup scheduling
Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal players need to be ‘physically equipped’ to be competitive in the Premier League.
Following their bright start of five wins from six games, Arsenal will return to the top of the table if they win at in-form Brentford on Sunday.
‘You have to be equipped physically in this league,’ Arteta said. ‘You have to be very equipped in the head as well, because if you have to be physical, you might not read the situation and be too late. It’s a balance you need.’
Mikel Arteta believes his side must prepare physically and mentally for Brentford clash
Arsenal will be wary of Brentford striker Ivan Toney, Arteta admits. ‘I’ve seen a lot of games of Brentford and when he goes out to shield against any defender, he can hold the ball and make sure you feel it.
‘I’ll prepare my players so when that ball is there you have to be ready. You have to win the duels.’
With the extra physical requirements needed to be competitive in the Premier League, as well as the increasingly congested fixture list ahead of the World Cup, the subject of player welfare is once again an important consideration for Arteta, who regrets that the clubs were not able to have more input.
‘There have been so many changes on player welfare,’ he said. ‘These are the rules, we are playing by the rules we are given.
Thomas Frank believes that Arsenal are the best performing team in the Premier League
‘We have further people making decisions and nobody has asked if we will be happy to play the World Cup in the middle of the season. I’m sure I won’t be asked if that’s a good thing or not.’
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey remain doubts for Arsenal today, with calf and thigh injuries respectively, with Emile Smith Rowe out.
Sergi Canos and Kristoffer Ajer are available for Brentford, but Christian Norgaard is out.
The Gunners can return to the top of the league with a win at Brentford on Sunday