August 16, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates with Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Just like the September international break, the October one is set to be a rather quiet one for Arsenal.

Not that manager Mikel Arteta will have too many complaints about that.

Several members of the Spaniard’s first-team squad will be in action over the next fortnight, whether that be important World Cup qualifiers, UEFA Nations League games, or those necessary friendlies.

The dream scenario for Arteta is that the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Nicolas Pepe all report back to London Colney next week unscathed ahead of the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.

Overall, though, this break does come at a perfect time for the Arsenal manager as he will be able to do extra work on the training pitch with as many as 11 first-team players, while he can also call up a number of the club’s promising players.

This group includes five centre-backs in Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, and Pablo Mari, and third-choice goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo.

Interestingly, Arteta also had time to work with White and Gabriel during the last international break – one described as his ‘best 10-15 days in football’.

“I must say that probably it has been the best 10-15 days I have ever had since I have been in football,” he told reporters ahead of the 1-0 win over Norwich City. “I am not saying that they were the easiest, but probably the best.”

Since then Arteta has been able to select what many consider to be his best central defensive pairing of White and Gabriel for consecutive Premier League games which has yielded three wins, a draw and three clean sheets.

Gabriel Magalhaes thinks that he and Ben White could develop a great partnership at the Emirates. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Elsewhere, Portuguese fullback Cedric Soares will have a chance to stake his claim to replace Tomiyasu when the Gunners return to action.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is the only fit first-team central midfielder at the club that has not been called up for international duty and that could work to his favour with Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Mohamed Elneny all away.

The attacking trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel Martinelli – who all started the Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon last month – will also be able to give Arteta something to think about, with Arsenal netting just five goals from their opening seven Premier League matches.

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka will be able to continue his recovery from a knee injury that is set to keep him sidelined for the remainder of 2021.

In comparison to other teams in the Premier League, the Gunners won’t be impacted too heavily by the October international break and the hope is that no one returns with an injury.

Fatigue shouldn’t be much of an issue for Arsenal as they are not in any European competition this season.

But very soon, the games will be coming thick and fast as we enter a busy period that culminates with the festive schedule, so another slow international break should certainly be a benefit in the long-term.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.