Forced to Rotate?

No, the title isn’t a suggestion as to what Maureenho should do on one’s finger after this week’s whinge-a-thon. As an aside and to put his behaviour into context here is his reaction to a shin-pad snapping tackle from Obi Mikel on Arteta.

Anyway, I digress.

Recently there have been requests for Wenger to rotate to keep players fresh, while others believe we should just play our best XI in every game regardless. This made me ask some questions, especially ‘how is it that some teams manage to pick the same players each week?’

Chelsea seem to play the same starting XI in the most games, so they seem best to compare against. (Prem appearances only, second column is substitute appearances )

Arsechavappearances comparison (2)

Immediately the disparity between the two squads appearance-wise becomes apparent.

Our 5th most appearing player is Szczesny on 19 which is the same as Willian who is the chavs 11th top player.

Ramires is the 12th player for the chavs with 6 appearances. We have 21 players who have made 6 or more starts!

Once I started looking at these two side by side, I’m starting to think it raises more questions, rather than making the picture clearer.

How can Hazard be the most fouled player in the Premiership but never get injured? Perhaps he learnt how to fall properly when studying judo as a child?

Will the chavs suffer in the latter part of the season because Fabregas runs out of gas in February?

If the elephant man gets an injury, how will Remy or Dogbra cope in his absence?

Sometimes I forget that Matt Debuchy is an Arsenal player.

Finally, the most important question…….

Will Arsenal’s season come to a fitting climax once everyone’s back?

What do you think?

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61 Responses to Forced to Rotate?

  1. a lot of the fouls against hazard are self inflickted when you watchhim closely when he is going forward he looks back to look where the defender is then at the right time steps over in his path falls by contact foul .look at last game ars v che.ars right back yellow card.hazard does this in all my eyes he is a cheat.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, that’s very intriguing 😕 and like most stats, can be interpreted either as a good thing or a bad thing.

    Your point about them using the same players more often yet suffering fewer injuries also raises further questions – is there something they do to prevent injuries that we don’t?

    We’ve heard many ex players say that ‘in the old days’ you played the same team every week, the tackling was harder, and yet injuries were less prevalent.

    Back to the main point – does playing the same team most of the time increase your likelihood of success? Well the answer would appear to be in Chelsea’s case yes, and in Arsenal’s case no, because much of our squad rotation is necessitated by injury.

  3. arnie says:

    very nice post, Chas. 🙂

    So the Chavs have played literally the whole season so far with 11 players. This is extraordinary, but not so surprising for me because I knew this.

    What is surprising is that we have played with just 14 players, with changes only because of injuries.


  4. arnie says:

    it will be nice to know what other teams have done. Shitty, ManUre, Pool, Saints, …

  5. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Chas. I believe if my memory serves me correctly that this is a Mourinho trait, to keep a hard core of a team without too much rotation. I think Mourinho generally has a couple of set ups that he prefers and will tailor his squad to be effective in those set-ups normally with 2 top options of high quality in each position.

    In the past we have lacked strength in depth. Now looking at us as a whole squad this would not appear to be the case and we seem to have a large and high quality squad. Scratch slightly beneath the surface though and when you start looking at say our 2 options in each position then you realise with some positions we have in excess of those 2 options and in others we have less (or the 2 options aren’t of the required quality). I think the injuries play a part in our rotation but I also feel it is a symptom of how many good players we are trying to accommodate.

    I hate to keep labeling the point but I feel this squad imbalance is one of the key reasons (not the only one) that we struggle at times. As I have also mentioned I feel Wenger is also jolly nice to all his players and doesn’t want to see any pushed to the sidelines so wants to give them all some playing time. If you took a basic view of this it begs the question for me that, is Arsene sacrificing finding his best and most fluid team and system at the expense of being a nice chap to his players?

    I hate making comparisons between Mourinho and Wenger, but unfortunately when you are not getting things right you examine what said persons peers are doing. You ask would they do it better, are they doing it better, should our guy take a leaf out of his book?

    I think Mourinho with this squad would have done better this year. I think he would have played the team he felt gave him the strongest and best balance and wouldn’t have worried if 2-3 players (even stellar names) were frozen on the sidelines because of it. Look at what he did with Mata and Schurrle? Excellent players but in areas he was well covered in and where he preferred the other options he had. No fussing get some money back on them and then re-invest it where the squad is weakest.

    I actually think Mourinho would already know who he is going to let go at the end of the year so that he can bring in again. Interestingly I still believe Arsene could take this team further than Mourinho could but he would need to adopt a bit of Mourinho to get there. Arsene will need to be ruthless and strip the squad down where needed and add where is really needed but will he do this?

    Arsene likes AOC as a CM so if you add him to Santi, Ozil, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, it asks the question how do we fit them all in? One CM slot tends to go to Coquelin (or Flamini or Arteta) so how do we accommodate all of the rest of them? They all have subtle different strengths but are in reality all looking to secure a slot in the same positions.

  6. GoonerB says:

    BTW as a person Mourinho is the biggest hypocrite going as your video shows Chas. There are numerous examples where he complains about something but endorses it or brushes it under the carpet when his team or players do the same.

    Mourinho has overseen some of the greatest simulators and cheats in recent footballing history and has literally fully endorsed it, but when it goes against his team he suddenly refers to it as a cancer in football and an area he is championing a moral improvement in. It is exactly the same with x-rated tackles.

    I am just surprised that there are not more video compilations to highlight this or indeed why the media as a whole have not shown it. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised as it seems the media are either too scared of him or too in awe of him (for some reason) too call him out on it. Even the most respected journo’s don’t go there with him despite the fact that he has literally handed them on a plate the evidence to take him to task on it and show the world the hypocrite he is.

    They collectively act like a bunch of fawning schoolgirls who can see no wrong in the best looking older boy in the playground or like the weakling who is too scared to stand up to the bully. Ridiculous really.


    Cheers chas

    its obvious, Chelsea are cheats and avoid injury by using anabolic steroids

    Morinio obviously suffers from an oestrogen problem. Has anyone checked his breasts lately? Using to much Dbol has aromatised his body. One of the side effects is the need to express his “Feelings” and spending two hours in Marks & Spencer trying on blouses. The mans guilty as f*uck

    What about Costa? You don’t get to be such an ugly bastard without working at it.
    I reckon hes been injecting Deca Durabolin. Deca makes you look like you need raw meat and gives euphoria through displays of aggression. A side effect is shrinkage of the testicles.
    Some one should hold a couple of marbles in front of him. if he flinches, then we know he disappoints his wife.

    Matic is on growth hormone, no doubts. The mans a gold tooth away from killing Roger Moore.

    I could go on, but I wont, its obvious.

  8. Rasp says:

    “a gold tooth away from killing Roger Moore” …. priceless 😆

  9. GoonerB says:

    Wow I agree with Terry. I am questioning though how he knows about all these weird and wonderful things that shrink your testicles and grow your man boobs.

  10. LB says:

    Thanks Chas

    I think Wenger has to rotate in an attempt to find our best 11

    If there was a post asking people to name our best 11 I think we would get a 100 different answers.

    Seems incredible that this far into the season we still do not know it.

  11. RA says:


    You are without peer. 🙂

  12. RA says:

    You could well be right, LB, but I think the numbers of players we have had to use is mainly because of injuries.

    In addition our team as a whole seem to be capable of reaching the heights and plumbing the depths – a bit like Terry’s conquests – and trying to figure out who is available and who is in form must be a nightmare for AW.

  13. Thanks Terry, you’ve answered a question that’s been nagging at me for some time, just how could anyone be as ugly as Costa? 😀

    As to Chas’s question about the strongest side, I can only say that if he was to start with a back five of Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny and Gibbs he wouldn’t be far off, at least until Debuchy is fully match fit again.

    As to the rest, they are mostly interchangeable so perm any five from fourteen, stick Giroud up front and the result would be about the same.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    NG. As LB says many different opinions and I disagree!

    My first choice defence is Szczesny, Debuchy, BFG, Koscieny, Gibbs.

    Bellerin if Boosh is injured.

    Gabriel had a good game on Sunday but one swallow etc.

  15. BR, Gabriel is definitely the future, I see no reason why he shouldn’t immediately take over from Merts, if for his pace alone. Ospina has got the job at the moment and I’m firmly against sodding about with the defensive unit.

    Debuchy is out of the equation for the time being so give them a run of games, injuries permitting, and see them meld into a proper defence.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    NG. We disagree. BFG is a fine defender who has not had a rest all season – he needed the break as witnessed by his unusually poor decision making in the Monaco game. The man is 29 not 35.

    I agree Gabriel is the future but not IMO the present.

    As to the GK, it is a matter of opinion – they are both good but I feel TPIG has more presence.

  17. RA says:

    You have convinced me, Raddish. 🙂

    The players are only human and not machine parts to be cast off and replaced at whim.

    BFG has needed a rest, and having been previously convinced by Rock-e-fella that Per has class, experience and pedigree, and proved it, there is no reason to doubt him for lack of pace – he has never had pace – but what he has is about a thousand caps, give or take, for the German team and he will come good again.

  18. RA says:

    And Chezzer for me too.

  19. Rasp says:

    I disagree with the disagreement 😀

    Per is actually 30 now and although that is normally not far off peak for a central defender, he looks to have deteriorated early.

    The lumbering way he attempts to get back after a lack of judgement may be due to fatigue but the decision making in being there in the first place is not. He resigned from International football and seems to have been revelling in the lack of responsibility ever since.

    Martin Keown got it right when he said Merts should have been acting like a senior player and captain on the day by calling our FB’s back when they continually drifted forward against Monaco – instead of that, he went up and joined them and we conceded two goals as a consequence.

    Gabriel may have a lot to learn, but his pace and athleticism are essential if we want to rely on the FB’s to provide width.

  20. RA says:

    Talking about rotation; and not wanting to upset Terry, here is news you may all want to hear. Or not! 🙂

    — Scientists have measured more than 15,000 men’s penises in an effort to find out what size is “normal”.

    Researchers at King’s College London and a London NHS trust said they hoped the review would help address “the concern that some men have about their penis size” and aid people suffering from anxiety and distress.

    They revealed that the average flaccid penis is 3.6ins (9.16cm) long, or 5.2ins (13.24cm) when stretched, and 3.7ins (9.31cm) in circumference.

    Erect penises are 5.1ins (13.12cm) long on average and 4.5ins (11.66cm) in girth.

    There is a “small” positive correlation between erect length and a man’s height, the study found.

    The research, published today in the British Journal of Urology International, covered measurements across all ages and many races.

    It used 17 studies including up to 15,521 penis measurements carried out by health professionals using a “standard procedure”.

    Lead author Dr David Veale, from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said the findings had been made into size charts.

    “We believe these graphs will help doctors reassure the large majority of men that the size of their penis is in the normal range,” he added.

    “We will also use the graphs to examine the discrepancy between what a man believes to be their position on the graph and their actual position, or what they think they should be.”

    Dr Martin Baggaley, medical director at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “BDD causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and they can spend an obsessive amount of time worrying about their appearance.

    “This can include worries over their weight, specific parts of their body and, for men, the size of their penis.

    The research may also be used for investigations into how condoms splitting or failing is linked to penis size.

    Now don’t all go get the tape measure at once. 🙂

  21. Big Raddy says:

    RA. “There is a “small” positive correlation between erect length and a man’s height, the study found.”

    Did you make this up due to your considerable height?

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    Well an interesting debate and in the end nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong but one thing is absolute and that is that only
    “Arsene knows” and, as always, I put my faith in him.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Raddy I think that RA was just stretching a point……………….

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all nice one Chas, I don’t usually agree with GN5, but if Wengers in charge then we should show support after all we are third looking at second

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    A little girl asked her boy friend if he knew what a penis was, and he replied that he didn’t. When he got home the boy asked his Daddy if he knew, the man took out his penis and said “here son look at this it’s a perfect penis”.

    The next day the little boy went up his girl friend and said “I know the answer”, he took out his penis and said “if this was 2″ shorter it would be a perfect penis”.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Careful Steve, agreeing with me may put you in the dog house.

  27. stevepalmer1 says:

    Hiya GN5, nothing to worry about mate, no one ever takes any notice anyway, Hope your well mate.

  28. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas, well done, i had looked at the numbers earlier in the season when Chavs were running away with the league (or at least thats what everyone was saying *cough* Invincibles *cough* my arse *cough*)

    What was equally intriguing was the actual number of changes game to game, the maximum changes Mourinho made in any one game was two (and that was forced). The minimum number of changes we had made at that time was 2, again both forced, but in the main we were changing 3/4 players a game mainly through being forced to. That can’t help us find any kind of consistency, and kind of ruins the theory that we have too many similar players.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m well Steve, in fact if it wasn’t for a pair of dodgy knees (old football injuries) then I would be in the peak of health – for a old git.

    3/4 years of treatment for prostate cancer are coming to an end and the signs are extremely positive.

    All you gents should be sure to get your annual PSA blood test, it’s harmless and could save your life.

  30. stevepalmer1 says:

    Noted GN5, and glad to hear it mate.

  31. RA says:

    Glad you are well on the mend, GN5. 🙂


    I cribbed that report from a newspaper, altho’ they were all carrying the same story. The height thing was included — altho it is clearly rubbish, as everyone knows there is a massive positive co-relationship betwixt upward and outward. 🙂

    [NewsNow is carrying the story too, along with the picture of a baby weasel on the back of a terrified flying Green Woodpecker.]

  32. LB says:


    You proved my point, if we asked everyone on the blog to name their best 11 we would get a 100 different answers. You put forward a collection of players but it certainly wouldn’t be mine.

    It is quite amazing that Wenger still doesn’t know his best 11 this far into the season. This is not a criticism of him it is just the way things have panned out.

  33. chas says:

    Cheers, boys.

    In some ways the tale of the appearances shows how remarkable it is that we’re third at present.
    At the start of the season did Wenger expect Calum Chambers to have made 18 starts by now, Nacho to have made 20 (several at centre back), Arteta only 6 and Francis Coquelin be brought back from a loan at Charlton?
    We’ve had to make do and mend for much of the season, something the dastardly chavs haven’t had to do at all..

    Thanks again.

  34. chas says:

    Nice use of the capo

  35. Big Raddy says:

    chas. That is open Tory tuning last used by Wham

  36. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s interesting that many blame Wenger for not taking into account the opposition, yet we assume there should be a best 11.

    Surely a best 11 cannot be best against every type of opposition?

    Also, where does form come into it?

    And team balance, for that matter. You’re best 11 players may make your team too attacking or too defensive.

    With 50+ games a season rotation is vital in modern football, but there is definitely an art to it and a large chunk of luck is needed when it comes to injuries, suspensions etc.

    There are also certain areas of the field (GK & defence) where it seems more important to have continuity. We’ve all seen what happens when most of our defenders are out injured.

    I think it’s fair to assume our league finishes over the last 5 years would’ve been much better had we not been hammered by injuries so much. Something’s got to change on that front in order to give Wenger a chance of actually finding his ‘best 11’.

  37. arnie says:

    I am very happy with the likes of Easter, Chambo, Gnabry, Welbz getting a chance. Otherwisr, the Ox-Theo-Rambo of teh future will not be developed. For this same reason, if not any other, I prefer some rotation. 🙂

  38. LB says:

    “This is not a criticism of him (Wenger) it is just the way things have panned out.”

    I honestly do not know why I bother.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    LB. I don’t understand. Are you questioning a statement you made yourself? 7.43/7.24

  40. chas says:


  41. chas says:

  42. chas says:

    28 years ago today!

  43. arnie says:

    motning all.

    nice discussions yesterday. 🙂

  44. arnie says:

    another 3 points in the bag will be nice. COYG. 🙂

  45. arnie says:

    Chas. 🙂 a cup victory against Spuds is always extra special. 🙂

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Need a title for today’s post and am completely uninspired.

    Any Ideas? Music related would be good but not essential

  47. RA says:

    “Let’s Face the Music — And Dance” 🙂

  48. RA says:

    Arsenal still have many detractors – all just waiting for us to fail — others, like me, want to get back to the joy of the Arsene way of playing. 🙂

    Hence the title suggestion.

  49. RA says:

    Or how about a bit of Abba?

    I have a Dream — Take a Chance on Me – The Winner Takes It All.

  50. Rasp says:

    How about this ….

  51. GoonerB says:

    Morning all, your 9.19 sounds like a lonely heart ad RA. I must admit I was tempted.

  52. Rasp says:

    Or this ….

  53. arnie says:

    aha, now that Raddy song request livens up the motning batner. 🙂

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Thank you.

    New Post

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