By Adam Clark
Arsène Wenger says knowing when to rest players is the 'mystery of management' - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
The Arsenal manager made nine changes on Saturday and saw his side held to a goalless draw at home to Blackburn in the FA Cup Fifth Round. The stalemate means the Gunners face a replay away from home for the second successive round.
Yet it was squad rotation that saw Arsenal overcome Bolton 3-1 after extra time in the Fourth Round and the Arsenal boss admitted knowing who to rest and when to rest them is not an exact science.
"There is a danger [when making changes] but I can say as well that I made eight or nine at Bolton and it worked," said Wenger. "It's the mystery of management but I still don't know enough about it. You never can predict how human beings are and what kind of wave the team is on."
One man who Wenger has so far resisted to rest this season is Cesc Fabregas.
The Frenchman admitted there will come a time when the classy Spaniard will have to put his feet up but pointed to the return of Abou Diaby and the emergence of Denilson as added options in midfield.
"Cesc Fabregas looks a bit tired but he had a light week work wise because we wanted to rest him"
"I don't have much choice in the middle of the park and some players have played more games. For example, Gilberto played with Brazil so I decided to rest him on Saturday; Fabregas only played 15 minutes for Spain. At some stage I'll have to rest him but now I have Denilson, and Diaby has come back, so they can play cup games."
Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Feb 2007