Mikel Arteta has admitted that our players will have to find a way to cope with the warm weather sweeping the country when they take to the Emirates Stadium field to face Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
With London expected to be basking in 34 degrees temperatures come kick-off, the Premier League has announced the introduction of water breaks to help the players cope with the heat, but Arteta feels that with the right preparation should see his squad cope.
That has included training at times of the day when the sun hits hardest, to hopefully provide a competitive advantage that helps secure back-to-back wins to start the season in style.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “It’s the conditions and the context of the game - we’re going to have to adapt to it. We know we’re going to have the water break and get the players in the best possible condition to adapt to it. That’s it - [we need] to play the game we want to play.
“Players will need to be ready mentally to play in those conditions, because it’s not something that we do normally. We know that on Saturday it’s going to be boiling hot and we need to train in those conditions to get up to speed.
“In this country, we never get it right!” he joked. “When it’s raining and cloudy, it’s always raining and cloudy. When it’s hot, it’s too hot! We have to say ‘listen, 23 degrees, a little bit of shadows, a nice breeze and then we are all happy!’.”
This summer’s introduction of five substitutes could also play a massive factor in the game against Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, as both managers attempt to inject fresh legs at the right time to replace those most affected by the extreme weather.
Our boss believes that the rule change is a good thing, adding: “I think it will be really important. It’s really helpful and it gives the squad and individual players many more chances and hope to participate in matches.
“It’s educating players as well that not playing 90 minutes is not an issue, especially when you have so many games in the season.”
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