Arteta on balancing the squad in a hectic period

Mikel Arteta provides a team talk against Leeds United

After seeing us play six games out of nine in October so far, Mikel Arteta has been discussing the fine balancing act he has to steer his squad through a hectic month.

Thursday night's win against PSV Eindhoven saw the boss make six changes to that starting XI that beat Leeds four days earlier, and yet we were still able to maintain our 100% record during October with six wins out of six.

However Mikel admits that he simply has to play some players more than others as he can't make wholesale changes and remain competitive both domestically and in Europe, but believes our players can benefit from the increased demands in the long run.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of game number seven in Southampton, he said: "We are going to rotate the squad, but I cannot change 11 players in the line-up every three days, it’s crazy and we don’t have enough numbers to change 11 players in every game.

"We were with 15 or 16 outfield players in the last four or five weeks, so players are going to have to play. If we want robust players, they are going to have to start doing that early in their careers."

It has been suggested that with the World Cup on the horizon next month that some players across the Premier League could feel burnout before the end of the campaign, but as we head into. first ever winter World Cup, Arteta admits there are too many unknowns to predict how our squad will hold up.

"It will depend on a lot of factors," he said. "How the players are performing, the injuries that we have, what happens in the World Cup; there are a lot of question marks that we don’t have the answers to.

"We are planning to have the right resources to continue the way that we are right now, but again, as you said, a World Cup like this has never happened. We have to all experience it and try our best to get the right outcome."

One position that we seem to be able to rotate happily right now is at left-back, with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu all starring there in recent weeks.

Mikel again feels that spreading the minutes out in that area is still a juggling act, to ensure the trio remain satisfied with their lot and also boost the team with their individual characteristics.

"What we want is to keep them all competitive," he added. "To keep them all happy I think is impossible, because when one plays, the other one is not as happy as the one that is playing.

"I think the three of them when they’ve been playing have been really good and this is what we need. In different games, we need different things from that position and we adapt each game.

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