Matchday Thread - Arsenal vs Queens Park Rangers - 26 Dec 2014
Some comments from Wenger in the pre-game interview.
The difficulty is finding the right balance between rotation and the balance of the side without destabilising it. Therefore you sometimes have to limit the numbers of rotations. Secondly, it's easier to rotate in the offensive positions than in the defensive positions, where the understanding of each other is very important. You try to combine and you also have to look at the individual fatigue factor.
On some players not being used to not having a winter break:
It's a shock to the system for everybody who is not used to it. They are mentally used to a break over Christmas when they can see their family. The players who are from South America used to go home and of course in England they cannot do it. You have to tell them, 'Be careful, in England there's no stop in winter'. Many of them suffer physically.
You like to have players who have experience and commitment [at centre back]. He has that. One thing that was in my head as well was that he is good in the air despite his size. In England, that is important. You need less running capacity in the centre than on the flanks, and because he just came back from injury, that position for the first few games has suited him better.
[Before signing him] I watched him at the World Cup closely because I was watching every France game. That convinced me that he's reliable and committed, that his timing going forward is very efficient and overall his game is intelligent. There are similarities with Sagna but he got in front of Sagna at the World Cup. What I saw convinced me he was the right buy.