Last Sunday was an intense game filled with emotions. Players would have been on a massive high following the game, and then crashed.
This crash would have led to mental exhaustion.
In a normal season, Arsenal would have done a warm down session on the Monday and then jumped on a plan Tuesday to a European destination to play in the champions League.
A Wednesday fixture before an either late flight home or early morning Thursday flight home.
Back in training on Thursday afternoon for another warm day session before the first proper training session of the week on Friday.
Then Saturday jump on the coach down to Brighton for the late afternoon kick off.
So we would have gone into Brighton off the high and low of Tottenham, straight into a trip abroad and a single days proper preparation for the away day to Brighton.
Now Arsenal have a big squad. As do others in Europe.
The big teams often do “cope” with 50+ games a year. They manage through. But with the mid-table Premier League sides – the likes of Leicester city, West Ham, Tottenham and this season Brighton – all looking so much stronger, not being in Europe now creates an advantage.
Gone are the days where the gap between Manchester United and the 12th placed Premier League side was so big that Sir Alex Ferguson could put out a team with 8 or 9 changes to what played mid-week.
Even Man City could not rest that many players these days with their billion pound squad.
Now I would rather be in Europe than out. Not just for the chances to win another trophy and the financial reasons but for the trip abroad.
My autumn – winter holiday calendar is looking bleak without a trip to Liege, Cologne, Paris or wherever.
But instead of having just one training session to get players prepared for Brighton, Mikel Arteta would have had 4.
Monday would have been a rehab session.
A warm down. Plenty of massages. Rest and recouperation to give players bodies and brains back to a settled level.
Then Tuesday through to Friday the team will have been preparing mentally, physically and tactically for the weekend games.
We should be fully prepared for Brighton Sunday. No excuses.
Bar Granit Xhaka we have no serious injury concerns. No Champions League or North London Derby hangover.
A 4th league victory in the row will push Arsenal up to the heavy heights of 8th. Just two points off top 4 and 5 points off top.
With a Covid hit defeat to Brentford and then losses to Chelsea and Manchester City; Arsenal were never really as bad as being bottom after 3 games showed. It was always a temporary position.
I still expect us to finish top 4 this season. Not playing in Europe will help with that.
Over to you Mr Arteta.