Arsenal manager Unai Emery believes the additional depth in the Gunners’ squad could be an important factor in winning more matches throughout the course of the campaign.
The Spaniard doesn’t believe he had options off the bench to change games last season, but he thinks the signings over the summer have rectified the situation:
“Last year, for example, I think we lost some points in some moments when we didn’t have different possibilities for some matches. We lost in those moments.”
“This year I prefer to have on the bench some important players but really, really with the possibility to be with a good impact after. I think the team is going to be more competitive. That’s my idea.”
Against Burnley yesterday, Arsenal had Nicolas Pepe, Sead Kolasinac, Lucas Torreira and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all available as substitutes. With Mesut Ozil not fit to feature, and the likes of Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin all yet to return from injury, competition for places in the squad will be high.
With the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup and the league all to consider, having a big squad will be needed, especially with the club’s ambitions of regaining a top-four spot by the end of the campaign.
After relatively comfortable wins against Newcastle and Burnley to start the season, though, the strength of the team will be tested fully next weekend when they face Liverpool.