Would Arsenal be sufferers or beneficiaries from the possibly congested Premier League schedule?
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
With the Bundesliga set to make an emphatic return in just five days from today, other leagues around Europe are looking to follow suit. The Coronavirus brought every division of football, from top to bottom, to an abrupt halt and the financial implications of said halting have been devastating.
It looks as though there will not be conventional transfer windows for the foreseeable future and it’s also still a bit murky as to when supporters will be allowed back into stadiums. Notwithstanding, football must make a return and the powers that be in each respective league are aware of that. La Liga has reportedly decided on a return date of June 20th to see their proceedings go forward. The Premier League have thrown around the idea of returning soon as well, and the UK Government have confirmed that sporting events can take place from June 1st behind closed doors.
The murmurs in the media are proclaiming that the FA are pondering resuming football once again, but in order to do so, the fixture schedule for every team would be extremely congested. This, along with the idea of neutral venues and an increase to 5 substitutes (to soften the sudden workload bestowed onto returning players) beg the question, would Arsenal suffer or benefit from the new way about match ongoings?
Personally, I feel Arsenal would be the beneficiaries of these new guidelines. All of the traditional ‘big six’ all have relatively good squad depth, compiled with a host of quality young players within their infrastructures as well. Understandably, teams in the lower half of the table are sure to be staunchly against this alteration of match day proceedings, but as an Arsenal fan, I happily welcome them. Not only would Mikel Arteta's men benefit because of our relatively adequate squad depth, but also, we are notoriously dreadful away from home, so the neutral venue idea would also be a beneficial for us.
One could easily argue that the gunners are actually the biggest beneficiary of the possible newly mandated regulations given their previously mentioned torrid away from, along with the side's decent squad depth and incredibly impressive youth academy. The new ideals set may not only benefit us in the short term, but also for the long run as well.
Certain young fringe players such as Rob Holding and Reiss Nelson have not been given as much game time as the may have liked, but now that there may be a change inserted that sees the allowance of five substitutions per 90. Therefore, players like Holding, Nelson and also others like Joe Willock will most likely see their minutes awarded increased. This could give them invaluable game time that can aid their development- game time they may not have had under normal circumstances. These less than ideal circumstances may be harming towards others but will be advantageous to many of our players and moreover, Arsenal as a whole.
In this time of dire negativity, it is always best to look for and speak about the rarely occurring positives. Whilst Arsenal may not be the only team that finds the possible implemented mandates favourable, at least we are one of the sides that are not harmed by the altering of a matchday normalities. When exactly the Premier league will return and whether or not these changes will be executed will be figured out much sooner than later. We will just have to be patient and see what happens.