The break is upon Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side as a growing contingent of the current squad head away on international duty around the world.
As the dust settles on a 0-0 draw with Brighton in the club’s final fixture before the October break, Arsenal spend time apart from domestic action sitting in 11th place in the league table.
That stalemate left the Gunners with ten points from their opening seven fixtures and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches. While there is sill an awful lot to get through in terms of improvements, there are signs of progression.
Perhaps only baby steps so far. This team and group of players are in far better shape than they were after three consecutive defeats to start the campaign but further improvement is still needed.
4 things for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal to work on during training over the October international break with 15 players away from London Colney
Arteta, however, doesn’t boast a full squad to work with over the international break with no less than 15 members of the first squad away with their respective nations.
Bernd Leno, Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Mohamed Elneny, Sead Kolasinac, Karl Hein, Emile Smith Rowe, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares are all away this month. So too is Tyreece John-Jules, who is currently on loan at Blackpool.
Eight of those started in the draw with the Seagulls. Arteta is far from full strength.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. Training will be ongoing during this period as fitness is maintained, and across this spell there are some elements to be looking at.
1. Minutes For Gabriel Martinelli & Other Fringe Players
Arsenal took part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with QPR earlier in the week, something that has become commonplace this season for the first team with no European football to contend with and them having a number of players on the fringes of the first team squad.
Gabriel Martinelli is one of the key members of the side in need of minutes and he featured as the Gunners ran out 3-2 winners. There were also appearances for Alexandre Lacazette as well as centre-back duo Gabriel and Ben White.
It isn’t known who got on the scoresheet, but the important point is simply to be playing games. Key members of the squad are now away with their national teams and as the winter months approach the need for every member of Arteta’s side to be in their best shape is part of effective squad management.
Given Arsenal don’t play again until October 18 with those away with their countries not set to return to London Colney until around October 14, there is definite scope to fit in another such friendly encounter before then.
While the opposition won’t be at Premier League standard, the fixtures still have huge importance and if there are more Championship outfits willing to participate then it must be pursued.