This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said he is “excited” about every single player in his squad in a recent interview with the club’s official website.
The north London outfit have had mixed results at the start of this campaign, registering two victories against Newcastle and Burnley, a loss against Liverpool and a draw against Tottenham.
The international break has given Emery the opportunity to take stock of the first few weeks of the season.
Talking about the players available to him at the Emirates Stadium, he said: “Really we can be very excited about some players, but I want to have the same level of excitement for (Nicolas) Pepe, for example, or (Dani) Ceballos, David Luiz or (Gabriel) Martinelli as I am with Reiss Nelson, with (Joe) Willock, with Emile Smith Rowe.
“Also with the players who were working with us last year like Mesut Ozil, (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, (Alexandre) Lacazette, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, (Bernd) Leno… everybody. We can be excited about every player.”
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There is no doubt that there is plenty of quality in this Arsenal side. Stars such as Aubameyang and Lacazette have been joined by quality new signings like Pepe and Luiz, while Nelson, Willock and Matteo Guendouzi are promising youngsters who are already competing for places every week.
These comments from the former Sevilla boss, though, indicate that there will be plenty more tinkering and rotation to come. So far, it seems Emery has no idea what his best side is.
This term, he has already made eight changes throughout the first four Premier League games, and has used three different formations as well. While it is important to make the most of squad depth, it is also vital to have some idea early on what your best XI is. Endless rotation did not help the 47-year-old last term, and it is unlikely to do so this time around.
However, he has tinkered throughout his career, and so we should not expect there to be changes to his philosophy anytime soon.
Arsenal fans should prepare themselves for plenty more tweaks to their starting XI in the coming months.