Arteta predicts 'really bad news' on injuries due to three subs and packed schedule

By Sports Desk November 05, 2020

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta added his voice to those disappointed by the Premier League's decision not to allow five substitutions this season, suggesting it will lead to "really bad news".

Top-flight clubs in England allowed coaches to make a quintet of changes in each match when the 2019-20 season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The alteration was intended to protect players as a long spell without matches was followed by a frantic schedule.

But while other competitions – including the Champions League – have maintained the same rules for the new campaign, with games still coming thick and fast, Premier League sides voted against continuing the measure.

A host of leading managers – such as Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – have announced their displeasure, although teams further down the division are thought to believe the additional changes unfairly favour the stronger squads.

Arteta is able to make five subs in Europa League matches, but he worries a Premier League injury crisis is looming.

"I would strongly support [five changes in England]," he said. "We are here to give the best possible show. We need the players.

"They are the most important part of that. We have to protect them. It goes on and on and on.

"We're going to have some really bad news with players that we are not respecting."

There is little sign of the calendar easing, too, with three matches in the November international break as national teams build towards the European Championship at the end of the season.

"It's not a coincidence, the percentage rate of muscular injuries," Arteta added. "Intensity is not going to go down, the level of demands, the quality.

"Every match will be so competitive. Players will get injured."

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