Mikel Arteta is staying tight-lipped on a few fitness doubts in his squad ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Everton this weekend.
In recent weeks, Arsenal have become more and more secretive with their team news updates. For a start, they’ve removed the permanent ‘team news’ page from the club website.
The updates they do provide as news posts are becoming increasingly vague. For example, Thomas Partey is simply listed as ‘unavailable for forthcoming matches’, with no suggestion as to how long he might be out.
In his pre-Everton press conference, Mikel Arteta hinted they’re going to be giving less away going forward, refusing to reveal Arsenal’s injury doubts for the upcoming match.
“We have a few doubts,” Arteta said. “Obviously, we cannot tell you who but we have some doubts for tomorrow, yes.”
On the one hand, this can be frustrating for supporters. The fans want to know who’s missing before they get their hopes up, and they want to understand why certain players have been left out of the squad when the lineups are released.
On the other, Arsenal need to do whatever they can to gain a competitive advantage right now. If that means concealing their fitness updates from their opponents, you can see why they’re willing to do it.
The one thing I’d suggest is that Arsenal upload a full team news post an hour or so before each game. That way they aren’t giving anything away until the last minute, but they’re still providing the fans with explanations for any absences.