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· Moderator
26,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very interesting article to share here... The beauty of rotation that most players loathe!!!!


I originally posted above linked article under Matchday because it starkly highlighted that Arsenal's key players played many more hours than our key players, how tired and stretched their squad have become due to unforseen injuries, suspensions and alike, thus arguing a favourable case for us to clinch victory today...

On second thought, however, I thought this beautiful article would be too wasteful to have been buried in a Matchday thread and soon quickly forgotten. Besides, as far as I could remember, I doubt there has ever been any discussion topic on the merits and demerits of squad rotation, something that most players actually loathe (except maybe players like Scholes, Giggs etc who are ageing and trying to preserve their career but hardly representative at all).

In addition, somewhere in the middle of the season when we had our occasional slips every once a while, some of us, including myself, were exasperated and questioned Fergie on his wisdom of rotating players and not putting in some key or effective players we honestly thought could have made a difference to the final outcome of the games we slumped in. Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager, was even cited and lauded for his philosophy of taking one game at a time, implicitly implying that he would always play his strongest available squad for each game. Yet the fitness level and freshness factors were so contrastingly prominent for Arsenal and United before this kickoff as highlighted in the article. So has Fergie proven his salt on this matter? Or should we hold our hands until the end of the season to pass any judgement on the matter?

Back to the present, what do you think? Is rotation of squad good or bad? I already can see many angles to this topic. Is rotation good or bad for the club? Is rotation good or bad for the players themselves? How to resolve this conflict, if any, between club and players, given that many frustrated players often talk about leaving the team even before the season concludes? Or if Fergie seems pretty successful so far on this approach, why then did others like Tinkerman Ranieri etc failed so badly? Does it unwittingly affect the form or performance? And being closely related, how big or small a squad should ideally be to keep up freshness and be prepared for unforseen suspensions and injuries?...

With the nature of this topic being so general and contentious, I certainly look forward to another good, long thread for a good, long discussion/debate on this forum.

So who is going to shoot first?

· Registered
25,282 Posts
Well its good to a certain degree, keeping the older or tired/injured players
out and giving them extra time to get fit and fresh is important.
You also have to keep the squad happy and give people the games that
matbe they deserve. Rotation can be used to good effect depending on the
opposition etc.... We may need to play 5 across the middle, which means a
forward will get a rest and vice-versa.

A big squad is vital to being able to rotate properly but I think the big guns
always need to play every game or as many games as possible......
because to win games you need to play your best men.

Ranieri and Benitez have failed at this because their focus has laid elsewhere
and simply that they dont have as good a squad as ours....

Rotating the forwards and midfielders(to some extent) can be a good idea,
to keep things fresh etc...and to keep the oppo manager guessing....

I wrote this in another thread so sorry about the copy/paste. Im just being lazy...

Rotating the back 4 is impossible imo.
Fergie has always gotten success from a stable and settled back 4...
from Parker, Bruce, Pally and Irwin all the way up to Brown, Rio, Vidic and Evra.
He likes playing the same back 4 week in week out unless they are injured
or suspended. As much as I like Pique, he wont get a sniff while Rio and Vidic
are fit.
A central defenders game is based more on concentration and commitment
and they wouldnt get the fatigue of a midfielder for example.
So playing every game should be easy for the centre backs (barring injury obviously)

· Registered
1,418 Posts
Wow that was an excellent article you found there Versa! I enjoyed that one lol Well my view on rotation is a positive one and as the article suggests, we are having the rewards of it right now (CL Semis and top ladder in EPL).

Squad depth also plays a huge part in rotation - and Liverpoo will be my example for this one. They apparently have squad depth according to the fans but to me its quality that matters especially when we are talking about squad rotation - not quantity. They take off Torres and bring on who? Voronin? Crouch? Kuyt? My god they would all rot on our reserves bench! I rather have Dong and Welbeck in my team! Sure they got 4 strikers compared to our 1st team of 3 but the difference is we got quality and they don't. We can replace Tevez for Rooney and lose nothing but when they take of Torres and bring on anyone of their strikers they can't do jack.

So just buying numbers of players and rotating won't do one any good if they are not quality players - thats the secret key, buying the right players not just rotating like Liverpoo fc. For me it is best having at least 2 players in the same position and that is what we have at United and Chelsea and that is why they are both going for the double and looking very strong till the end of the season. Squad depth is something we did not have last season and we could not rotate as much and that is why we crashed out of Europe and lost the FA Cup final and I was so happy to see 50m worth or buys over the summer and I expect more quality players come in over the summer.

Also a key to succesfull rotation is having a set of players stick and stay on the first 11 always as the back bone of the team. For me it should be the keeper and defence and maybe one midfield and one forward and the rest can rotate. I think that is what we have at Old Trafford anyways. The same back 5 (including keeper) and Ronaldo and Rooney and the rest we chop and change as well as tactics. Of corse when we are already done with the job like 2-0 away at Roma we can afford to change the whole team like we did - it always depend on the circumstances too. Also now when Rafa is doing less rotation he is starting to be more consistant with the performances. He is keeping a core group in the starting line up and its Reina, Carragher, Gerrard, Torres - 1 key player in each position and they are looking in a better shape then in the start of the season! Hence having a small core group always around in the line up is vital.

Having squad depth and rotating also spurs on players in traning as they compete for one position. Healthy competiton is always good and having a selection headache is always good news for the gaffer imo. But having big egos like when Ruud did not want to give Saha game time, that is when one must deal with the player and that is why Ruud was sold - it was better for the club imo. When one signs I think Fergie lets them know that 1st team football is not 100% and that is why Mexes did not move and instead we got Vidic. Heinze also seemed to have a problem with Evra and his gone. So if we do have ego problems or players who don't like rotation, the answer is simple - please close the exit door on your way out mate!

If Arsenal can get some good signings in their weak areas (wings - eboue is a joke) and get their injuries back asap they will be contenders next season as well, which is good to see in the EPL because it does get boring when its a two horse race lol
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