Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has described it as “not an ideal moment” to play in the Community Shield, having had just “two training sessions” to prepare for Liverpool.
The Gunners’ last competitive game was on August 1, and less than a month later they are back in action against the Reds at Wembley.
While the Community Shield is largely deemed a glorified friendly, it is a clash that will be widely watched, and Arteta will be eager for his side to lay down a marker for 2020/21.
A 4-1 victory over MK Dons in their pre-season friendly on Tuesday served as a boost in the buildup, but the need for a holiday after the FA Cup final and the shortened break between seasons has ensured little in terms of training time.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Arteta revealed that he had taken just “two training sessions” ahead of the Community Shield, with this tie falling in Arsenal‘s “mini pre-season.”
“We’ve had two training sessions so you can imagine that this game comes straight in the middle of our mini pre-season,” he told reporters.
“But as well we haven’t had much time to lose a lot of the condition.
“Obviously it’s not an ideal moment to play in this final but the players are motivated. It’s another opportunity to win a trophy and we will go for it.”
While stationed in Saalfelden, Liverpool played out a 3-0 victory over Stuttgart and a 2-2 draw with Salzburg, the latter of which gave them an indicator of their fitness levels against a high-intensity side.
The Reds manager will likely see Saturday as another pre-season game, but like Arteta can hope for silverware to kick off 2020/21, and the Spaniard insisted Arsenal are “ready to go.”
“It’s not hard because we really like our job and we have the privilege to work in this industry,” Arteta said of a swift turnaround.
“We needed some time to just reflect on what we did and also to put our minds a bit away from football.
“I think we had the chance to do it, not as we normally do, but enough and the player seem in good condition mentally and physically.
“We are ready to go. We have no choice, we have a cup to play [for] on Saturday.”
Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari will all be absent for Arsenal on Saturday, while there are question marks over whether Emiliano Martinez will feature after a late return due to quarantine.