LATICS boss Roberto Martinez has admitted playing Arsenal three times in such a short period of time isn’t doing much for his health.
His side travelled to the Emirates Stadium at the end of November, suffering a 2-0 defeat in the Carling Cup, before a brave 10-man display at the DW Stadium on December 29 saw Latics come away with a 2-2 draw.
But Martinez says playing the in-form Gunners isn’t doing his side any favours.
“It can’t be healthy!” he laughed. “It’s a strange situation that you are going to play such a talented side three times in such a short period of time.
“We’re travelling to the Emitrates and we need to overcome that feeling that we can go there and be competitive and try to win a football game.”
Martinez has urged his team to turn it into a positive though and has pointed at the 2-2 draw in December, as well as the 3-2 victory last season as confidence boosters.
“In a way we need to use the amount of football we’ve played against them as a positive as opposed to a negative,” he added.
“When we played them at the DW Stadium last year, it was a fascinating game and one of the biggest moments in the club’s history.
“The manner in which we played the whole game was really positive.
“The game we played (in December) was a great game of football and with ten men we managed to get a draw which was a great achievement and that gave us a lot of confidence.”
The Gunners are flying high this season and are knocking on the door of current league leaders Manchester United.
And the Latics boss reckons they are getting what they deserve after putting a lot of emphasis on youth development and their passing style of football – which is very similar to the methods adopted by the Spaniard himself.
Martinez said: “I feel that Arsenal are starting to get the rewards of investing in young players and on a true clear idea of playing football.
“They’ve got 18 or 19 players that can play each week and make an impact.”
Martinez also refused to rule out James McCarthy featuring tomorrow and will make a judgement today or tomorrow as to whether he rejoins the squad in full training.