Friday, 12 September 2008

Arsenal Boss Wenger: 'The Premier League Don't Do A Lot For Us'

Arsène Wenger has slammed the Premier League for the timing of International matches, with the Arsenal boss stating that he thinks the Premier League could do more to ease the strain on English clubs, in particular teams playing in the Champions League.

The Gunners have already had to play a qualifying round in the Champions League, which meant that some players were having to fit the two European ties around an International friendly, putting a strain on the squad at the Emirates Stadium.

Now that qualifying has started for the 2010 World Cup, Wenger has seen many of his squad away on the two week International break, with three away ties at Blackburn Rovers, Dynamo Kiev and Bolton Wanderers coming thick and fast in the space of eight days when they return.

However, while Wenger accepts that fixture congestion comes with the territory of being a top-level side. The Frenchman feels that a small adjustment to the timing of the recent International’s would have given his players more time to prepare for the trip to Ewood Park on Saturday.

“The PL don't do a lot for us,” said Wenger.

“The [World Cup] qualifiers are in a very bad position and the international friendly comes at a bad time for a team which plays in the qualifiers for the Champions League.

“The main reproach I make, and I have asked this for a long, long time, is that the second [international] game is played on the Tuesday [instead of the Wednesday].

“For example, Carlos Vela played on Wednesday night but he didn't finish until 4am on Thursday morning, because that was 9pm in Mexico. That means it's impossible to get that sort of player back for the next League game.

“You end up paying the players to go to the national team for two games and then you can't use them. You have a two-week break but you can't even use them when they return!”

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