Wenger fears television schedule may wreck Arsenal's season

By Andrew Warshaw

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Arsene Wenger is worried that Arsenal’s blistering start to the season could end up wrecked by the ‘uncaring’ television scheduling of their next three fixtures.

Arsenal play three times in seven days, starting with Sunday’s showdown against Everton, and Wenger believes the outcome of their toughest and most gruelling period to date could define their entire campaign.

Wednesday’s Champions League visit to Napoli, where his side need to avoid a three-goal defeat to guarantee qualification for the knockout phase, is followed by next Saturday’s lunchtime game against Manchester City. ‘It’s a massive week because these are big, big games,’ said Wenger.

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger is annoyed his side have to play three games in seven days

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger is annoyed his side have to play three games in seven days

The Frenchman  would have liked at least another 24 hours to give his team more time to prepare. He said: ‘Playing Sunday, then Wednesday night and Saturday lunchtime is not ideal.

‘It’s a fact that the way football is sold means every television company has its own rights. They don’t care if you’ve already played on Sunday. They just ask whether Saturday morning is a nice time to have Manchester City versus Arsenal.’

Wenger, who was speaking after a visit to the Teenage Cancer Trust facility in London, to which Sunday’s fixture is dedicated, believes television should schedule games more carefully to allow clubs to flourish, as happens on the Continent.

First of three: Arsenal face Everton at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon

First of three: Arsenal face Everton at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon

But he accepts he is fighting a losing battle because broadcasters pay so much to screen top-flight fixtures.

‘I’d like to see a kind of ethics committee to look at whether clubs have the right protection for English football to do well. But I don’t really like to speak about this because people just say I’m looking for excuses. So I shut my mouth and just try to win the next game.’

Wenger has no plans to freshen up his squad in the January transfer window after Lucas Podolski returned to training in midweek. The striker had spend more than three months out with a hamstring injury.

Tough games: Wenger's side will then take on Manchester City next Saturday

Tough games: Wenger's side will then take on Manchester City next Saturday

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

A question to Gooners, as you only brought in Ozil and Flamanni, is it down to just these 2 players for your great start to the season, as prior to their arrival you were crying out for quite alot of reinforcements, and if its not down to just these 2 players but infact Wenger getting more out of the exisiting squad, do you therfore recognise that Wenger knew what he was doing all along and that your calls for him to go were wrong?????? englighten me please.

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Good question! I think it's quite reasonable that some people (even if I wasn't one of them) were calling for Wengers head, although people that know a lil about Arsenal would have rather had David Dein back instead of Wenger gone. I can tell you what Wenger's weakness of the last few years was, he believed too much in players that were not good enough, not eager enough to fight 110%. Players like Bendtner, Denilson, Eboue, Chamakh, Park aren't players that give their all when they were squad players, not first teamers. If a player doesn't perform in two years, you've to boot him out (a Ramsey case, is a special one fair enough, but there are others sadly) - then there's the financial side, so Wenger has been operating with an inferior wallet against most other clubs, given the paying off of the Emirates, which is now pretty much done, now there's more money for salary/transfers - though Wenger will be cautious admitting that - player agents = hungry sharks!!!

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Oh stop moaning man, Liverpool just played 3 games in 6 days, won 2 and lost 1, it can be done Wenger, im clearly not a gooner, but your team can more than handle these fixtures, your team is playing with confidence, your getting key injured players back now to, keep it up Arsenal, although i wouldnt mind seeing you let Liverpool take first place, but well done on a great season so far.

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Time for Walcott, Podolski, Arteta, Vermaelen, Monreal and Jenkinson to get some game time, then?? Plenty of back-up in the squad, Wenger needs to manage the game time minutes of Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud, Rosicky and Sagna to keep them fresh, fit and hungry. There's 9 days rest after the City game. Use them.

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The match against Man City could have easily put back 24 hrs and the match against Everton could have easily put forward 24 hrs .There were other matches which could have taken place instead.

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It's not about protecting Arsenal's season though is it? Do you know what impact on the other teams you mention changing the fixture would have, did you even consider that? Fans have complained for years, rightly or wrongly, that Utd were favoured by the FA, now you want Arsenal to be 'protected' to help them have a better chance of winning the title. Let's just have a level playing field shall we? Not a Utd fan btw.

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If you are successful this is the price you pay, sop bleating.

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Robert Arthey?

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sheer rubbish!!!! Just go out on Sunday after a nice rest, beat Everton, then play hold the ball against Napoli, no need to over chase, save energy then its Man City who have to chase US, what problem is that. Plenty to rotate now with Pod, Walcot, Bendtner, Jenks.

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you are right on the money mate. we have very good players and wenger can rotate. That is why he is the professor !

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Arsene, just get on with the job in hand and stop whinging. If it wasn't for the sponsorships and TV rights there wouldn't be so many £millions for you and your players. Life is tough at the top and maybe not being in that position for long has come as a bit of a shock? Good luck anyway!!

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Arsenal's last 24 league games. 19 wins. 3 draws. 2 defeats. 2.5 points per game. 95 points if they keep it up.

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stop looking for excuses wenger..tv gave u millions to buy players ...you should have @ least 2 good strikers in the team..instead you waffled & hemmed & hawed & now all you have as back up is bendtner..NO MORE EXCUSES u either bring home a title or get fired

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Stop crying Wenger, all teams have the same to deal with, Stop making excuses a week before the event.

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