Wenger positive on rule changes, negative on season schedule


Arsene Wenger has welcomed rule changes which will be introduced this season in relation to simulation (diving), player and manager behaviour, and the offside rule, but has hit out at at the early start to this Premier League season.

For a run down on what’s changing, this BBC article tells you what’s what, and the measures have met with general approval from the Arsenal manager.

“I feel quite positive about them,” he said. “The first concerns, part of it, my behaviour because it is technical area behaviour and you want ourselves to behave in the proper way. So we have to look at ourselves first.

“The second one is about simulation. I am a big, big fan of that because I feel it is important to help the referees so that they know when the players go down that it is really a foul.

“Anyway what is good is that with all the camera angles it will be more difficult to simulate and get away with it.”

And while he declared himself in favour of the new offside law, he urged the games authorities to go one step further.

“Look it makes sense, the only problem with that is that it comes down to interpretation and that will be a debate maybe.

“For me the next step on the video front would be the offside rule.”

However, the decision to start the Premier League season a week earlier than usual was the subject of criticism from Wenger, who claimed none of the clubs were consulted in advance about the move.

“I think it is a massive mistake for England to start one week earlier because you have no Christmas break,” he said.

“I don’t know who came up with the idea that one game less at Christmas deserves one week holiday less, especially when you have a European Championship after the season.

“The difficulty nowadays is to find holidays for the players. In the FIFA rules, you have to give four weeks holiday to your players. Soon, if you want to do that, you start the season with the youth team because all your players should be on holiday when you start the season.

“I don’t know why we weren’t consulted,” he said. “These kinds of decisions are taken in meetings where we are not involved.”

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