Wenger: clubs to blame for difficult schedule

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Arsene Wenger on TV

Arsene Wenger says that he would have preferred if Arsenal’s FA Cup quarter-final took place on Saturday rather than Sunday, but that football clubs have only themselves to blame for fixture pile-ups.

Arsenal face Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday (live on TV), before they travel to Spain to face Barcelona on Wednesday (live on TV). With an early Thursday morning return to England, they then go to Liverpool on Friday ahead of a 12.45 kick off on Saturday morning at Goodison Park for a Premier League clash with Everton (live on TV).

With injuries mounting up, and the squad likely to be stretched, it’s going to be testing for Wenger’s team, but the Frenchman was straight up who is to blame.

Asked if The FA should provide more time to teams to prepare, he wasn’t inclined to point any fingers at the game’s authority.

“It’s us,” he said. “We sell football and we give it to the media to dictate the timing because we take the money so I won’t complain at all. I would rather look from our side.

“I would have loved to have played on Saturday but we don’t influence the schedule and we do not get any favours so everybody will be happy in England.”

It is going to be a real challenge, genuine one game at a time stuff, as Wenger concluded, “What matters in football is the next game. The next game is Watford on Sunday afternoon.”

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39 Comments on "Wenger: clubs to blame for difficult schedule"

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SuperNova

Wenger is still a genius, your dad is not.

Michael

Everyone else is to blame, Arsene! A true Communist leader.

Ivan Drago

“It’s us,” he said. “We sell football and we give it to the media to dictate the timing because we take the money so I won’t complain at all”

Ox in the box

Does stupidity hurt?

Loveoffootball

What part of his statement do you not understand though or you are just struggling with comprehension? How is he blaming everybody else?

the only sam is nelson
the only sam is nelson

as long as we don’t see the same QF as I watched from the north bank in 1987

the one and only time I remember seeing tasty geezers vacate the terraces to head down the clock end to “have a word” with the away fans. and if i remember right it wasn’t long before there was a small fire at the away turnstiles at Vicarage Road…

ah, those were the days!

78/79/80

Wow just checked that out on youtube. Something’s haven’t changed. Had countless chances to win it. Stopped instead of playing to the whistle. Other things have. See the players not surrounding the ref as he decides on the third goal. Standing back to await his decision.
Was that Tony Adams in defence?

tapps

…and we bloody lost!

Steinn

He can’t play his best team in all of the 3 matches. Everton is the most important one so he has to field a weaker team against either Watford or Barca. Going to Barcelona with the reserves isn’t really an option (although I surely wouldn’t mind). So it will probably be a similar team against Watford but with a stronger bench and trying not to play Elneny and Campbell for the whole 90 minutes.

Alexstratz

Wouldn’t mind playing the B team against Barcelona.

B Higgins

Might not have a choice seeing how injuries are mounting up!

zico

Nice touch with the JVC tv, reminds me of some great Arsenal kits!

Canador

For me to get back to liking Wenger the way i use to admire him before, he has to change his ways. Listen to the wishes and thoughts of the fans, understand that world football has changed, be ruthless in his management style and above all buy players that have winning mentality not only skills. Players that have guts like Tony Adams and the rest of the invincible players.

Man Manny

…’and the rest of the invincible players’ he inherited from George Graham, I guess.

Charma

Don’t see anything wrong with the post !

ChrisGoona

Who are these players like Adams who will enable Arsenal to challenge the likes of Barcelona?

He signed a pure winner in Cech, a gutsy attacking machine in Sanchez, a creative genius in Ozil… I don’t think anybody gives Wenger anywhere enough respect when it comes to the brilliant players he has brought in at Arsenal.

Fans like you Canador, have demanded the ilk of Chris Samba to be purchased, while Wenger is out negotiating with Barca and Real to try get Arsenal up to the next level.

Viswaram

Next level as in Leicester City??

Canador

ChrisGoona, you have to understand that there is nothing personal against Wenger. if you really and deeply loves Arsenal, you will understand my point that we need some changes for our beloved Arsenal to move forward. I do not think any genuine Arsenal fan is happy about the way things are going… same shit year in and year out. No single individual is greater than the club and including Wenger.

ChrisGoona

I am not happy. It is by far the most disappointing season we have had under Wenger because we have underachieved. If you look at our team, the opposition, the opportunity we had, there is no denying that.

My point to you is that he has been bringing in top world class talent. There are not many managers around who could make those signings. I will be very happy if a new manager comes in and can attract that level of player.

Man Manny

Better still, blame the English man for coming up with this lousy idea called football in the first place. That would be more diplomatic.

Man Manny

Like everyone here is on the edge. How do I know? One of the early signs is loss of appreciation for sarcasm

Saint Cathorla

I think most of us here get sarcasm, it was just the whole “funny” thing that was missing this time.

Dave A.

We all know Mounrinho and John Terry are to blame for everything

tapps

And Ryan bloody Shawcross.

Joblow

Blame Dan Smith and Martin Taylor

ciderman

I agree with alexstratz about playing the b team against Barcelona, if we don’t I suspect we will lack the energy to beat Everton!!! The latter is by far and away the more important game!!! So lets at least not expend too much energy against Barcelona lol Theo should be first on the team sheet

Charma

We should be careful or else it can end up embarrassing like 8-2! We don’t need such on our cv.

Alexstratz

Let’s show a bit more faith in our B team. Surely they are better than some obscure eastern European team who can still hold Barcelona on their own.

PatJ

Other teams can be tactical and send their B teams around the world. We shall send our best team against Spain’s best, and do our very best.
We are the Arsenal.
COYG

Clock-End Mike

Le Prof is absolutely right. The clubs (strictly speaking, the Premier League) sold their soul to the TV stations with the latest deal. I’ve said this before.

We saw that when they rescheduled the Leicester match so near the event — not even a safeguard clause in the deal to limit the time when they can do that to something reasonable.

No one to blame but ourselves.

John C

And no one more so than Wenger who has always been the biggest beneficiary and insisted on being the highest paid member of staff. Which by the way isn’t a criticism as i actually believe thats the right thing.

santori

Can’t afford to take Watford lightly by any measure so the strongest squad necessary.

I think many people confuse the frustration of us not acheiving what we should with the achievements that Wenger has made.

Aside from the 3 titles and FA cups (PLus the one glorious unbeatable season), he has brought us from a small club in financial terms to a power house and through the constraints of that process he has still ensured a minimum finish of 4th and CL.

This is put into better perspective when you consider the footy landscape in England changed significantly during the period. It was not just the addition of oil financed clubs strangling the player market but also significantly, all the other clubs suddenly shed their allergy to ‘foreign players’ (and indeed foreign gaffers) because of redistribution of TV money.

In effect Wenger experienced a double squeeze when we had to restrict spenidng which contributed to under achievement for many years.

Yet he managed to keep us at MINIMUM fourth or better and in Europe.

When you consider our European pedigree (which is nothing considering the one cup winners cup features little in terms of European accolades), I’m not sure what all the bleating and ranting is about.

By all measures the persistent feature of our club at the top stage of the competition through close to two decades is remarkable stability and something even United and liverpool (and Chelsea) now are struggling to even maintain. Simply put we all wish for more but this minimum finish tends to be taken for granted by many and the media.

It is easier said than done.

This is not to say we are content with it.

Since lifting our financial restrictions Wenger has added quality over quantity which IMO is the right thing.

Again who predicted the emergence of Campbell, Coquelin, bellerin. It was Wenger who gave these players their chance in the first team yet many would like to rant on ludicrously about how he is not giving them an opportunity which to me strikes me as conceit.

We have significant players at around 25 year age on the cusp of their best years. The stability shown by the two clubs ahead of us (They have spent comparatively less compared to us) in team selection which influences understanding within the team should be enough proof that simply spending money is not the entire solution.

Over last 3 seasons, Wenger has steadily built up the quality additions every summer first with Ozil then Alexis and now Cech. By same measure we are beginning to enjoy the fruits of the emerging younger players who have been given significant time within the squad to acclimitise.

And the benefits of this incremental as may be has been the two back to back FA cups and the history books. This isn’t anything to sniff at.

I would think the bar is set high for Arsenal FC and the minimum finish is now at least one of the title or the FA cup and the top 4 finish considering recent seasons success in the cup.

So Wenger has got to ensure we prioritise the insurance of the season in the FA cup should the title chase be to difficult to prosecute from this stage.

I expect he will have to field the significant players for the FA cup. Probably the CL is a bridge too far.

Likely for that game, we can go with a heavier defensive pairing of Flamini and Coquelin where the FA fixture should feature one of Flamini/Coquelin and the more mobile (maybe less positionally aware at this stage)Elneny.

I think the CL game is a gamble for us so we will be likely on the back foot hoping to snatch two goals on the break to force a tie and penalties.

In that Ozil will need to find runners who must be efficient on the break.

Either of Walcott or Welbeck in this instance could be useful up top supported by the hard graft of Alexis and Campbell on the flanks with Flamini Coquelin sitting deeper trying to shut the lines off.

So Giroud should start again for FA cup. He is an enabler and useful against teams who sit back against us and hit on the counter (which is what we would be doing against Barca)

The FA cup is something we can keep control of at this stage. The Barca game is a bit more of a roll of the dice with more unconventional tactics.

It will be difficult to shut them out at the Nou Camp but if we do and somehow snatch two goals on the break, our best bet would be to force it to penalties and hope for the best.

John C

Arsenal have never been a small club financially, and Arsenal’s growth has been driven by television money not the manager, this is confirmed by the fact that 15 of the 30 most valuable clubs in the world play in the premier league.

santori

Many people like to mouth off about how Wenger likes to make excuses.

NO excuses made here.:)

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