Arsene Wenger has hit out at the Premier League’s decision to start the new season on August 8th, bringing the start date forward by a week.
Indeed, should Arsenal triumph at Wembley on Saturday, their new campaign would begin on August 2nd at Wembley in the Community Shield against champions, and lonely-bus wankers, Chelsea.
With this season ending late, the early start means the summer is particularly short and doesn’t allow for much rest – especially when the Gunners also have players involved in summer tournaments in South America.
“Moving the fixture calendar forward deeply affects pre-season and I believe it is the wrong decision of the Premier League to start on August 8,” said Wenger.
“The players have played the World Cup, then you have no winter break, and when you reach the FA Cup final, you play on May 30, then the European players who are called up by their international teams play until June 14, then you start on August 8.
“If you count six weeks’ preparation, where is the time for recovery? As a manager, you usually have a bit of time to relax after the season when there is no international competition, but this year we finish at the end of May and start again at the end of June.”
“It takes you two weeks to just get out of the heat of the Premier League and then you have to prepare again.”
The Arsenal manager aimed a shot at FIFA too for the scheduling of the Copa America in Chile.
“I feel this competition is a bit too much. I will watch it, but with a little bit of fear because Sanchez has played 50 games for us and goes there again, having already played in the World Cup last summer.
“I am really surprised that FIFA authorised that. It is disappointing that they speak a lot about the health of the players, but when you look at the competition that is organised, this Copa America, and look at the date of the start of the Premier League, it is not reasonable.”
Unfortunately, FIFA won’t care. Let’s remember, they organise pointless, laughable tournaments like the Confederations Cup which are little more than money spinners for an organisation sitting on more cash than Scrooge McDuck.
All we can say is that forewarned is forearmed, and our summer preparations will be made in the full knowledge that this is going to be an issue, so let’s do as much as possible to negate it.