The Arsenal manager has been expressing his concern about next season already, after the Premier League clubs voted to accommodate next summers Euro championship tournament by starting and finishing the season early. And after the way the Gunners struggled to get going in the early stages of this season after the World Cup and issues with fitness and injury problems, you can see why Arsene Wenger is concerned that it could do real damage to our hopes of winning the title.
The situation is that Arsenal’s last game of this season, hopefully, will be the FA cup final on May 30th. Then there are a few international games for many of our players before they get a break. Then Arsenal have a pre-season tour of Asia in mid July before the Emirates Cup and the start of the season proper.
This gives our players less than a month off and with there being no winter break in England, Wenger thinks this is bad news and it is why he would rather have had a normal start with a busier fixture schedule, as reported by Sky Sports.
The Frenchman said, “Pre-season is always difficult if you cannot prepare well.
“They (clubs) voted to start early in August next season, which is a bit of nightmare when you think you start on August 8, some players play on June 21 in South America, some in Europe play on June 14, so after a season where we have no winter break, I don’t see where you go from there to give players a proper rest. It is impossible.
“I opposed the early start because I preferred to play one more game over Christmas, because everybody has the squad that can deal with it and give the players a real rest in the summer. You have had no rest in the winter, now the decision is no rest in summer either.”
He does accept the need for clubs like Arsenal to go overseas and continue to build our global fanbase but the fact is that it does not help us prepare properly for the business of domestic football. At least Wenger vows that he will not consider doing a post season tour as the Spuds and Chelsea are planning and that could give the Gunners a little edge.
All of our rivals will be in similar situations of course, so we cannot complain too much but it does make avoiding the two legged Champions League play-offs extremely important and a big advantage over the team that does finish fourth.