By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger does not want his players to take part in both the European Championship and the Olympic Games next summer.
The likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be included on a shortlist of players for a Great Britain team led by England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce at London 2012.
The Euro 2012 final takes place on July 1 while the football tournament at the Games runs from July 25 to August 11 - seven days before the start of the 2012/13 Premier League campaign. Wenger thinks it is unrealistic for his young Englishmen to take part in both.
"If you look at the organisation of the whole summer, it makes life impossible for the clubs and the players especially," he said.
"At some stage you have to decide how far you can go medically, for the players to play so many games under so much pressure. I would say there is already no real break because of the European Championship, and the Olympic tournament for me is not a real football tournament. For me the Olympics is for track and field basically.
"The European Championship final is on July 1, the start of the Premier League is on August 18 and we start training on July 4 or 5. That means we will not have the players who are at the Euros so if we are losing players to the Olympics as well… it cannot work.
"Imagine a player who has played in the Euros and the Olympic Games? You can't use him after that, it's impossible. I usually try to give four weeks off to a player who has played a tournament. That tells you maybe I would get the players back at Christmas!"
Pearce has suggested that players should be allowed to decide whether they participate in the Olympics but Wenger believes that is a bad idea.
"The worst thing is to leave that decision to the players. It is the job of the FA to sit together and analyse every single case and be a little bit responsible.
"If I asked you now who won the Olympic Games 20 years ago you would have problems telling me. If I ask you who won the European Championships you would know better. If I ask you who won the World Cup you would know even better.
"It is a tournament where you want to do well but we have to be sensible as well and not make silly decisions. I believe personally that the federations and the clubs have to sit together and analyse the situation for every single player."
And Wenger says that next summer's potential problem is exacerbated by the intensity of the Premier League schedule - as well as the location of the Games.
"I believe that it makes it impossible for a country like England [to play all summer], because you have no winter break. In Germany a player has three weeks off in winter, in England he will have to go around the clock until May.
"It is a special case because it [the Olympics] is in England. We would not have this debate if it was not in London. But even in London you can still be responsible and sensible."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source