By Chris Harris
A worldwide compensation scheme for injuries suffered on international duty is unworkable, according to Arsène Wenger.
The issue is back on the agenda after Steven Gerrard was ruled out for up to four weeks with a hamstring strain after playing for England against France on Wednesday night.
Liverpool will receive compensation for the loss of their captain thanks to the Football Association’s insurance policy but Wenger, who has lost plenty of players in similar circumstances, does not think that policy can be rolled out globally.
“It is very difficult to bring in a world rule because some federations don’t have the money,” he pointed out. “It [insurance] can only be paid by certain federations.
“It is a rule that can maybe only be applied domestically.”
However, Wenger does have some suggestions to ease the schism between club and country over this long-standing issue.
“It’s a subject that we have never really sorted out between the interest of the clubs and the national teams, but maybe you could have better regulations concerning fixtures,” said the Frenchman.
“What conflicts more and more is the number of games being played by the players. You can think that the player has to absorb at the top level today 60 games per season. Multiply that by ten years - that’s 600 games, and that’s nearly impossible to absorb for any player without any injuries. Maybe we have to find a solution for the number of games that a player plays.
“To be absolutely honest all the friendly games are in a bad position. August is bad, we decided already to suppress April. But many are financial contingencies for the federations as well – they need to raise the money to pay amateur players.
“It has to be sorted out on a financial basis before we speak – the professional federations could pay some money to the amateur federations to help them survive and that could be done with part of the TV money.”
Liverpool were irked that Fabio Capello revoked an understanding not to play Gerrard for more than an hour at Wembley in midweek – he suffered his injury six minutes from time. But Wenger insists that national coaches cannot have their hands tied completely.
“The circumstances of the game always dictate the attitude of the manager,” he said.
“He cannot guarantee it – he can try if the opportunity is there but of course he may have to take some other players off. In the game on Wednesday night they had only five changes and so it’s certainly because they had to take some other players off [that Gerrard stayed on]. You cannot guarantee that as a manager.”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