Arsène Wenger says that the late finish to the World Cup could have a detrimental impact on players across Europe at the start of the season.
Arsenal had 14 players at the tournament, with the club’s triumphant German contingent involved until the final on July 13.
Wenger is keen for his Arsenal side to hit the ground running after their opening-day defeat to Aston Villa last year, but he is aware of the need to protect his World Cup players.
The final of the World Cup was on July 13, the start of the Premier League is August 16. If you want to give holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very shortArsène Wenger
“Ideally you want to start well - you don’t want to start with a defeat,” the manager said. “We responded well to the defeat [to Aston Villa] but it is emotionally difficult.
“Honestly we are a bit short in our preparation [now] because we had a number of players at the World Cup and many of them had longer holidays after that.
“The final of the World Cup was on July 13, the start of the Premier League is August 16. If you want to give holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very short.
“Look, for example you have Thiago Silva and David Luiz who came back a bit earlier and played straight away [for Paris Saint-Germain]. Thiago Silva is out for a month, David Luiz is injured as well.
“If you don't give players enough holiday or enough build-up in their preparation and play them straight away, they get injured.
“I think we could have done with one week later for all the competitions, the Champions League and the Premier League.”
Wenger feels that more needs to be done to improve the playing schedule for international players, particularly in the years of major tournaments.
“In Fifa’s rules you have to give four weeks’ holiday to the players,” he said. “Let's not forget that the guy who goes to the final plays seven games. The guy who goes out in the group stage plays three games.
“The pressure after seven games is completely different because the pressure builds up throughout the competition. They need a breather. I have had the experience of post-World Cup years and they are always difficult years to get everyone back to the same level, mentally and physically.
“It's difficult for every [club]. You look at the results last week. For example in France, PSG played a draw at Reims and Monaco - who looked fit against us - lost at home to Lorient. It's a bit of a leveller I think. Until everyone gets going it could take some take time for clubs.”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