By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes the strain of international breaks will ease next year thanks to a change in the football calendar.

The Arsenal manager warned last month that November could take its toll on his squad thanks to another round of international fixtures and the onset of fatigue. And Wenger’s prophecy was fulfilled when Robin van Persie and Kieran Gibbs were injured while representing their countries in the past week.

For Wenger that was further evidence that the structure of the football season needs to be reviewed. But he has noticed one change for the better – the decision to play qualifiers earlier in an international break to give players more recovery time.

“I believe the whole structure of the season is not right,” said Wenger.

“But in the next round of the European Championship qualifiers, there is now a freedom for teams to play on Friday and Tuesday [instead of Saturday and Wednesday].

“As soon as one team starts to play on Friday, then everybody will.”

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20 Nov 2009