By Chris Harris
If Arsène Wenger had his way, international breaks in March might be a thing of the past. For now, the Frenchman is advocating a small but significant change to the World Cup qualifying schedule.
Sixteen of Wenger’s squad were called up for the latest round of internationals. Eight of those were in action on Wednesday night and four of them - Robin van Persie, Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Samir Nasri - will not face Manchester City on Saturday after returning to England with an injury or an illness.
Like his top-flight counterparts, Wenger is counting the cost of a fixture list which often gives players less than three days between an international and their next club match. That’s why the Frenchman wants Wednesday fixtures brought forward in future.
“There is not a lot of room [in the fixture list],” Wenger admitted at his pre-match press conference.
“But the one thing we ask for many times is to play the second game on Tuesday because the players all looked to be bored from Saturday to Wednesday. It would give a fair amount of recovery time between Tuesday and Saturday and that would be much better.
“I believe the principle has been accepted many times but for this qualifier they had not enough time to manage to do it. Maybe for the next time there is a qualifier it will be done.”Copyright 2013 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 3 Apr 2009