By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger concedes that competing on four fronts until the end of February worked against Arsenal this season.

Ambitions of success in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup led to Wenger’s side playing an incredible 20 games on top of their Premier League fixtures.

Frustrating results against Leeds and Leyton Orient resulted in FA Cup replays that added to the congestion while a Wembley defeat to Birmingham deflated the squad at a crucial time. Wenger admits that the number of games his players had to deal with eventually caught up with them.

“Personally I feel we played too many games in December, January and February,” he said. “At the end of the day, it took a little bit out of us.

“I went for the Carling Cup thinking that winning the Carling Cup would ease the pressure on the players and then we will play more relaxed. [But] it worked against us, completely against us. From then on it became more difficult.”

Despite that, Wenger has no plans to change his policy regarding cup competitions next season.

“No, because you can do the same next year and win the Carling Cup in the last minute. We have to accept that is the beauty of the game and the cruelty of the game.”

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14 May 2011