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Wenger - Why early start is a mistake

Arsene Wenger believes it is a “massive mistake” for the Premier League to start earlier than usual this season.

The 2015/16 campaign kicks off this weekend, with the Gunners hosting West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Wenger is confident his side are ready for the year ahead, but feels that moving the season to accomodate next summer’s European Championship will cause problems.

"I don’t know who came up with the idea that one game less at Christmas deserves one week holiday less"

Arsene Wenger

“I think it is a massive mistake for England to start one week earlier because you have no Christmas break,” he said. “I don’t know who came up with the idea that one game less at Christmas deserves one week holiday less, especially when you have a European Championship after the season.

“The difficulty nowadays is to find holidays for the players. In the FIFA rules, you have to give four weeks holiday to your players. Soon, if you want to do that, you start the season with the youth team because all your players should be on holiday when you start the season.

“If you make it earlier and the competition lasts longer… next season the European Championship plays with 24 teams and that makes the competition last longer. It lasts nearly a month now. So it will finish later and we will start the season earlier and that means the players have no holiday.

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“I don’t know why we weren’t consulted," added Wenger. "These kinds of decisions are taken in meetings where we are not involved. But a natural rest for a player - every doctor tells you that - from the micro-contusions on the bones takes six weeks to heal out completely.

“You had that in England before but no player gets that anymore at the top level. They get two to three weeks.”

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