Interview

Wenger - How I would change Christmas schedule

Wednesday night’s match against Chelsea kicks off just 73 hours after the final whistle was blown in our 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

We’re currently at the busiest juncture of the season - we played nine times in December and will be in action at least seven times in January too. 

But while the packed schedule has been criticised by some Premier League managers, Arsène Wenger finds festive football “absolutely attractive and fantastic for England”. There is, however, one change the boss would make.

“I would not reduce the Christmas period because it’s something that I find absolutely attractive and fantastic for England,” Wenger told the matchday programme. “The Christmas schedule makes it special for the whole world. I would like to keep that. 

03:14

West Bromwich Albion (a) - Bitesize

“I would just like the teams who play against each other to be on a fair level. We play Chelsea tonight - we played three days ago and you would want that Chelsea has played three days ago too. West Brom played against us two days ago played against West Ham last night, who had not played for a week. 

“It’s not fair. If we have to play every day, I have no problem with it as long as the opponent we play has played every day as well. The Premier League has to do something about that. If you want to be the best league in the world, you have to be fair. 

“At the moment the competition is not fair. I think we could organise the competition better in a more fair way, considering that you just respect that the recovery days are the same for the two teams that play against each other. You cannot have one team that has not played for five days and one team that has played two days ago, it doesn’t work. 

“I would say the rhythm of the game adapts itself to the level of the players. We have the squads, we have the scientific studies now on the recovery of the players. We know what is going on, but of course you need two teams to be at the same level.

 

 

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