Arsenal news

Wenger unhappy with fixture list

April 4, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsene Wenger has expressed concern that Arsenal will play all but one of their remaining games on a Sunday.

Arsene Wenger
GettyImagesArsene Wenger's Arsenal are three points ahead of Chelsea with a game in hand.

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Having been in contention for four trophies in February, Arsenal have since exited all three cup competitions and, after three successive draws in the Premier League, currently trail Manchester United by seven points.

As a result of TV schedules and changes enforced by the date of FA Cup final, Arsenal's remaining fixtures see them play seven Sunday games and one Wednesday game to complete their season, which means Arsenal will be denied the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders and exert extra pressure ahead before United take to the field. They will essentially be playing catch-up until the season finishes on May 22.

Wenger stressed, following the draw at home to Blackburn, that he knows it is up to the players to improve if they are to have any hope of winning the league, but he feels the scheduling is doing nothing to aid Arsenal's cause.

"There are a lot of things going on which I don't want to talk about," Wenger said. "I have been here for 15 years, I know how things work. I want to be completely neutral, like I have to be. I am not involved in any decision. I do not do the schedule.

"I look when do we play? It is on Sunday until the end of the season, but I do not want to speak about anything else like we look for an excuse about our performance.

"We have not been good enough, which is the main information of the Blackburn game, and we have to worry about being better in our next game. I have no influence on the fixtures, the referees, not on anything else here."

Wenger feels Arsenal looked "predictable" against Rovers and, with a week's preparation ahead of Sunday's trip to Blackpool, he is calling on his players to work harder than ever.

"I don't think the players did not want it against Blackburn," he said. "We were just one-paced, and that is not our game. You get your belief through your attitude, and of course we have been shocked by what has happened.

"That is why we have to put even more effort in. We had nothing in the tank to produce a change of pace. We looked very predictable, and usually we are not.

"Now we want to focus on our next game and show we are good enough. We have the players available for the whole week and what is important is we work on our basics and come back to what we are strong at."