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Or, at the very least, convince the Premier League schedule makers to rethink the way they schedule games between Boxing Day and New Years Day, which typically results in every club playing three games in seven or eight days’ time.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Tuesday, Wenger didn’t hold back in criticizing the advantageous (or disadvantageous) certain teams have been given during the 2016-17 holiday season — quotes from the Guardian:
“Honestly I don’t really know if the Premier League masters the fixtures,” Wenger said, adding that “some teams have more luck than others” in regards to when their matches have taken place during this traditionally busy time of the season.”
“In 48 hours we go into a game with a big handicap on the fixture and I have to find fresh legs. In 20 years it is the most uneven Christmas period I’ve seen. The difference in rest period is unbelievable in terms of all the teams. It’s more we have sold the rights to TV for a lot of money so we have to accept TV chooses the games. But some teams have more luck than others.”
“We are privileged in our job. We get a lot of money to play football. Sometimes it goes for you and sometimes against you.”
Wenger’s criticism isn’t so much that Arsenal are forced to play games just 48 hours apart, but more so that certain teams, including his, come up against opposition with an extra day (or two) between games scheduled in close proximity to one another. Example: Bournemouth played 25 hours prior, on Saturday, to Arsenal’s game against Crystal Palace, on Sunday. 25 hours of additional rest and recovery is a fair bit of time when games come three and four days apart, but it’s an eternity with just one full day in between.