The Premier League will be starting a week earlier this season, and Arsene Wenger is absolutely furious with the decision, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Our players will be getting less holiday than they are used to, and with the schedule packed as it is, it’s certainly a blow.
Burnout has visibly impacted us in the recent past, with our slow start to the 2014/15 campaign put largely down to the lack of a break following the World Cup.
Wenger has voiced his displeasure at the situation, and in particular the fact that there was no consultation prior to the decision being made.
“I’m not a fan of starting earlier because I think it’s a massive mistake for England to start one week earlier,” Wenger said.
“You have no Christmas break and I don’t know how they came up with that idea that one game less at Christmas deserves one week less holiday, especially when you have the European Championships after the season.
“It’s completely unexplainable and it’s a decision, once again, that on a technical side we were not consulted on at all. These kind of decisions are taken in meetings where we are not involved.”
The Christmas period is always the busiest in the Premier League, and one less game is unlikely to change that much. It certainly doesn’t seem worth sacrificing a week of rest for, and it means our stars will no doubt be less prepared for the gruelling season ahead.
“In the FIFA rules, you have to give four weeks holiday to your players,” Wenger continued.
“Soon, if you want to do that, you will start the season with the youth team because all your players should be on holiday when you start the season.
“The rest for a player, the natural rest, every doctor tells you that for the bones it takes six weeks to heal out completely. You had that in England before but any player doesn’t get that anymore at the top level. They get two to three weeks.”
We will presumably be starting the season without Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean only recently returning to the club following his involvement in the Copa America. He played no part in our hugely successful pre-season, and may take some time to bed back in.
Wenger is right to be annoyed at the situation, but hopefully it doesn’t impact us too much – as we look more capable than ever of challenging for the title.