A Quick Question For Arsene Wenger

Here’s a quote from Arsene Wenger.

“We have come out of some very difficult games in the festive period. We played Everton, Man City and Chelsea and then at West Ham and at Newcastle. While we dropped some points, I felt it was more down to the heavy schedule and short recovery time we had than to the difficulty of the games.”

Ok Arsene. Firstly well done for managing a team to the top of the table at (just after) the halfway point in the season. Nothing in football would delight me more than to see Arsenal stay top for the remainder of the season. However, in relation to your quote above, perhaps you can explain this then:

We played on the 4th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 23rd, 26th and 29th of December. For the teams we dropped points against:

  • Man City played on the 4th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 26th and 28th.
  • Chelsea played on the 4th, 7th, 11th, 14th, 17th, 23rd, 26th and 29th.
  • Everton played on the 4th, 8th, 14th, 22nd, 26th and 29th.

So where in that did we have a heavier schedule and/or shorter recovery time than anyone we dropped points to?

Just asking.


38 thoughts on “A Quick Question For Arsene Wenger

  1. Why can’t you just enjoy the moment instead of drinking from a half empty glass all the time? Leave Wenger to do what he does best.

  2. A lot of people will slate you for this article but the truth is that if Wenger had strengthened more positions during the last transfer window instead of faffing around for 3 months then getting lucky on deadline day because UTD dragged their heals over Ozil. Then we wouldn’t need to worry about a busy schedule as we could have rotated players.
    He handled that window so badly, Negredo was in the shop window for months before Citeh moved for him, could have been the catalyst to have us 10 points clear.
    Negredo and Wanamena could have been snapped up and practically secured the title by now.

  3. Hell, i know your known as ‘Angry of Islington’ but your clutching at straws here,you have made no point,enlightened any ones life,contributed to any worthwhile debate,the basic fact that we dropped points vs our direct opponents could well be down to our difficult schedule, the fact the schedule of our opponents was equally difficult but they did not drop (as many) points might have been a more salient point,
    Guess Wenger could have told the guys ‘well you dropped points cos your a bit crap,’ forget winning the league and lets give ‘Angry’ something to really crow about……..

  4. If Ramsey hadn’t have got injured v West Ham then the substitutions that affected the game wouldn’t have taken place – Wenger Out

    • The Wenger Out Brigade – just have to admire your persistence, must be tough coping with Arsenal at the top of the table

      • Well said Dominic. This is a typical WOB article. No thought just attack. Just as the mainstream media begin to believe and make positive comments, the WOB/AAA come crawling out from under their rocks. We will achieve what ever we achieve despite these puerile fools.

  5. Phil, I don’t think Wenger meant heavier schedule in comparison with other teams. Most teams, competing in Europe, have played similar number of games. What he might have meant is that it is a heavy schedule (7 games in a month) and therefore less recovery time. This is one reason for the tiredness shown in some matches (particularly Man City 2nd half) and points dropped. Also remember, the 14-15 players pretty much have played all games. The question to Wenger should be why is there not a bigger and stronger squad to overcome these issues.

    • At this level if it is easy to get players to sit on the bench – but not top ones. To get top quality players to sit on the bench you need to pay huge wages and even then you will either get the ones with low ambition ( Fellaini) or you get ones who are ambitious and end up dissatisfied (eg Mata at Chelsea, Hernandez at Man Utd etc).

      Not easy at all.

      If all off you want to complain about Arsenal having too many mediocre players on the bench, well they are gone now, but the result is then you either have to pay huge wages to top players you dont use (Podolski at 110k per week on the bench, Cazorla at 70K per week but 2nd choice)- or accept having youths on the bench eg Gnabry, Akpom)

      Pick your poison – and stop whinging.

      • sorry mate, that’s no poison and surely no whinging. we can’t use same players for 60 odd matches not including internationals. people are paid top $ to manage the squad and it’s the difference we are seeing now. not until we start using modern method of squad acquisition and management emirates trophy cabinet will remain empty for a long while. we can see how many players are out now with niggles, this is no rocket science and definitely not whinging. the team with the fittest squad will end up with trophies.

      • If playing 4 games in 9-10 days, “fitness” is not what is being tested, as that is become the recovery capabilities of even an 18 year old, let alone 25-30 year old players. In any scenario, the team with the…MOST EXPENSIVE squad is likely to come out on top, as they will have two or even three lineups of top players.

        This is fairly simple. And s not a mistake – the league does this to give the big spenders and advantage. We have an advantage over Crystal Palace or Newcastle in this scenario – and Man City or Chelsea the same advantage over us. And it is all by design. Face up to that and accept it. All else is whinging.

  6. The Man City game was the one where our recovery time was severly compromised. We came back from Europe 24 hours after City did and there is little doubt that mental and physical tiredness played a major part in the errors that were evident that morning. We also have to face the fact that with their vastly superior budgets City and Chelsea are able to rotate and bring in players of equal quality far more than we are. I think our squad is catching up but it will be a while before we are on a par with them.

  7. Phil – not sure AW is making comparison between fixture schedules. Also be interesting you to list WHO the other sides played 4 teams in the hinge for a top 4/5 finish.

    @Steiner10 No-one should say we should have bought a player without being able to spell that player’s name properly, so back in your box. Ozil and Fellaini signed for Arsenal and United on the same day so even assuming United were ever in the race for the German (doubtful given what Ozil has said about being convinced about Arsenal by Wenger over the phone) they at best lost the race, or at worse signed Fellaini instead.
    We’ve seen at Spurs this year, and Wenger predicted it if you remember, what the dangers of signing too many new players are and it’s a fine balance. So far, with Arsenal top of the league, surely it’s difficult to argue he got the summer entirely wrong. There are ifs, buts, and maybes all over that argument but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    Disappointing that we’re top of the league and still people criticise. It’s almost as if it’s more important for some people that the manager does what they want/expect than Arsenal have chance of success. If you want your club to spend loads of can on loads of players, go support spurs.

  8. Phil,
    A lot of people will slate you for this article
    They will say (or maybe think) that it is backward-looking, lacking insight, largely pointless
    And maybe, if they are looking for insightful forward-looking analysis of Arsenal’s prospects for the rest of the season, they may not come rushing back to your site.
    That is, of course, their prerogative
    Just as it is yours to write what you want

  9. I hav a quiker qxtn 4 u , hw many of dm playd everton napoli nd city in a week? Dnt b ridiculous at tyms. And STEINER hw did united drag their heels over an ozil that was almost completed before monday. Dnt b childish

  10. Of course Phil will get some flak for this article. Quite rightly too as it’s a pretty silly point to attempt to make. It isn’t only about the number of fixtures but the opposition that each side faces and the relative importance of the games within that time frame. Our games against Everton, Napoli, City and Chelsea were a tough sequence and probably placed greater demands on our resources than those our opponents faced. Not that Wenger claimed that we had a heavier schedule – just that it was heavy enough for us not to be quite as fresh as our opponents when compared to the demands placed on their resources. As a pertinent question for Wenger the appropriate response from him just calls for use of the delete button.

  11. Week after week we see ‘bad’ refereeing ignored by those who run the game and by bloggers. Why is this?
    Its not just Arsenal matches that get the wrong end of appalling decisions but West Brom against Chelski and Villa’s game against chelski and just recently Liverpool’s game and that is only three other games.

    What can you tell us about this Angry of Islington?
    Arsenal are on top despite the referees.

  12. what is the point of this article? the 2 questions you ask about having less or more recovery time than our competitors is something you have asked for as an expansion of the explanation of AW’s statement. but the original statement can be seen as true and correct. those that did well in this period had heavy scedules but could use other factors such as wealth for instance to negate the effects of the heavy schedule. feels like ur diggin for the sake of rather than a cause

      • if you smell coffee and it is coffee, then why not call it coffee? Oh sorry, it has to be name calling to make sense.

    • angry asked the question relating to our competitors. AW wenger just gave it as a statement as to why we didnt acheive the results we wanted. if you noticed all the managers in the top half of the table have given the fixture schedule as an excuse before or after acheiving good or bad results at one time or another this season. I remember moyes at the start and mourihino and peligrini have all moaned about at some point. I cant see why its such a big deal. but if you insist im an apologist cause I cant find fault in the statement.

      • Fair assessment gee but having fair assessment does not make any fan a moaner, hater or doomer. We all support d team for good and bad. That should not stop fair comment. Happy New Year to all and massive thumping of Cardiff tomorrow. I’ll be there! 😀

  13. Firstly, its brilliant that we are where we are after a difficult December fixture list. Our last outing against Newcastle said an awful lot about this group of players and their relationship with the manager. We can argue over any issue we choose and any conclusions we come to won’t influence the outcome of our season. Our December results gives a fairly accurate indication of where we lie in the greater scheme of things. While some can argue that fatigue , too short a recovery time and injuries mitigated against us at City , l would suggest that the depth of quality available to their manager was the difference between us . Similarly against Chelsea the result told it’s own story, they are not as strong as City but still stronger than us. What about Everton, WHU, and Newcastle then ? Surely we have a better squad than them ? Well we have , but football isn’t played on pages ( City v Wigan ? ) . The point is that football is about players and managers some good some not so good but it’s also about money , how much you have and how you spend it. Chelsea and more recently Man City have effectively bought championships. When you have enough cash to buy whom you please you don’t need a manager just a list of the best players around the world and the back page of the mirror ( Abramovitch ! ) Arsenal are effectively a third place team that is fighting above its weight. We are however lucky to have an excellent manager who,when he gets the players he feels he can work with will make things happen. I have been an ardent critic of AW in the past and have called on him to quit and will do so again if needs be. But at least I as an Arsenal fan can say that anything that was won by this club was always hard and honestly earned. Not bought by chancers and dodgy ” businessmen ” . Thank you Arsene Wenger for maintaining the clubs values and dignity through testing times. Now go out there and spend a few quid on a striker for the rest of the season . Happy new year to you all.

  14. How is that a critical comment of bad mistake by a referee can bring the game into disrepute but the bad mistake of the referee does not bring the game into disrepute?

  15. You obviously didn’t quite understand what AW was talking about here. He wasn’t referring to the dates, he was referring to the opponents AND the dates. Everyone had to face a similar fixture congestion through the festive period, not everyone had to play Everton, City, Chelsea, Newcastle away and West Ham away (five undoubtedly difficult games) in quick succession (you can also throw the annoying match against Napoli in the mix). Although I was not at all satisfied from the points we gathered from the first 3 matches (I wanted a minimum total of 5, we only collected 2), AW makes a valid point here. Of course everyone has to play everyone, but it would be best if the difficult fixtures were more “spread out” in the calendar (and certainly not allowing hardly 2 days of rest inbetween).

    In any case, after everyone played everyone once, we are top of the league, which is hugely satisfying. In my opinion we are still not favourites to win the title, but (along with City and Chelsea) we are contenders and nobody can doubt that anymore. That’s a huge improvement from the last 2 years of total obscurity. At last the club really moves “forward” and that’s the most important thing about this year.

  16. 1. City had 3 days rest and played at home which if you know the stats gives them a huge advantage.
    2. We played EFC CFC MCFC with Napoli travel in middle.
    City rotated larger number of players.

    • I don’t know the stats – do you mean there’s a statistical advantage in playing at home, in playing at home after playing in Europe, or in having three days rest?

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