Arsenal, Chelsea


By Tom Finn

August 16, 2014


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is of the opinion that the Premier League season should have kicked off a week later in order to have given more time to rest to those players who took part in this summer’s World Cup.

The Gunners had 11 players in Brazil including German’s Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski who have now all just returned to training after having won the tournament.

“We could have done with one week later in all the competitions,” said Wenger.

With Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho also claiming that World Cup fatigue has stopped him from playing his preferred 11.

The German trio of Özil, Mertesacker and Podolski will not play in Saturdays opener against Crystal Palace and are also likely to miss Tuesday nights Champions League play-off first leg at Beskitas.

Blues boss Mourinho meanwhile claims that six of his squad will not be available for the match against Burnley on Monday night due to World Cup fatigue.

While speaking to the BBC Mourinho said: “The final of the World Cup was on July 13; the start of the Premier League season is August 16. If you want to give some holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very short.

“If you don’t give players enough holiday or enough build-up in their preparation and play them straight away, then they get injured.”

Brazil trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires, Belgian pair Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, and Germany’s Andre Schurrle have missed most of Chelsea’s pre-season training with Mourinho adding: “Are they ready individually? No.

“But we have to be ready as a team for Monday.

“Can it be a team of six guys not ready? No.”

“This is modern football. It’s going in this tendency – more matches, more competitions, less time to work, even not enough time to have a real holiday for bodies and brains that top football players need.

“There’s not enough time.”