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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Arsene Wenger frustrated by Premier League fixture list

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger believes his side have been hard done by

Arsene Wenger has hit out at the Premier League fixture list after his side's 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Arsenal play Hull, who have not played since 12 December, on Saturday after away games on Sunday and Wednesday.

"The guy who organised the fixtures this season must have come from a special school, because he's more intelligent than I am," said Wenger.

"I think the Premier League has a basic promise to organise the fixtures in a normal way."

Hull's week without a game was a result of Everton's Europa League commitments, and Wenger believes his side have been unfairly treated.


Arsenal won 2-1 at Liverpool on 13 December before taking on Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, during which they lost Cesc Fabregas to a hamstring injury that will keep him out of the next match at least.

"For sure, (the fixture organisers) have never played football, organising midweek games in a week when you have a Europa League programme," said Wenger.

"We have some teams who do not play at all. We play Sunday and Wednesday away and at home on Saturday against Hull, who have not played all week."

But the Premier League has insisted that unavoidable fixture congestion affects different clubs at different times.


"It is part and parcel of the ebbs and flows of the league," said a spokesperson.

"It is impossible to have it sat so that everybody plays at the same time all throughout the season because of policing reasons and other competitions."

Wenger also criticised Wolves boss Mick McCarthy's decision to field a weakened side against Manchester United.

McCarthy - with one eye on Sunday's game against fellow newly promoted side Burnley - made 10 changes to his side at Old Trafford, and saw his side fall to a 3-0 defeat.

"We will have to compete with Manchester United over 37 games instead of 38," said Wenger.

"I believe it is a problem for the international credibility of the Premier League, but it is not my problem, it is a Premier League problem."

But Burnley boss Owen Coyle refused to condemn McCarthy's decision, despite the fact his side will now face a relatively fresh Wolves team at the weekend.

"If that is the motivation for Wolves, to galvanise them, then so be it," said Coyle.

"Mick McCarthy is an outstanding manager and fantastic man, somebody I have a lot of time for.

"He has done a fantastic job at Wolves and does what he sees fit for Wolverhampton."

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see also
Everton 0-1 BATE
17 Dec 09 |  Europe
Burnley 1-1 Arsenal
16 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Wolves asked to explain selection
16 Dec 09 |  Wolves
McCarthy defends Wolves selection
16 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 3-0 Wolves
15 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Title race is wide open - Wenger
15 Dec 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger outburst sparks comeback
14 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
13 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Hull City 0-0 Blackburn
12 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Wenger at 60
22 Oct 09 |  Arsenal

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