English Premiership

Wenger fumes at Belgian FA

2012-03-02 16:16
Arsene Wenger

London  - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering lodging a formal complaint with the Belgian FA, saying they "forced" defender Thomas Vermaelen to play in the friendly against Greece on Wednesday even though he was injured.

The normally diplomatic and urbane Frenchman was uncharacteristically forthright when asked if the centre half, who has come through a series of injuries, would be fit for Saturday's Premier League match at Liverpool.

Wenger said the defender was doubtful and added: "It looks like Belgium has made a decision which I still do not understand and we will look to see if we can put a complaint in."

Speaking to reporters at the club's training ground, he continued: "Firstly they forced the player to travel, then they forced him to play 90 minutes after being injured and had a centre back on the bench who did not play at all, in a friendly game knowing they do not even go to the European Championship.

"For me, that is difficult to understand."

Wenger also said Robin van Persie was a doubt for Saturday's game after he played for the opening 45 minutes for the Netherlands against England at Wembley on Wednesday.

Van Persie has been in outstanding form for Arsenal, scoring 29 times this season, but nursed a groin injury throughout the week.

"The friendlies are becoming more and more difficult to accept for everybody," Wenger said.

"I was always in favour of using the players for official games and I never asked any player not to go 100 percent for his country when it is a qualifier or a big competition, but the friendlies are becoming more and more difficult, especially in this period."

Arsenal, like most of the leading European clubs, have a tough schedule between now and the end of season in May and Wenger said the calendar makes it "impossible" to get the best out of players for both club and country.

"For us it is vital we do not lose the players now. If you go into a period like that with players already touched (by injury) you have more chances to lose the players," he said

"The Holland manager (Bert van Marwijk) hasn't spoken to me, but he knew Robin was injured because he said despite his groin problem, he will play him, it is the same with the Belgium manager (Georges Leekens).

"We are the only team in the world who had that schedule so it is very difficult to understand that our players had to go injured to Greece and play 90 minutes for Belgium. That's frankly not defendable. It is disrespectful to the players as well as me."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

EPL: Transfer watch

2014-07-29 00:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @05:00
  • SS5
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @05:59
  • SS7
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
Vote

How will Manchester United fare in next season's English Premiership under Louis van Gaal?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.