English Premiership

Wenger hits back at Mourinho

2014-01-27 19:10
Arsene Wenger (File)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted on Monday his team were not favoured by the fixture programme following comments from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho the Gunners had a certain "influence" over the schedule.

"It is simple -- look at the fixtures and analyse it. I trust you will give an objective view," Wenger said.

"You will see Arsenal are behind all the other teams. In the last five years all the objective studies that have been made show Arsenal had less rest than any other team in the top four," the Frenchman added.

"That is fact. It has nothing to do with my opinion. It is an independent company that made (the study) that shows Arsenal had less rest than any other team in the top level."

Wenger's comments came after reports Arsenal had commissioned their own internal analysis of their fixture schedule.

The Gunners boss cited a hectic pre-Christmas programme when they played Manchester City on a Saturday lunchtime following a middweek Champions League trip to Napoli, both of which saw Arsenal beaten.

Mourinho's remarks about Arsenal's fixtures came after Wenger criticised Chelsea's decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United during the January transfer window.

Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League, two points ahead of third-placed Chelsea with Manchester City in between them.

But Wenger, speaking ahead of Arsenal's trip to Southampton on Tuesday, was adamant his dispute with Mourinho was not part of any deliberate attempt to unsettle the Portuguese manager.

"It is not mind games. It is opinions," Wenger said.

"But I don't live with opinions, I live with facts. and the facts don't depend on me or Mourinho.

"It is depending on objective analysis. A day is 24 hours and you count how many times you have rest between games.

"I didn't make the study, it was made by an independent company. I cannot influence that."

Fixture congestion is likely to become an issue again when Arsenal play Premier League rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup on the weekend of February 15-16.

The tie will come just days before Arsenal's Champions League last 16 first-leg clash with Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium and shortly after key Premier League games against both Liverpool away and Manchester United at home.

"It is an interesting (FA Cup) draw and a difficult one; we have a little advantage by playing at home," said Wenger, whose side are looking to win their first major trophy since 2005.

"Overall it's a great difficulty and we will try and absorb it and come out in a positive way.

"(There are) plenty of big games. It means the squad will need to be highly focused, (it is) a massive challenge and we are confident we can do that."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

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
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

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.