Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arteta stands by criticism of the Premier League for unfair schedule

Off the back of Wednesday’s comments that the Premier League and its broadcasters are subjecting Arsenal to an ‘unfair’ schedule, Mikel Arteta was again pressed on the matter ahead of his side’s trip to Aston Villa.

Having voiced his annoyance that the Gunners are twice going to play league matches on a Saturday lunchtime having already played in the Wednesday evening slot, he recognised its an issue that teams in Europe often face but drew attention to Arsenal being the only side to have back-to-back league encounters arranged that way.

“I do,” said Arteta when asked if he stands by his comments after the Liverpool defeat.

“I’m talking about the Premier League. I heard some comments about it being that way when you are in Europe, it’s nothing new, it’s nothing new to me.

“I’m not comparing Europe, I’m comparing the Premier League and how we schedule the games when you’re in the Premier League. When you’re in Europe it’s a different story but I’m comparing the Premier League and it’s very different.

“We’re the only team that has been scheduled like that,” he added when the April double-header with Chelsea and Manchester United was raised.

“I’m not talking again about Europe because some of those teams are not going to be involved in Europe.”

When it was put to Arteta that clubs willingly take the money from the broadcasters before complaining about the way things are scheduled, he responded:

“There is no question about that, they can do it [arrange the matches when they want]. It’s good. They can do it, we have to accept it, I accept it, we’re going to be playing, that’s not a problem.

“It’s how can we do it fairer and to have equality in every game. Again, this is out of Europe, Europe is not counting here, so the Europe talk is out of this conversation. It’s nothing to do with Europe.

He added: “The first thing is to protect the players and we [the managers] mentioned that many times – ‘Can we please avoid the Wednesday night, Saturday morning and travelling and other things?’

“I understand, they have the commitments and TV and we all understand that needs. You do it once [schedule Arsenal Wednesday and Saturday] but don’t do it twice.

“We still have to put the fixture with Sp*rs [in the diary], for the third time, are we going to be the only ones to do it? You don’t want to be silly there.

On whether he’s concerned about the potential timing of the north London derby at Sp*rs, he said: “Yes. Because I don’t know [when it will be] and we’re not going to be deciding and it’s going to be very important.

He went on to make clear that he’s not had any conversation with the authorities about the timing.

“That’s nothing to do with me,” he said. “It’s the club that has to arrange those conversations. Hopefully [we’ll get a say], I doubt it, but hopefully.”

Interestingly, according to the Mirror, BT Sport have agreed that when they want to feature a side who’ve played in the Champions League on Wednesday in their regular 12.30pm Saturday slot, they will instead allow the game to take place at 7.45pm in the evening to allow for extra recovery.

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Johnny 4 Hats

You can’t really train on Thursday after the Liverpool game and Friday may well be a travel day if you are away from home. So for the Prem to give Mikel zero prep time for this massive game is just wrong.

How hard would it have been for us to play Leicester last Saturday and put this game on Sunday? Really poor. Totally with Arteta on this.

Johnny 4 Hats

Not that I’m saying it’s a conspiracy. I think you need basic intelligence to create a conspiracy.


How does that saying go again? Don’t attribute to malice what you can easily explain with ignorance? It’s like that but instead of ignorance it’s naked greed.

Johnny 4 Hats

Haha! I like that one. Yeah, I’ve got people in my life who are bang into the conspiracy stuff. And I’m always like “If you think Biden and Boris are capable of this stuff, then you are giving them way, way, way more credit than they deserve”.

Denver Gunner

Too funny and too true


Hanlon’s razor? Though that’s with stupidity, which would also be applicable!

Johnny 4 Hats

Just remembered that Leicester played in Europe last Thursday. Maybe it’s not always as easy as it seems…

Eazy Deezy

Yeah it’s shitty to schedule it this way.

For Villa, I imagine we will train on Friday, and then fly on Friday night? So we should get one training session in


Leicester played in the Europa the Thursday before, that fixture could only have happened on a Sunday.

It would’ve made sense just to move the villa fixture to a Saturday evening or the Sunday. We’ve been screwed here imo. And it’s happening again when we play Chelsea and Man United.


It’s very smart of Arteta to take the journalists away from questioning our form or whether we can mentally recover after the loss and beat Villa by playing these little mind games. I think he’s becoming a better manager everyday 👍🏼👍🏼


Stop bitching, Arteta. You’re giving the players an excuse not to perform in Birmingham on Saturday. If we were still in the cup games then we would have a fixture pile-up anyway. Top clubs have to manage two or even three games a week all the time. Just get on with it.

Massive match against Villa now: having lost to Liverpool we need 3 points to bounce back.

2-1 to the Arsenal is my forecast,


Coming from Fatgooner

Santi's Thigh Grab

Your reading comprehension is poor.


Hmmm, with the PL, the FA, and all these other pricks, you have to complain, otherwise, they’ll keep doing it. That’s why Arteta’s not the only manager that complains about such decisions. And as you will have seen, we play with high intensity throughout the game, and the important thing is to protect the players. he has said he would prefer to play every 3-4 days, the rhythm and growth is much better, but Wednesday night to first slot on Saturday, it’s obviously not fair.


I’m in favour of these kinds of statements – along with pointing out that referees are consistently inconsistent in particular ways and that FFP is broken. Caveat is that statements have to be followed up by lobbying in the league’s decision-making rooms (probably by Edu).

But if you don’t point it out, it all acquires a veneer of “fair play”/”swings and roundabouts”/”evens out over the course of a season” which is very far from the truth.

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