Wenger hits out at fixture compilers

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger slammed the Premier League’s fixture

compilers and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy after his side drew at

Burnley.

The Gunners had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor after

Graham Alexander’s penalty cancelled out Cesc Fabregas’ early

strike.

The result was a setback to Arsenal’s title hopes and came 24

hours after rivals Manchester United had cruised to a 3-0 win

against a below-strength Wolves.

Wenger was frustrated at having to face tougher opposition

and was also angered that this weekend’s opponents, Hull, have not

played this week. Hull had originally been scheduled to face

Everton this week but the fixture was moved to November because of

the Merseyside club’s European commitments.

Wenger said: “I think the Premier League has a basic promise

to organise the fixtures in a normal way.

“The guy who organised the fixtures this season must have

come out of a special school, because he is more intelligent than I

am!

“For sure, he has never played football, organising midweek

games in a week when you have a Europa League. “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.

“It is also damaging for Burnley.” On the subject of

McCarthy’s team selection, the Frenchman was equally forthright.

Wenger said: “It is sad, but what can I do about that? I am

responsible for Arsenal. “We compete with Manchester United over 37

games instead of 38.

“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.”

In a further blow for the Gunners, Fabregas was forced off

with a hamstring injury before half-time and will definitely miss

the Hull clash.

Wenger was disappointed not to have followed up Sunday’s win

at Liverpool with another. “I always wanted six points,” he said.

“Really I expected more to drop two points at Liverpool than

here but I believe Burnley had a very good time tonight. “They did

not have one moment when they lost focus.”

Burnley also have a say in the Wolves debate as they now

travel to Molineux to face a presumably well-rested side on Sunday,

but boss Owen Coyle was unwilling to criticise.

Coyle said: “If that is the motivation for Wolves, to

galvanise them, then so be it. “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. “They have not been found wanting under his

tenure so far. He has made that decision and has a squad of players

that are good enough to wear the Wolverhampton shirt.

“We have to make sure we are ready, come the game on Sunday,

to give our best.”

Coyle was delighted with his side’s performance tonight in a

compelling encounter in which both sides had numerous chances.

Burnley twice hit the woodwork and Steven Fletcher had a goal ruled

out for offside after Manuel Almunia missed a cross in the second

half.

Coyle said: “It was a very valauble point, no doubt. Both

sides will feel at different stages they could have taken all

three.

“The lads showed real character, dug in and got back into the

game. They really took the game to Arsenal.

“I do believe if they continue to perform at that level they

will earn points in this league. Our goal is to maintain our

Premier League status and we need performances like that to make

sure we do.”