Arsenal star hits out at fixture schedule

Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta has hit out at the Premier League and TV companies for scheduling their game with Manchester City just 60 hours after their Champions League clash with Napoli, according to the Telegraph.

Arsene Wenger’s team only returned from their draining Champions League fixture in Naples in the early hours of Thursday morning, and are set to travel to Manchester today ahead of a 12.45pm kick off with Manuel Pellegrini’s side tomorrow, due to the match being screened live on BT Sport.

Manchester City hold the advantage of being able to play on Tuesday night, as Pellegrini rotated seven of his first team regulars for the trip to Bayern Munich with City already having qualified.

The likes of Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Alvaro Negredo are set to head into the top of the table clash with a full weeks rest behind them, whilst Wenger’s sides preparation will revolve around being able to recover physically.

“The mood is fine, the recovery time is very tight,” said Arteta. “I don’t understand why we play Sunday afternoon [against Everton], Wednesday evening [against Napoli], get back at 4am and then play again on Saturday morning in Manchester.

“It will just be about recovery. It’s not ideal. We will have a late warm down, try to get our legs back for Friday, travel on Friday and be as well prepared as we can. They will be ready for us because they rested seven or eight players in Munich.”

Arsene Wenger has bemoaned the fixture schedule frequently in the past, and whilst Arteta acknowledges is it hardly ideal, he insists the team cannot use it as an excuse.

“We have to be ready, no excuses,” he said. “We want to win there and we have to be prepared. We know it can be a big statement if we get a good result there.”