Why Wenger’s doubts forecast a worrying reality

Arsene Wenger is never one to shy away from controversy and whether you love him or hate him; his comments regarding the squad rules implemented by the Premier League offer a worrying reality.

Some people may discard Wenger’s comments, coming to the assumption that his protective nature over his players and the club would naturally evoke such a damning response but when what he has to say is carefully dissected, the policy may well leave clubs involved in European ties at a disadvantage in the domestic season.

Wenger’s comments that “Some teams in England play 40 games, some play 65. That is 25 games different. If you play 65 games you need more players” and although I, for one, have at times grown tired of Wenger’s petulant complaints, he does have a point.

He is right to point towards the case of Stephen Ireland, who is now on the fringes at Eastlands and the way he can engineer himself out his contract and demand compensation in the region of £2million.

Clause IV, section 15 of Fifa’s regulations which states “An established professional who has, in the course of the season, appeared in fewer than 10% of the official matches in which his club has been involved may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause” will encourage agents to become acquisitive.

And although Fifa judge each case individually, it would be easy for a player to argue he has not had the chance to play if not included in the 25 man squad.

It is also simple for the Premier League to describe the comments as “emotive” and wave away the Frenchmen’s claims but he does offer a poignant argument that a cold reality may emerge amongst the new systems plaudits.

The English dominance on the European stage may subside in fear of domestic failings, and perhaps Wenger assumes such a concept because of the pressure on him to delivery Arsenal’s first trophy since the FA Cup in 2005.

The inflexibility of such a ruling has clearly infuriated the Gunners boss and should he sign somebody before the window closes or in January he must then replace an existing member of the 25 maturing men he hopes can come of age.

His argument certainly provides a differing insight into an important subject with regard to the national team, with Wenger feeling the system is flawed due to the parity between the amount of foreigners in La Liga and that ultimately it is “down to the coaching”.

Wenger must now try and adapt to the system, instead focusing on his Arsenal side mounting a serious title challenge following their somewhat fortunate 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.


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