Talk Through His Arsene

Monday, 10 March 2003, 0:00
2 mins read

Home >Story Index> He’ll Be Talking Out Of His Arsene

But just how hectic is the schedule? They play 38 Premiership matches, They played one in the Worthington Cup, four so far in the FA Cup (at least one, possibly three more to come) and 10 so far in the Champions League (2 more guaranteed with a maximum of 7 more) That is an absolute maximum of 63 games. Now take a side in the play-off final in the Nationwide League who make it to the third round of both competitions. They would play 49 games in the league plus 6 in the two cup competitions plus a couple in the LDV (as a minimum) and you are not far off. And let’s not forget that we are not talking about squads at lower levels with 20 internationals plus and a reserve team that could beat half the Premiership teams.
Arsene Wenger is a manager who I admire but he has the knack of talking out of the wrong orifice. His missed incidents when they involve wrong doings by his team are legendary but this time he has delivered an insult at every Nationwide League team that is fighting survival financially.
Arsenal chairman David Dein says “I understand the needs of the smaller clubs and you can take the example of Stevenage earning a replay against Newcastle a few years ago. But it is an issue that we must sort out.” Wenger however is more to the point “I would rather finish the games on the night, from the stage where we come in at the Third Round. The clubs might not vote for it because it makes money but it is difficult to play all the fixtures anyhow and then to get the replays in.”
FA Cup ties are a major source of income for anyone at our level. I still believe Farnborough Town should have played their original tie against Arsenal at home, taken the Sky money and hoped for a replay – Stevenage managed that against Newcastle remember.
Also imagine our games against West Ham. We would have been denied the excitement of the replay had Wenger had his way. And whose to say that we would have beaten them at Upton Park (after extra time and penalties) – I think we would have but you never know.
I am getting fed up of these people claiming that they cannot do this or they cannot do that. Take a professional tennis player at Wimbledon. A male player can play upwards of three hours (one on one) one day and then have to do the same the next yet Wenger believes his players cannot play two games a week as it is tiring. Anyone of my generation will know that their father’s refer to “Playing Christmas Day and Boxing Day” and yet Wenger, Ferguson et al will moan that they have to play two games in three days and another five days later.
The FA must not listen to this claptrap. The FA Cup has over 100 years of traditiion and I thought it was sad enough when they scrapped second replays and the first replays being the midweek after the original game. If they want to make changes how about the ‘big boys’ joining at the first round stage and get them to more places like Team Bath!! This is still one of the best cup competitions in the world and no Frenchman should be allowed to change that.
The FA Cup is just fine as it is – isn’t it??

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