Arteta joins Guardiola in slamming football chiefs

21-04-2024 01:10 PM

Ammon News - Mikel Arteta warned the football authorities that the welfare of his players is in danger as Arsenal overcame Wolves to return back to the top of the Premier League.

Leandro Trossard’s unorthodox strike in the first half set up the victory, with Martin Odegaard adding a second goal late into stoppage time.

The Gunners are now one point clear of Manchester City, with a better goal difference — but having played a game more.

The result followed two defeats on the bounce, including crashing out of the Champions League quarter-finals to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Though Arteta had his team’s congested schedule at the front of his mind. Arsenal have played two games in four days — and will now play rivals Chelsea on Tuesday.

‘It’s not about us, Pep or myself, it’s about the wellbeing of the players,’ he said. ‘When you compete in European competition, every team has to compete in the same way.

‘You cannot have a team that hasn’t played for seven days, or three days before, and has more recovery time and then you have to play in the Premier League and the FA Cup.

‘It is not right. If you look in any angle, it’s not right. If you want to protect, let’s talk about the players and the protagonists.

‘Let’s protect the players and do everything we can to give them the maximum time to help them recover and perform and do the show that they do every week.’

For the first time in their league history, Arsenal have kept six consecutive clean sheets away from home.

He added: ‘The boys were unbelievable, the staff was unbelievable. It’s a joy to work with them.

‘We realised that if you want to be in the big competitions fighting for the Champions League, fighting for the Premier League and the level that requires, you have to do something special.

‘You have to be something special and love to compete and expose yourself when it’s needed to get the outcome that you want. I thought the boys did that really well today.’

Man City boss Guardiola hit out at the 66-hour gap between Wednesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid and the FA Cup semi-final against Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea, which City won 1-0.

During his post-match press conference, he asserted that he may not partake in activities with broadcasters, given their congested schedule.

He said: 'For broadcasters [shrugs]. Don't ask me to do extra things after because we're not going to do it.'

Immediately after the match, Guardiola gave a passionate rant during BBC coverage where he labelled the fixture scheduling as 'unacceptable'.

‘It’s unacceptable,’ the City boss said. ‘Because I’ve won I have the courage to tell you. For the health of the players, it’s not normal. I don’t understand how we survived today.

‘Why play today and not tomorrow, when Coventry, Chelsea, and United didn’t play in the midweek?

‘Why not have one more day for the health of the players? Tell me how you prepare this final against Chelsea in the best moment of the season. How? It’s impossible. There’s no chance.’

Daily Mail

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