We’ve all been having a good chuckle at Rafael Benitez’s expense following his pre-planned speech about Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. Liverpool have failed to win since and United have gone top of the league, whilst still having a game in hand.
Arsene Wenger has got involved today though, surprisingly. He has no advantage to gain by getting involved in the mind games as Arsenal’s title challenge is dead in the water. They should be more focussed on getting back in to the top four. So, why is he sticking his neck out? Because he has some ‘facts’ to share?
“I feel that next week Benitez has a case if you look at the way the fixtures are arranged,” said Wenger. “You can say that Manchester United have been extremely advantaged, unexplainably advantaged. But that is what we have to cope with. It is difficult to explain why one team plays on Tuesday and the others are all on Wednesday. It is unfair competition. Next week the fixtures are advantaged for Manchester United, who before had a point against Liverpool – I supported them when they had a case. But this week, I think Benitez has a case. Will it have an advantage on the global season? I don’t know, you would have to analyse that better. It is not Manchester United’s fault, it is not Liverpool’s fault. It is the organisers of the fixtures. They have a case to explain.”
So United play in the Cup on the Saturday, then the League on the Tuesday. Arsenal play in the Cup on the Sunday, then the League on Wednesday. That seems fair, no? When you look at the comparative fixtures, Arsenal actually have more time between their weekend fixture and their midweek one, given that United have a late kick-off on the weekend and Arsenal have an earlier one. Liverpool also play their Cup game on the Sunday and their League game on the Wednesday.
Let’s not forget United have played a midweek game as well this week in the League Cup, so it’s not as if we’re going in to this with fresher legs than anyone else.
“Manchester United play on Tuesday at West Brom, after they play against Everton who will have played on Sunday, again on Wednesday night,” Wenger continued. “I do not think you need to be a specialist in football to understand that in this case it is an unfair advantage for Manchester United. Will it have an advantage on the global season? I don’t know, you would have to analyse that better. It is not Manchester United’s fault, it is not Liverpool’s fault. It is the organisers of the fixtures. They have a case to explain.”
So, that’s like the break Liverpool just enjoyed, right? They played Stoke City on Saturday 10th, then had until Monday 19th to play Everton. So because United get a Monday game a week later, we are now being given an unfair advantage over Liverpool? Surely we’re just being given exactly the same advantage Liverpool were last week?
What the fuck is Wenger on? Shut the fuck up eh before you start sounding as mental as Benitez.