Manager could’ve done with more time to prepare.
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that his side are “short” on preparation for the new season, report the Mirror, as the Gunners prepare to face managerless Crystal Palace in their opening game of the 2014/15 season in Saturday evening.
The Gunners have been hit particularly hard by the fact that three of their most important players, German trio Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, returned to pre-season training particularly late after winning the World Cup under Joachim Low.
Wenger suggested in his pre-match press conference that giving a short break to those players who featured in the World Cup has left them short on preparation for the new campaign:
“The final of the World Cup was on 13 July, the start of the Premiership is 16 August. If you want to give some holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very short.”
“I think we could have done with one week later for all the competitions – the Champions League and the Premiership.”
Despite their supposed lack of preparation, however, the Gunners will still be clear favourites when they host Palace on Saturday, with the Eagles still reeling from the decision of manager Tony Pulis to leave the club less than 48 hours before the big kick-off.