Wenger defends rest period after two-day break for Arsenal players

“We are in a society where everyone wants to control everything; I don’t understand this at all,” said a furious Wenger when asked about the reaction.

Image: EMPICS Sport

ARSENE WENGER SAID he “didn’t have to justify” his decision to give Arsenal players a two-day break this week as he hit out at the “unbelievable” criticism his move had received.

“It’s not necessarily fatigue, I don’t see why that’s suddenly a problem,” Wenger said today. “We have played without a break since December, we don’t have to justify that, it’s unbelievable.

“We are in a society where everyone wants to control everything; I don’t understand this at all. We are entitled to do unusual things. We came out of a heavy schedule. We had two days off, that’s all.

“Sometimes it’s not only physical, it’s mental, you’re under pressure all the time, there’s nothing unusual there,” the Frenchman explained. ”Sometimes when you’re under this kind of pressure it’s good to refresh.

“My opportunity is just to put the best team out who can win the game, it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team.”

Meanwhile Wenger added he expected Mesut Ozil to be fit for Premier League title contenders Arsenal’s match away to Stoke on Saturday. And he backed Ozil to be strong enough mentally to overcome the disappointment of his woeful penalty miss during the Gunners’ 2-0 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.

“He (Ozil) had a difficult game because he missed that penalty, and it was on his mind,” said Wenger.

One Arsenal player who has enjoyed rather more European success recently, albeit not with the London club, is Joel Campbell.

On loan to Olympiakos, the forward scored an excellent goal in the Greek side’s 2-0 Champions League win over Manchester United in Piraeus on Tuesday.

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“He was good (against Manchester United), convincing in going forward, he looks like he has adapted better to the physical side of the European game,” said Wenger.

“We knew always that he had the talent to create something special. He did rely a bit too much on that, but he has now been out at three different clubs, at Lorient, Sevilla, and Betis.

“Now he is at Olympiakos and he has learnt the toughness of the European leagues. I will decide (his future) later, but why not? We bought him to bring him here.”

- © AFP, 2014

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