Arsene Wenger brands preseason preparation “impossible”

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

By MATTHEW LEVINE

Harrison, N.J.— Arsenal are visiting New York for the first time ever, but they will be without several of their stars. After the World Cup, players are on a break to rest before the upcoming Barclays Premier League season.

“This season is a post World Cup year and it’s also a very difficult time, it’s very short. Don’t forget the World Cup Final was on the 13th of July and the start of the Premiership is on the 16th of August. Compulsory from FIFA, you’re obliged to give four weeks holiday to the players,”  said Arsene Wenger during a press conference at Red Bull Arena on Thursday afternoon.

“I don’t know how all that works together because to me it looks impossible.”

Arsenal are without their German contingent – Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil – after they lifted the World Cup. Olivier Giroud and new signings Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez are also unavailable.

It is not a problem exclusive with Arsenal, but all the bigger clubs around the world noted Wenger.

“With the World Cup being very late, the post year World Cup is always very difficult for the big clubs because all the players have been away,” he said.

While the club may be a bit shorthanded, Arsenal in the United States is extremely rare. The last time the Gunners were in America was in 1989 in a match against Independiente in Miami, Florida.

As rare as it is for Arsenal to be in the U.S., it is only recently the club has been doing preseason tours, preferring quieter locations and typically Austria. For this year, the club will get a taste of both.

Wenger isn’t looking at the game in New York as a training camp, but simply a one-off. The club will then head to familiar, cozier surroundings in Austria after they return back to London. However, he explained the reason behind the clubs previous trips into Asia and now coming to New York.

“Sometimes in the modern game the training camps are decided for commercial reasons as well as the extent of the popularity of the club because we have many fans in Asia of course. We traveled to Asia and we were never in the States and I was very happy to come to New York, especially it’s a city that I love,” said Wenger.

Certainly a reunion with Thierry Henry was another draw to help bring Arsenal to the U.S. It has been rumored this could very well be the former Gunners last season although Henry has yet to reveal his future plans.

The game between the New York Red Bulls and Arsenal should provide a nice moment for Henry and a chance for the younger Red Bulls to play in front of a sell out crowd and a chance for Arsenal to begin to round into fitness.

However, Wenger would ultimately rather not to do much traveling to play in these types of games.

“For purely football reasons, the best for football is to stay and not travel too much because the time you waste with jet lag is of course not ideal.”