Hot topics close

Mikel Arteta Blasts Premier League Fixture List As "Not Fair" On Arsenal In Bizarre Rant

Arteta's suggestion that the fixture list favors the likes of Spurs, Man Utd and West Ham over his side is inaccurate.

Mikel Arteta went on a bizarre rant about the Premier League fixture list after his Arsenal side lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool on Wednesday.

The defeat left Arsenal still occupying fourth place but gave hope to their rivals in the race for the final Champions League spot.

Arsenal now go to Aston Villa at 12.30pm UK time on Saturday. That will be the Gunners' third game in seven days. They beat Leicester 2-0 at home last Sunday.

Games are often moved by the Premier League upon requests from UK broadcasters.

"Thank you so much to the Premier League for doing that," Arteta fumed, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"And they've done it again when we have to play Chelsea and Manchester United.

"So if they want to give them any advantage, I say to them today: 'Thank you so much for doing that'.

"It is always it's BT, it's Sky, it is this, it's that.

"But the one that is affected is Arsenal and the only thing that I care [about] and we care [about] is Arsenal. And for Arsenal it is not fair."

Mikel Arteta pictured on the touchline during Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Liverpool in March 2022

Mikel Arteta pictured on the touchline during Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Liverpool

IMAGO/COLORSPORT/Ashley Western

Part of Arteta's rant referred to next month when Arsenal visit Chelsea at 7.45pm on Wednesday April 20, before hosting Man United at 12.30pm on Saturday April 23.

While that may be a testing few days for his team, Arteta's suggestion that the fixture list is especially harsh on Arsenal is without foundation.

The reality is that Arsenal have played significantly fewer games than all of their main top-four rivals this season, with Man United, Tottenham and West Ham all additionally competing in UEFA competitions.

Furthermore, United have played three games in seven days three times so far this season, while Tottenham have done so four times and West Ham five times.

To make Arsenal's fixture list even lighter they are already out of both domestic cups.

Arsenal do have more Premier League games remaining than their rivals, but that is partly down to their controversial request to postpone a game at Tottenham in January.

The north London derby had been due to take place on January 16 but Arsenal asked the Premier League to call it off at the eleventh hour because they had several first-team players unavailable.

Only one of those players, Martin Odegaard, had been missing due to COVID though. The other absentees were because of injury, suspension and call-ups to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Later in January, the Premier League changed its rules to avoid similar requests for postponements.

Now a club must have at least four positive cases if it wishes to cite COVID to request the postponement of a Premier League game.

Similar shots