Football Football

Wenger rues lengthy tours


WENGER-ARMSLONDON, July 25- Arsene Wenger has added his voice to the growing criticism surrounding lengthy pre-season tours, but admits there are some commercial responsibilities clubs have to honour.

The Gunners are currently in New York for the first phase of their pre-season preparations, before leaving for a training camp in Austria and then returning to London for the Emirates Cup.

And while Wenger understands the need for traveling across the globe as a club, he remains concerned by its effect on player fitness and focus.

“These training camps in the modern game are decided for commercial reasons and because of the extent of popularity of the club,” he told a press-conference in New York.

“We’ve never been to the States before and I was very happy to come to New York – a city I love.

“But for purely football reasons, the best thing to do is stay and not travel too much because of the time you waste and the jet-lag you suffer is not ideal.

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“This season is a post-World Cup year and very difficult because the time is very short between the final, which was on July 13, and the start of the new season on August 16.

“And compulsory, from FIFA, you are obliged to give four weeks’ holiday to the players, so I don’t know how all that works together. It looks, to me, impossible.”