Stoke’s Tony Pulis hits out at ‘moaning’ Arsene Wenger
Stoke’s last midweek fixture was a 4-0 loss to Portsmouth in October
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has dismissed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s concerns over fixture congestion and weakened teams as self-interested.
“Wenger is moaning like a drain because it doesn’t suit Arsenal,” said Pulis.
Phil Brown, whose Hull side have had a free week to prepare for their match against the Gunners on Saturday, has also responded to Wenger’s complaints.
“At the top some teams can boast 50 or 60 players. I can’t see a problem with two or three games in a week,” he said.
Frenchman Wenger hit out at the Premier League fixture list after playing away games at Liverpool and Burnley before the home game with Hull at the weekend.
He also criticised Wolves manager Mick McCarthy’s decision to leave out several first-choice players for Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat against Manchester United suggesting that it damaged the credibility of the Premier League.
United’s victory allowed them to pull six points points clear of third-placed Arsenal, a gap that reduced by one point after Wenger’s side drew 1-1 with Burnley.
But Pulis said: “The players Mick played, most of them are seasoned professionals who he has spent decent money on.
“I don’t think it was the walk in the park for United that people are suggesting.
“There is one important point here and that is that Mick McCarthy will do whatever he thinks is best for Wolves.”
After a 2-1 victory away to Liverpool last Sunday, Arsenal travelled to Turf Moor on Wednesday and will take on the Tigers at 1730 GMT at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
By contrast, both Hull and Stoke had midweek matches rescheduled because their opponents, Everton and Fulham respectively, were involved in Europa League encounters.
“I have looked at the size of squads. We are probably trading at around the third or fourth smallest squad in the Premier League,” said Brown.
“Rest and recuperation is key but at the end of the day we have got our preparation to do for a big game on Saturday.”
Pulis claimed he would prefer to have played Everton at home ahead of away trips to Aston Villa and Manchester City and Brown was also unsure if a free week was such an advantage for his side.
“If you ask any player, I was the same, games are the most important. They are the best way to keep fit. I think players just want to play,” he said.