England manager Roy Hodgson has criticized TV companies for scheduling ‘big games’ on Sundays before Internationals, while Arsene Wenger wishes there were no international friendlies at all.
Hodgson complained that the fixture list interferes with his teams’ preparation for crucial World Cup qualifiers that are often allocated to the midweek.
"It would be lovely to think that one day we could all get together and say 'England is important'," said Hodgson.
"It would be nice if, when we're playing on Friday, the top teams played on Saturday and not Sunday. Then on Monday we could do a bit of work, and on Tuesday do some serious work.”
This comes after a string of complaints from Premier League managers who have come to resent the scheduling of international friendlies after the commencement of the new season.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been the most vocal in recent seasons, claiming that it limits his ability to prepare his team for the Premier League:
“It is particularly not welcome at the moment because it is at a period where you want your players to recover a little bit,” said Wenger,
“I don't see what you gain from this friendly because there is no game. You can explain a friendly to prepare for an official match but after this there is no international game for four months.”
Hodgson, however, blames the TV companies for the fixture congestion, suggesting a winter break would be a more “logical” solution:
"This is the Premier League and TV,” he said,
“You hear people trying to say it's only the Premier League that counts, and the Champions League, and people don't care about international football - something like 24 or 25 million watched our game against Italy.”
England face San Marino and Poland this October as they attempt to qualify for a place at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Arsene Wenger is unlikely to be impressed by another round of 'pointless' friendlies this term in November, February and May – crucial times in the English Premier League season.