Mikel Arteta has doubled down on his Premier League fixture complaints, insisting "Arsenal are the only team scheduled like that".
The Gunners beat Leicester 2-0 on March 13 to move into pole position for a fourth-place finish, but came crashing back down to earth with a loss by the same scoreline at home to Liverpool three days later.
Arteta's side have another quick turnaround for their trip to Aston Villa on Saturday, and the Spaniard has expressed his frustration over the congested fixture list.
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What's been said?
Speaking after Arsenal's defeat against Liverpool, Arteta told reporters: "Thank you so much to the Premier League for doing that.
"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’."
The Gunners boss was asked if he stands by his comments ahead of their clash with Villa, to which he responded: “I do because I am talking about the Premier League. I heard some comments about me saying ‘oh wait, when you are in Europe it’s nothing new’.
“But I’m not comparing Europe. I’m complaining [about] the Premier League and how we schedule the games in the Premier League. When you are in Europe and you have the Premier League, it’s a different story.
"What I am comparing is the Premier League and it’s very different. Got to do it again soon (next month, Chelsea and United). We are the only team that is scheduled like that, and I am not talking again about Europe because some of those teams are not going to be involved in Europe."
Arteta urges Premier League to 'protect the players'
Arteta went on to insist that one of the main reasons for clubs meeting with the Premier League on a regular basis is to discuss how best to protect the players amid a gruelling schedule.
The 39-year-old feels Arsenal have been unfairly treated, especially given they are still waiting for their postponed north London derby clash with Tottenham to be rearranged.
"The first thing is to protect the players and we mention that many times," said Arteta. "Can we please avoid Wednesday night and Saturday morning and travelling and other things.
"I understand that they have the commitments and TV and we all understand that. If you do it once, OK. But don’t do it twice. We still have the Spurs fixture.
"What, are we going to do it for a third time? Are we going to be the only ones to do it? Then, yeah, you can accept that, but you don’t want to be silly either."