Mikel Arteta has admitted he has sympathy with Arsenal supporters who have been left fuming after their match at Manchester City had been rearranged with such short notice.
The Gunners clash with Pep Guardiola's City has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 11 - leaving fans furious at the lack of notice.
The original match had been set for last Sunday, but Guardiola's side won through to the Carabao Cup final which was played on the same day - meaning the league clash between Arteta and his former boss had to be postponed.
While City subsequently won the final, beating Aston Villa 2-1 in the Wembley showpiece, it was expected that Arsenal's league match at the Etihad would not be played until later in the season.
Premier League force rescheduled match
However, under pressure from the Premier League, the Gunners were forced into accepting next week as the date for the match.
In response to questioning from VAVEL, Arteta showed sympathy with hard-pressed Arsenal supporters.
"Absolutely I think the ones the are paying the price for it are our fans, not time to plan. It is what it is - we can not do anything about it.
"Even for us it was not the right day to play the game for the schedule that we have but we don’t make those decisions.
"We have to try to support the fans as much as possible and give them everything they need to be able to travel to Manchester and support the team. But as you said, it’s not ideal."
With Arsenal aiming to climb the table by beating West Ham on Saturday, the north Londoners had expected their match to be the away fixture at Brighton, a week Saturday.
Midweek trip to Manchester
However, Arteta's side now face a midweek trip to Manchester in a tricky fixture for his side - and the fans.
The Gunners boss did concede the decision was out of the club's hands, explaining it was a Premier League decision.
"We try to explore the dates and moments that it was better and it made more sense but at the end of the day they have some games that they have to fit in and they have to protect themselves and find a way."
When asked if it was a frustration he said: "It is what it is. I am so used to this.
"They made a decision, we have to respect it. Plan quickly, how we’re going to do that, when we’re going to travel, hotel, logistics, and focus on Saturday which is important."
At the time of writing the 3,000 tickets have been on sale to season ticket holders and away scheme members, priced between £14 and £26.