If England fail to excel at next year’s World Cup, one of the ready made alibis should be refusal of Premier League clubs to follow their continental counterparts in implementing the five substitutes rule.
EPL club players are accumulating at least ten percent more fatigue due to this imbecilic stubbornness.
Belgium and Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois was speaking for many when he called out European football authorities for the game’s punishing fixture schedule in the aftermath of injuries suffered by compatriots Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard while on national team duty.
Players are wilting under the sheer volume of matches.
Despite this, EPL clubs have unwisely stuck to three substitutes per game. This startling oversight, refusal to adopt a two week winter break and general failure to get proper backing over fixture scheduling could also affect Premier League clubs competing against well rested European rivals who arrive in the season’s home straight at least three weeks fresher.
A good case of the federation creating a positive synergy on behalf of clubs came over the weekend in the Spanish Primera Liga when games involving champions Atletico Madrid away to Granada and record titlists Real Madrid versus Athletic Bilbao were postponed owing to the late arrival of their players from South American World Cup qualifiers and impending midweek Champions League showdowns. The Madrid clubs can hence be expected to have a spring in their step when they confront Liverpool and Shakhtar Donetsk midweek.
Clever scheduling on behalf of European club football flag bearers is routinely carried out in smaller leagues. Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk, Club Brugge and Sheriff Tiraspol almost always play their league games on Friday in case they have a Champions League tie in the following week. This never happens in England. The FA will give the country’s Euro ambassadors a huge shot in the arm if all Europa League reps were to play their league matches the following Monday whereas no Champions League rep should ever be involved in an early kick off on Saturday.
Mo Salah has been variously been described as the world’s best player at the minute. What are CR7, Messi and Robert Lewandowski thinking of the praise being heaped on the free scoring Liverpool winger? To be mentioned in the same sentence as the aforementioned trio,
he must show the consistency these men have demonstrated for years. Thinking of which; Uefa should hand last year’s cancelled Ballon D’Or to Lewandowski. His consistency is frightening.