The 2019-20 English football season is in full swing with matches coming up for almost every team in England twice a week. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are paralysed with injuries to their key players and find themselves struggling to stay even in the top 6 of the table.
Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, the torch bearers of their respective side’s attacking prowess, find themselves sitting on their couch and recovering from long term injury layoffs when they should be rattling the top of opponent’s net. Not just for their respective clubs, both Rashford and Kane are a critical part of Gareth Southgate’s England national team.
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s head coach and often an FA critic, has come out with his opinion stating that the tight schedule is responsible for these long term lay-offs and could well pose a threat to other England national players as well before the UEFA Euro 2020.
Football sides in England are cramped with matches scheduled in midweek and weekends. He said that the current schedule has forced the managers to ask too much from their players resulting in long term injuries.
He has rested Raheem Sterling for a while now as the Englishman has already played over 3,000 minutes in the season. When asked about what could possibly be done by FA to reduce the pressure, Pep stated that the Carabao Cup could completely be scraped off to make sure there is “less quantity, more quality”.
As the opinion came uncalled for, the reactions too were bound to be surprising! While some took Pep Guardiola’s side, some other underlined the fact that this has been the same schedule since years with nothing changing. There were people who believed that it won’t be wrong to turn the League Cup into an Under-23 tournament.
Liverpool played their reserves side in their defeat to Aston Villa in the Cup tie, indicating how Premier League sides treat the tournament. While the U-23 solution does look valid, it implies a long list of changes alongside. We would just hope that the FA does pay heed to the concern raised by Pep and does what it feels would be the best thing to do.
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