Manchester United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has voiced his displeasure over the number of substitutions permitted per game within the Premier League dropping back to three this season.
Clubs had been allowed to make up to 5 adjustments per game throughout ‘Project Restart’ in June and July as a result of the closely congested fixture schedule. That may have carried on this season as IFAB lawmakers prolonged the non permanent modification to guidelines to cowl the 2020/21 marketing campaign.
However, it’s on the discretion of particular person leagues, competitions or nationwide governing our bodies whether or not to take benefit and permit 5 substitutions. Yet while the higher number continues to be permitted by UEFA within the Champions League and Europa League, Premier League clubs collectively voted it down at a assembly before the start of the brand new season.
There was a concern from smaller clubs that it will unfairly favour wealthier teams with deeper squads. What that argument doesn’t consider is the calls for on these bigger squads because of different competitions within the congested calendar.
On top of Premier League games at weekends, the likes of United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Leicester are at present having to play each midweek due to European commitments.
It is worse nonetheless for many who also stay within the Carabao Cup.
“I don’t understand and cannot believe the vote went against [keeping five substitutions],” Solskjaer commented at a press briefing ahead of going through Arsenal on Sunday.
“This is the most demanding season of all,” he added.
“I can see why clubs voted against but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health, the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest a few more.
“We have already seen loads of injuries in the Premier League. Pep [Guardiola] has spoken about it. We, as managers, clubs and medical staff, have to look after them. That’s why we have to rest players at certain times. I would have liked to have had five subs.”
Guardiola said last month, “When the argument is that it favours the top five or six, it is because the people don’t understand absolutely anything. [Big clubs] have games every three days, and there is a way just to protect the players.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also previously made similar comments on the subject.
“We have 38 Premier League games in a four-weeks shorter season. That says it all,” he said. “And all the other competitions will be pretty much the same, as far as I know. That means just that these things would help. But I can imagine that other teams see it differently.”
Klopp stressed it is not about giving bigger clubs an advantage, but a way to simply ‘get through this season’ without suffering excessive or avoidable injuries.
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