We all knew this Premier League season was going to be difficult to pull off without a hitch.
Coronavirus has disrupted football across the world and while leagues are still playing, some serious problems have arisen.
The Premier League is facing an injury spike like it’s never seen before. Muscle injuries are up almost 50 percent from last year and several prominent players have gone down with an injury, lowering the quality of play on the pitch. This weekend, it was Liverpool W Trent Alexander-Arnold, who tore his calf running back on defense.
Players are going down but the games are continuing.
The FA needs to come up with a solution fast for Premier League football to continue.
It would appear that there are two main reasons why muscle injuries have gone up heavily this season. The most obvious answer is a much more compact match schedule than in years past.
Last season didn’t end until July and as a result, the 2020-2021 campaign didn’t get going until mid-September. This really hurt the clubs playing in European competitions because now they are spending three months playing two games a week (one European, one EPL) instead of the normal one month period of multiple match days.
The strain on the top English clubs is noticeable. Sunday’s heavyweight bout between EPL giants Liverpool and Manchester City started off blazing in the first half, but quality significantly dipped after halftime. Both clubs looked tired, worn out, and overall not engaged. After the match, both teams’ managers had some choice words for the FA.
Jurgen Klopp said:
“The Premier League has to change… Do you want good football? Give the boys a few hours more rest.”
The other issue at hand is the Premier League’s reversal of the five-sub rule that was used for all of Project Restart last season. The FA elected to return to three subs this season and so far, that decision has been a poor one.
Right now, the only competition in Europe to not have five subs is the Premier League. Quite frankly, that makes absolutely no sense. With the scheduling of the season, it would make sense for more rotations to occur in order to keep player fitness high.
The FA apparently didn’t see it this way. Players need rest.
They shouldn’t be expected to play twice a week and in some cases, with less than 72 hours of rest. Muscle injuries occur from overuse. It is no secret that three subs instead of five has led to more injuries.
Players are fatigued and going down with more injuries than ever. The Premier League’s quality of play has decreased. The blame should only go to one place: The FA.
They need to listen to the managers, the players, and fans to figure out a way to keep this season on track. Thankfully, the FA has two weeks before the next Premier League fixture to make some changes.
Reform is needed.
It’s on the FA to keep this season on track and lessen the injuries that are keeping the game’s top players off the pitch.
Featured Image: Echo