Having the African Nations Cup bang in the middle of the Premier League season is becoming a huge problem, now that the Premier league has so many African players in its ranks. However, any simple solution seems a long way off.
Sam Allardyce – suggests two week break in January
Chelsea manager Avram Grant, who could be without Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba â€“ has called for future tournaments to be played in June or July, although that would be difficult in the tremendous heat of an African summer.
Sam Allardyce has suggested another potential solution:
â€œI canâ€™t see a resolution,â€ â€œIt would be alright if we were relieved by the Premier League having a two-week break in January, because weâ€™ve got Africans in the tournament every two years.”
“Two, weâ€™ve got the transfer window (which opens on January 1 and closes on 31st) and, three, weâ€™ve got to play eight games in that period. You canâ€™t tell me thatâ€™s good for a player.â€
â€œPlay the third round of the FA Cup and then give everyone a break, then those (African) players would only miss two games, we could get on with transfer stuff, players could recharge their batteries and youâ€™d get a much more productive Premier League. Weâ€™re only one of the few countries who do itâ€
â€œIn the early days (at Bolton) people just said I was just moaning about it again and said, â€˜Well, donâ€™t buy themâ€™,â€. â€œBut they were the cheapest with quality. Now the Premier League have brought in a huge amount of African players, so the conflict lies with FIFA as the governing body who will always promote international tournaments.”
“Thatâ€™s where their bread and butter really lies.â€
This seems a reasonable suggestion by Sam, but it would still add even more congestion to the league games, with all the European games that now have to be played. But a mid-season break is long overdue in England, and we think that would be a good thing. And as Sam says, it would allow the clubs to get on with their transfer business too.
What do you think?
Let us know – comments always welcome.