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Money Runs Football – There Are Too Many Games – “It’s Absolutely Ridiculous”

Steve Bruce is not the first person to question why there are so many games that players in England are asked to play each season.

There’s the Premier League of 38 games and the League and FA Cups.

On top of that, the better teams are involved in Europe in the Champions League or Europa League.

And, of course, there are international competitions like the European Championships and the World Cup.

So if you are a top player you are going to have to play a lot of games – almost continually.

In the olden days (when I was a boy) there were 42 games in the first division, the FA Cup and the top teams played in the European Cup and that was it.

Then other European competitions came along and then the League Cup.

The top teams today – like Liverpool – have to play almost twice a week most of the time.

It’s just too much but it will be difficult to reduce the number of games.

That’s because money is to be made and there will be great resistance to cancel any of the competitions or reduce the number of teams and games in those competitions.

In fact, it’s going in the other direction at the moment and may get worse before it gets better.

Steve Bruce suggests in the Chronicle today that International friendlies be eliminated.

That’s a good idea and all they were good for was allowing your very best players to go away – play an unimportant game that meant nothing – and then sometimes come back crocked.

Steve Bruce – cancel international friendlies

The Premier League have introduced a short winter break this season, although that has caused its own fixture congestion,

The Newcastle manager was asked if the winter break was beneficial and this is what he said in the Chronicle today:

“Yes, I can see that.”

“Getting it cut short like it wasn’t quite right (because of FA Cup replay) but we’ve got 13 games over the next three and a half months.”

“So to ask players to do 15 games in two months is ridiculous. And then we wonder why, when we get to a tournament, England can’t perform to the level.”

“The international footballer of today is a huge problem, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

“They don’t get a break anymore. They are not machines and they break down.”

“Someone like Harry Kane, with the injury like he has had comes from playing too often, playing Saturday, Tuesday for evermore.”

“Ss fit as he is, to pull a tendon, like he has, it’s fixture congestion.”

“We have to scrap international friendlies or sacrifice one of the cups (no chance).”

“You can’t keep asking the top players to play Saturday and Tuesday for evermore.”

“Miguel Almiron has had six days off, that’s all they had off.”

“For me, the break should be two or three weeks like Scotland and try to find a way forward.”

“We keep asking players to play tired.”

“Here, we have had people question the training methods, it’s nonsense, it’s playing players tired.”

What do you think about all of this?

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7 comments so far

  • toon22

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #1

    So by his own logic wouldn’t that money that runs football normally buy enough players to manage all the extra games ?
    It’s just that our owner wants to run things as cheaply as possible so SD can benefit from the money that’s in the game

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #2


    I think you need to contextualise, if that’s a word.

    Top scorers in the champo
    5th highest scorers 2nd half of last season.

    Before the arrival of Almiron, I really don’t think we had anyone capable of getting us up the pitch in any meaningful way, champo obviously yes, but not in the PL. Therefore there were periods when we had to grind out results in much the same way Bruce is doing now, albeit with Dubravka, a superb Rafa signing for peanuts, having to make the most saves in the PL and for once enjoying a lot of luck this season.

    Rafa could never dream of having a 40M striker bought for him as he consistently had to put out entire teams costing less. My point is there was a plan B with Rafa, ie the form of Rondon and Perez once Miggy arrived. There is nothng to suggest in Bruce’s 20 year coaching CV that at 59 he will suddenly morph into a progressive attacking coach. Arteta or Poch would be great but I really think under Rafa with some decent backing like bruce has enjoyed (”I’ve never had so much money!”) then incrementally we could have got top 8 this season.

    Re- this thread
    Out first round in the league cup
    No Euro competition
    Our fault we couldn’t beat 2 x league 1 teams.
    Don’t hear successful coaches and teams complaining.

  • Nufc-83

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #3

    Thanks Munster hope your keeping well in the storms 🙂

    I too really hope Rose starts but I have a feeling Bruce will stick with Richie.

  • Jamaal Dubravka

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #4

    Nothing too significant I’m afraid mate. Bunch of Arabic Tweets saying it is close, an Arabic News Account reporting it is closer than ever, people whispering stuff,etc etc. Most probably is bollocks though mate so don’t be surprised if nothing happens, be surprised if it does 😉

  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #5

    Sky Sports say there is another serious bidder to buy the Toon, hang on, was,nt it them who said that a sale was imminent, A MONTH AGO . Utter bollox.

  • Munster Mag

    Feb 16, 2020 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #6

    Rotunda, if I need to contextualise, you need to find more balance. Joel has not been a 40m asset bestowed on Bruce, and he lost his top two striking assets. Re where we are, braver team than Rafa in the cup, further in the cup, more points, but worse football. I’m fair enough to say I wud prefer Rafa here ahead of Bruce, but you’ve got to be big enough to acknowledge that Bruce has done better than guys like you ever dreamed of. I think that’s fair. And as billson said to OP, happy to bury the axe Rotunda.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 16, 2020 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #7

    Weird excuse about “wondering why England can’t perform.”. There are more foreign players than English in the league.


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