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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