Andy Gray Column

Discussion in 'Premier League: News and Analysis' started by Native Aztexan, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Native Aztexan

    Jan 27, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Austin Aztex
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  2. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool FC
    The problem with winter breaks (as has been proven in the SPL) is that the clubs and players who called for it, citing exhaustion, etc, immediately filled up the allotted time with lucrative tours of Asia and the US. So much for the knackered little darlings needing to put their feet up for a while.

    Now, granted, a couple of friendlies against the Malaysia Police Select XI are not really up there with a trip to Dundee of a wintry Sunday afternoon, but the point remains.

    Also, the traditional fixtures of Christmas and New Year are very special to a lot of people - I wouldn't want them to go. A break in the latter half of January might be doable, I suppose.
  3. michaec

    michaec Member

    May 24, 2001
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    A winter break is possible, but I think that in order to do it, there would need to be a reduction in the number of teams, the option for Premiership clubs not to play in the League cup and for it to lose it's European place.

    The Premiership should be reduced to 18 teams. I am also in favour of four teams being relegated to Division 1 and four coming up, like they have in Italy.This would make for more meaningful games for the mid-table teams towards the end of the season and more chance for Division 1 clubs to be promoted. At the moment, promoted clubs usually only last a season or two before being relegated again. So why not give four of them the chance for their place in the sun, rather than three? I know both of these are complete non-starters as all the club chairmen would have to vote for them, but that's what I think.

    As for the League cup, I know that technically clubs don't have to enter the competition, but the furore would be the same as when Man U didn't play in the FA Cup if they decided not to take part. It should be made clear that the clubs are under no pressure to participate and then the ones who are whining for a break (and I realise Wenger is chief among them) may not enter. It may be that they would enter anyway and field under-strength teams to give young and/or second-string players competitive match practice against good 1st division sides. The European place should be given to the highest placed Premiership side that doesn't currently get one. Finishing 7th in one of the top leagues in the world has to be a better achievement than winning 5 or 6 cup games, especially when some of those games are against under-strength teams. Even the smaller Premiership sides such as Bolton were resting players last season for League Cup matches (no disrespect to Bolton intended, but the point is that it's not just the 'big boys' any more).

    If these changes were implemented, then a 2-3 week break could be made in the calendar. No other top footballing nation has 2 cup competitions and they get on just fine. I've heard in the statement from the FA where they indicated that they would be discussing a winter break that they have said they wouldn't allow clubs to go off and play friendlies during this time if a break was introduced. I can't see how they would stop clubs doing it if they have no commitments to FA competitions. You can bet your bottom dollar thet Fergie and his boys would be off to the far-east faster than you can say "Sayonara" if there was a spare two weeks in January available.
  4. kerpow

    kerpow New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    I concur. Boxing Day and New Years day games are great. The break should be after the 3rd round of the FA Cup. But we really need less teams in the division. 20 is too many. If we could cut it down to 16 or 18 teams wouldn't need such huge squads.
  5. Mc_Midas

    Mc_Midas New Member

    Jul 30, 2002
    There shouldn't be a mid season break - they don't need it. If players are tired and think they play too many games - then they should quit.

Share This Page