Jurgen Klopp believes the top clubs are facing a nightmare season that has never been seen before…and he hopes it will never be experienced again.
The Liverpool manager spoke frankly on the unprecedented demands placed on Premier League players, as football attempts to cram the same number of games into a drastically reduced schedule. And he insisted allowing only three substitutes will take a crippling toll on them.
And he admitted he has never seen anything like it, even if his long, experienced managerial career: “It is different to everything I have experienced. Different to what every coach in the Premier League has ever experienced,” he said.
“I’m not sure if anybody saw it before the season when they made the decision about the three subs. Because that is just a little example – all the other leagues pretty much in the world – certainly in Europe – have five subs and England has three subs.
“That makes it a massive challenge. We should have thought this through 100 per cent. In Germany they have less games, and still find it incredibly difficult. Don’t see it as anyone wanting an advantage, just see it as it is, about players’ welfare and nothing else.”
Klopp says that it is impossible to have a squad big enough – or good enough – to cope with the demands of this season, but he hopes this will be a pure one off, and football can return to normality soon.
“Hopefully it is the only one [like it], because we hope that life will change again and bring people back into the stadiums and life will return to normal.
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“We are all waiting for vaccines, medications, solutions whatever. But at the moment that is our life and we deal with it.”
Klopp believes allowing more substitutes, as they do in the Champions League, would ease the pressure on those teams in Europe…but he admits it is a forlorn hope, because the big six would be instantly outvoted.
“It would definitely help, but I don’t think it’s possible because of the system,” he added.
Should the Premier League intervene to allow five substitutions per team? Have your say here.
“I thought it should have been there in the first place. For me it is a lack of leadership just to put the question on the table.
“It should have been sold – if that’s the right word – differently with more information, showing more of what could happen, all these kind of things, by Richard Masters.
“We never asked for any advantage. None of the top seven clubs asked for any advantage. We just knew, because we knew our schedule, that it would be incredibly difficult.
“To have the best games at the weekend in the Premier League, it would have helped that as well. I think we should think about it again to be honest.”
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