EPL

It is a lack of respect - Guardiola calls for Premier League to rethink five substitutions rule

By Sports Desk October 30, 2020

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has called on Premier League chiefs to rethink allowing five substitutions, claiming that the current rules show a lack of respect to players.

Clubs were permitted to use five subs when football resumed post-lockdown in June to protect player welfare after a three-month hiatus forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, a vote in August saw the league revert back to the system where each team is only allowed three changes per game, unlike in other top leagues across Europe, plus the Europa League and Champions League.

The likes of Jurgen Klopp, Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have questioned why other teams voted against the decision, with the number of injuries on the rise.

Speaking on Friday, Guardiola said there has been "47 per cent more muscular injuries" this year compared to the same stage of the campaign in 2019-20.

And the Catalan has added his voice to a growing campaign for the Premier League to rethink the decision to only allow three substitutions per game.

"It is nothing to do with certain teams having an advantage," he said. "It is about why we are here - the players. Forget about the advantage; this is to protect all the players.

"When they play every three days, they start to suffer. Why, in all the leagues is it happening, and here we cannot protect the players? 

"The statistics speak for themselves. The players are not recovering from the previous game, even the previous season. It makes no sense. 

"Who voted for the decisions? Who are they? They have to protect the players. They have to decide. The law is acceptable for FIFA, UEFA."

City are in action for the fifth time in a fortnight on Saturday when they take on Sheffield United, who they have beaten in three successive league games.

The quick turnaround in games has already taken its toll, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy, Sergio Aguero and Nathan Ake spending time on the sidelines.

Guardiola believes that is largely down to a lack of pre-season, with City having just five weeks between their last game of last season and their first game this campaign.

"We had just two weeks preparation," he said. "We didn't have four, five weeks. This is the reason why. We are trying, but it's not about the result. It's about protecting the players. 

"It's about being in the better conditions to play. Today, in all the sports around the world, they have good regeneration. 

"When this doesn't happen, we are at risk. The points we drop, I'm not judging, I never complain. It's a lack of respect. I don't want to see the players injured. We need the players."

Related items

  • Pique wants Messi at Barcelona for years to come Pique wants Messi at Barcelona for years to come

    Gerard Pique hopes Barcelona can convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club for years to come.

    Messi, 33, sensationally requested to leave the LaLiga giants during the close season, but ended up staying at the club.

    However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is linked with the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

    But Pique hopes Messi will remain at Barca, where he has spent his entire professional career.

    "We will have to ask Leo. It is his personal decision … and we will see what happens," the defender told Radio Marca on Friday.

    "I believe that as long as he continues to wear the Barca shirt there is always hope.

    "We hope they can seduce him so that he stays more years."

    Messi has struggled to live up to his usual form so far this season, scoring six goals in 11 games – including three in eight in LaLiga.

    He is without an assist in LaLiga, while he has created just 2.1 chances per 90 minutes – his lowest since 2012-13 (1.6). His 0.4 big chances created per 90 minutes is also the lowest since that campaign.

    It comes with Barcelona struggling in 13th in the table and awaiting a presidential election next year.

    Pique, who suffered a knee injury earlier this month, said he had previously thought about one day becoming the club's president.

    "If I see that I can contribute things that can help the club then I will decide," he said.

    "It is an illusion that I have always had, but I don't know if it will come true."

  • Klopp hopeful over Wijnaldum stay at Liverpool Klopp hopeful over Wijnaldum stay at Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp hopes Georginio Wijnaldum extends his stay at Liverpool and the manager remains optimistic.

    Wijnaldum is out of contract with the Premier League champions at the end of the season and the midfielder has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

    Ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, Klopp had no update on the Netherlands international – but he would like the 30-year-old to remain at Anfield.

    "I cannot really say a lot about that. I would be happy if he would stay here – that's maybe the only thing," he said.

    "But sitting here, I'm pretty happy with Gini. You see when you look at most of the line-ups."

    Wijnaldum arrived at Liverpool from Newcastle United in 2016 and has helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

    Since 2016-17, Wijnaldum has missed just 11 Premier League games for Liverpool. They have won five, drawn four and lost two, a win percentage of 45.5, compared to 70.7 in the 150 games he has played.

    They have also averaged more goals for (2.2 to 1.8), fewer goals against (0.9 to 1.3), more points per game (2.3 to 1.7) with Wijnaldum during that time.

    Asked if Wijnaldum was in his best form since joining Liverpool, Klopp praised the midfielder's consistency.

    "That might be only because your memories are not that good. He played always good. That's why he played that amount of games," he said.

    "I cannot remember a lot of bad games, to be honest. He played for us in plenty of positions, different positions. He's in a good moment, thank God. Long may it continue. That's it.

    "It's good and there's nothing else to say about it, to be honest. As long as nothing is decided, everything is possible and I'm positive."

    Liverpool are second in the Premier League table ahead of their trip to Brighton.

  • Flick wants more from Sane at Bayern Flick wants more from Sane at Bayern

    Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick wants to see more from Leroy Sane, but said the attacker needed time.

    Since joining Bayern from Manchester City for a reported €45million earlier this year, Sane has scored five goals and provided two assists in nine games.

    The attacker missed almost the entire 2019-20 season with City after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

    While Flick is eager for Sane to improve, he is also prepared to be patient with the 24-year-old following his injury.

    "He is 100 per cent fit. His efficiency is great," he told a news conference.

    "But like other players, he unnecessarily lost the ball a couple of times against Salzburg and in some instances, he didn't quite pursue one-on-ones. There are reasons for it, and we talked about that. He will try to do better next time.

    "When he comes on the pitch, he creates a certain dynamic in the team, increases it. In the last couple of games, he has always scored after being subbed in. That's what makes him stand out and he has quality.

    "It is obvious that he still needs time after a long injury, and he will get that time. He works hard in training.

    "We are pleased with him, but it is important that when he starts a game, he gives a 100 per cent. We are working on that."

    In six Bundesliga games, three of which have been starts, this season, Sane has scored three goals and provided two assists.

    He has also created four big chances. Only Thomas Muller (six), Serge Gnabry, Admir Mehmedi and Raphael Guerreiro (all five) have created more.

    However, his big chance conversion percentage is 50 per cent, while he has completed just seven of 20 attempted dribbles.

    Top of the Bundesliga by a point, Bayern visit Stuttgart on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.