Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Good food needs time to cook

More managers are being added to the long list who are worried about the schedule and the high prevalence of injuries.

Brighton manager, Roberto De Zerbi, on October 4th:

I’m watching a lot of injuries in another important team [Arsenal] - I saw the injury to Bukayo Saka. In Italy, there is a feeling that there are too many games. It’s not my job, but we are playing a different sport compared to last season.

Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone, on October 4th:

It’s what Guardiola was talking about: there are 1000 matches, 1000 international matches […] You can’t do preseasons like before.”

I just assume every player is carrying an injury. That was always the case, but more now, more so than before. Not significant enough to report but more injuries than in past seasons. A lot of muscular injuries.

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, in a press conference on October 3rd:

“You go to Spain, Carlo Ancelotti says the same, you go to Italy, Maurizio Sarri now said the same, everyone. And even for us, we don’t have time to analyze, we don’t have time to refresh ourselves, or we’re doing well, or bad, or whatever. It’s not that. It’s more difficult.”

Real Madrid Manager, Carlo Ancelotti, in a press conference in April:

“Objectively, the calendar doesn’t make sense. It’s too tight, with too many games. We have to look at the health of the players. They’re the most important part of football, but everyone thinks about themselves: the league thinks about themselves, the federation thinks about themselves, FIFA thinks about themselves, UEFA thinks about themselves. It isn’t good for football. It isn’t right. Something has to change. Too many games.”

Lazio manager, Maurizio Sarri, on October 5th:

“This is no longer the game I love. I wake up in the morning and can’t even remember who we’re playing against. I feel like a movie producer. You should see the condition the players who play every three days are in. Then the international break comes, and I hear the papers saying, ‘Now they get a rest,’ and instead, they continue to play every three days.

I hope Serie A, FIFA, UEFA, and the players’ association all do ‘mea culpa’ (express remorse). There have been 50 muscle injuries over this matchday. I’m particularly outraged with the players’ association as they allow their members to go to the slaughterhouse without even a hint of protest.

The calendar impacts on quality and causes injuries. If it carries on like this, I’ll stop.”

Pep Guardiola, continued:

“Honestly, I’m a manager but I’m not a trainer. I don’t have trainings on the pitch, with all the team to improve. Try to impress (things upon) Mateo [Kovacic] and Jeremey [Doku]. You think we give them time, to understand what we want to do, the process? We want results in minutes but the results.

Good food needs time to be cooked, you know, need time, time, there. Half an hour, one hour. You put it in the microwave, not the same. So now everything is so quick, we want results immediately when we don’t have time with the players to settle them good, not understand things immediately. Because they are demanding higher.

They put more competitions, I’m here, we will play more competitions. What I said [the other day], only the players can stop it.

Pep Guardiola has called upon the players to put up a protest, if they want change:

“There is only one solution to change something – players decide for themselves, ‘Stop, we have to change something’. FIFA/UEFA will maybe react. This business, the show must go on. Without Pep? Keep going. But without the players, the show will not go on, that’s for sure. So it depends on them, they decide if they accept.

Look what happened in Spain with the women’s team. The players decided they had to change something and they changed it. They did it. The best legacy they have done is that. The women’s team in Spain did it. I don’t know [if], in world football, the men’s, they are able to do it.”

The point about not being able to train is big and it has an effect on how quickly new structures and systems can be implemented. The match is the training session for the teams that play in Europe.

Featured image credit Getty Images

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