Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has come to the staunch defence of Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel after his German compatriot was criticised by Alan Shearer.
The Blues were yet again a victim of the current three substitutions rule as both N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva were forced off in the Aston Villa 3-1 victory due to injuries.
Those two injuries have added to a catalogue of woes and Covid issues that the European champions have suffered over the last few weeks in this festive schedule.
It has brought the question of player welfare and whether allowing five substitutions to the forefront of the football conversation, with the rule rejected by Premier League clubs despite numerous calls from Klopp and others.
“Five changes were invented because of Covid. Now we’re in the middle of Covid, and some teams are having games postponed, and others aren’t. Three changes is a big disadvantage,” Tuchel stated after Chelsea’s win at Aston Villa.
He then added on the potential solution to this clear ‘disadvantage’: “Of course [five substitutions should be allowed]. Zero chance [they will]. We are the only league that plays in winter, which I love, but we’re not protecting the players.
“All other leagues have five changes. Then we compete against them in the Champions League. It’s a bit frustrating. It will not stop.
“Brighton will play a super physical game; then we have two games against Spurs, who are out of Europe and fully focused on the league and Carabao Cup.”
Newcastle legend Shearer had heavily criticised the German Champions League winner for trying to change the fabric of the English game.
“This is what out country is, he knew that before coming in,” the Newcastle legend stated.
“The teams vote that in and they didn’t want that. I think it can be an unfair advantage for the smaller clubs.”
Ahead of Liverpool’s midweek clash with an out of sought Leicester City side, Klopp was asked about Tuchel’s comments that have dominated the agenda since the Aston Villa clash, and it’s safe to say that the Reds manager is on Team Tuchel in this situation.
When asked at a news conference on Monday if he would be in favour of the five substitutions, Klopp replied: “Yes, we have to put competition aside. Yes, [Manchester] City have better subs than Southampton and we have better subs than Burnley and yes that’s probably true.
“The problem is the intensity for a top class footballer in England is definitely at the edge. A top class player in England plays about 38 Premier League games, two cup competitions so maybe 43 [games in total]. International games because pretty much all of them play for their national teams so that could be up to 10 games plus Champions League games and the further you go, the more games it is.
“So, pretty quickly, we’ve reached an area of more than 50 games or higher. If I’m right, the first season I had here, we played the final in the 64th game so there are some key players who only are out when they’re injured. The decision in the managers’ meeting is made by 14 clubs as you need 14 votes to change it and there’s something wrong [with that].
“As an example, Burnley, and I’m not sure how many of their players play international football when our players have three games and they have no game. We’re talking about an issue that some clubs and players definitely have but it’s decided by other teams. [Five subs] is the right decision especially in this moment because you bring players back after Covid infection or after an injury and then they have to play immediately.
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“This wonderful game where usually the player is in good shape, well trained, recover well and go for it. If we don’t do that, it’s much more difficult. The best and the most intense league in the world is the only league in Europe with still three subs and that’s not right.
“We should change it but it’s up to the Premier League to make this decision by themselves but they can’t because you need the votes from other clubs so I don’t see a real chance to change it.”
Whether the Premier League do listen to the German pair remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see what manager of other clubs have to say on this matter when they are quizzed in their upcoming press conferences during the busy festive period.
Source by Football London