The busy winter period is almost upon us, and when we say busy, we mean it. Arsenal are set to play eight games in the month of December in all competitions, followed by two more by the 5th of January – so, logistically speaking, they’re going to be playing 10 games in the span of a month. While we love watching the beautiful game as much as the next guy, even we think that is excessive, and not just for the fans, but for the players.
The only person that we feel like it’s going to ‘test to the limit’ so to speak is Unai Emery, because it gives him a chance to manage his resources and showcase his tactical prowess. We all already know what he’s capable of but after going 19 games unbeaten, there’s a certain expectation that comes with what you do next.
Hell, it’s not just Arsenal who we feel sorry for, because there are a plethora of other teams who we should be feeling sorry for, too. The majority of teams have to face the same kind of gruelling schedule, especially those who are competing in four different competitions. We are, of course, referring to those located towards the top of the Premier League table.
In terms of the dilemma specifically, though, we have to wonder how it would impact certain television deals and whether or not that’s one of the things holding the Premier League back. Boxing Day football is a tradition for many households and it’s not like we can’t understand why, because it serves as a great day out. Hell, even going on New Year’s Day can be a lot of fun – if you haven’t been getting absolutely trollied the night before, that is.
We aren’t expecting things to change overnight but we are expecting someone to take a look at this in the next year or two. If some of the ‘weight’ of the scheduling was pushed back to January or February, then it’d be massive for the teams involved. Sure, some of us would suffer, but it’s not like that’s a particularly big deal. When it comes to first world problems this isn’t exactly a big one and it’s a price that should easily be paid in order for the players we admire so much to get a much needed break.
Do you think that the Premier League should introduce a winter break?