A question that has been asked for many years and perhaps will be for years to come: should the Premier League follow suit with it’s European counterparts and introduce a break in the midst of the hectic Christmas fixture list?
This arises from observing the likes of Spain, France and Germany who take around two weeks off over the festive period to have a break from football. It allows players to spend the festive period with their loved ones and take some time out from an intensive start to the football season. It may be what is needed at this point in the season for the players to refuel both physically and mentally.
Whilst there a few in favour of the winter break, there is a fair share of those against this supposedly ludicrous idea. The festive period is a time for family but football doesn’t necessarily get in the way of this. In fact, it may be a family tradition to go watch their favourite teams on Boxing day and over the new year. Taking away this via a winter break could stop a wonderful family tradition. Concern for a winter break is also expressed by both players and managers alike, not just fans.
Football may fill the gap that Christmas time leaves come early January. Fans often moan and groan when just a week’s international break is sprung upon us, let alone a 2 week (or maybe more) long winter break. Summer is a long enough break for some.
One thing that annoys fans throughout the season is when players complain about being ‘tired’. Sayings such as ‘they’re young, they should be able to run around for 90 minutes’ and ‘it’s their job’ aren’t uncommon so maybe a winter break will stop this and give everyone the rest they ‘need’. Managers may feel that an overcrowded festive period burns their players out and so a break may be required.
A caveat to this is that the same number of games will still need to be played. There’s already complaints of an overcrowded schedule so taking any time out will just add more games to a smaller schedule to play them in.
So, does the Premier League need a winter break? With there being talks about a winter break beginning in February 2020, wishful thinking may become a reality. Family tradition may have to take a step aside in order for everyone involved to have a recovery period and take the time to recharge and push on for the final half of the season.
Written by Sam Brazier.