The Irish Times

Overdoing it at Christmas Winter break would improve Premier League

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Wolfsburg play two more games before the winter break in Germany. They resume on January 24th, meaning there are 35 days between facing Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt.

As Jurgen Klopp said as he sat in the press room at St James’ Park last Sunday, absorbing Liverpool’s non-display, his former colleagues in Germany had been texting him to gloat about this. Klopp said that while Bundesliga players have 35 days off, Liverpool players will have 10 games. It’s eight actually, but Klopp’s point was made.

And it is a sound one. Those five weeks in Germany not only allow for physical rest and recuperati­on, there is a mental rest. There is time to break off from football, slow down, enjoy other things. And come back fresh.

In England it’s said this cannot happen due to the traditiona­l importance of the Christmas fixtures and the third round of the FA Cup.

This is true, but there could be a fortnight off in January after the Cup. It would not be the equivalent of Germany’s break but it would still bring some relaxation from the physical and emotional intensity of top-flight competitiv­e football.

It should freshen minds and that should, in the long run of the season, make for better football.

 ??  ?? Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager can no longer enjoy the Christmas holidays
Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager can no longer enjoy the Christmas holidays

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