If you ask every other player in Europe’s top five leagues, they will probably have a lot to tell you. They may mention all the Dubai trips, the breaks their leagues got during the winter and probably how they got to sneak out some family time in between.
But most players plying their trade in the Premier League have a different story. During the time, the English FA decided – as they’ve always done – to fill the festive period with plenty of football fixtures. It became normal to hear football analysts use phrases like “5 games in 9 days.”
For us football fans, it meant we didn’t have a dull holiday. Remember that period from the Christmas Day till the fourth day in the New Year? Every day featured at least one Premier League game.
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It is a fixture schedule like this that makes the Premier League the most-watched football league in the world. It is also the main reason why they have so much to spend, compared to the other football clubs in Europe. But, has this helped their cause as regards dominating the continent in competitions like the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League?
Not so much.
And that has contributed, in one way or the other, to how the Spanish teams and the Italian teams and the German teams have dominated the European competitions. Yes, Manchester United won the Europa League title last season but see where they ended on the Premier League table at the end of the day.
Is the crazy Premier League fixture doing more harm than good?
The ironic part of the issue is this: When the Premier League took a back seat this weekend; other competitions like the FA Cup and the League Cup stepped in to fill the void. For sides like Manchester City, they will be playing so many games in the next few days, it will be dizzying.
The same goes for Chelsea and Arsenal too, both of which are still competing in the League Cup and also remain in one European competition or the other. With the Champions League and the Europa League starting off in February, it’s concerning that these players have to play these many games before the time.
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The absence of the winter break means the players are obliged to play on cold, windy afternoons with very wet football pitches to deal with and the high risk of suffering injuries. Just ask Gabriel Jesus who is now out for a couple of weeks.
For the fans though, non-stop football action is what we crave. But has the Premier League done itself more harm than good by going on end without a break – a winter break? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.