‘Premier League’ and ‘Covid’. It seems like we’re going to have to get used to these words being in the same sentence, if you haven’t got used to it already that is. The Premier League has already had one football break courtesy of Covid which lasted around two weeks.
There have been a few things put in place to try to prevent the spread of Covid in the Premier League, I’m not sure if these new rules are actually helping or it’s just to make them look as if they’re complying but football is a contact sport so it’s a bit confusing. Anyway, the rule are:
- No shirt swapping
- No hugging or handshakes (celebrating together)
- Dressing room spot checks
Not to get political but according to reports, the UK is in a worse position now for Covid cases than it was back when we had the first break. I’m not sure if we’re going to have another football break but experts have strongly warned about the risks. If there is to be one, what are the pros and cons for the teams?Premier League and Covid - The pros and cons of a football break Click To Tweet
Premier League Covid Break – Pros
Injury & Fatigue Recovery
This is something that I’d imagine all teams to consider a positive. I say that because some of these pros could be seen as cons and vice versa, depending on what situation your team is in.
Having a football break will allow teams to get some of their injured players back for team selection and if not that, it will lessen the number of games that a team will have to cope without certain players. I guess it doesn’t really make a difference with players that are out for major time like Van Djirk for example, but anything else I’d say it’s a positive.
Also, it helps with the players who aren’t injured but more fatigued and in need of a rest. The Premier League is a very demanding league, you’ll hear players comment about the physicality f the league all the time so whether players welcome a break or not it will definitely help with fatigue recovery.
Time to Digest & Asses
When you have a break from things whether it’s work, gym, or some kind of hobby it gives you a chance to take things in, assess where you’re at, and identify areas where you think things might need to change.
Think about it, if the higher powers decide that Premier League football has to stop for safety measures then that’s that! You have two options, use it as a positive and look at areas where you’re doing well, need to improve, or maintain. The other option is, view it as a negative or not use the time productively.
This would be the same if the Premier League has a football break. Players and managers will have a chance to digest the season so far, as a team and individually. It could actually make a huge turning point to a team’s season.
Teams performing above expectations, you might ask what’s there is to improve on if your performing above expectations? Which is a good question. But the thing with football is, there’s always a need for analysis whether it produces good or bad results you can still find new ideas and opportunities.
A team hitting or close to hitting their pre-season expectations (all professional teams have these). The manager and coaching staff might look at areas where they can take the team to that next level. Even if it’s just a little tweak in the team.
Performing below expectations gives a team time to evaluate, analyse in detail and see where things are going wrong. Yes, all these things can be done without a break but it just gives teams and managers a bit more time without the pressure of the next game round the corner. Which leads nicely to my next point…
This relates to the section above. Once a team has assessed and digested their situation then it allows the players to get theirmindset right. Whether a team is fighting relegation, mid-table, or around the top of the league a certain mindset is needed in all these positions.
I know there’s probably no better way to getting a team’s mindset right than actually going out there a putting it right on the pitch but again you have to take other factors into consideration as well, all these things will be happening at the same time which sometimes can become overwhelming.
Football and Covid - The pros and cons of a football break Click To Tweet
Premier League Covid Break – Cons
If teams are in any type of consistency whether it’s a 3 game win streak or 10, then a break is exactly what they don’t want. They’ll be looking forward to the games coming thick and fast because team confidence is high. Managers will always stress about the importance of consistency.
Consistency is such a key thing, especially in league football because it’s a long season where teams are usually tight (especially since Covid has been a thing) so even a spell of consistency can climb a team many positions up the table.
You even see at times, some managers really not happy with the International football break because their team is inconsistent form. ‘Consistency’ and ‘break’ just don’t go hand in hand.
Lack Match Fitness
This is a factor that’s going to be a problem for all teams. Their match fitness will drop. However, teams that basetheir gameplay on outrunning their opponents or constantly closing down their opponents may be affected slightly more than the teams who don’t predominantly rely on this.
Training matches is one thing, but they still won’t get a team to full match fitness, not even friendly matches would do this because the intensity is simply not the same.
Football Schedule Stays Intense
Having a football break means fixtures will fall behind schedule, which results in an intense football schedule to try to get the season finished in time or should I say finished in a time that it doesn’t run over to the following season which would open a whole load of problems.
As you can see already from the first Covid Premier League break that teams are playing games on average every three days, not to mention the teams that are in the domestic and European cups.
Now in pros, I mentioned (Injury & fatigue recovery) but this schedule would increase the chances of injuries happening and naturally increase fatigue so it’s kind of like a vicious cycle.Football and Covid - The pros and cons of a football break Click To Tweet
If there is another Premier League football break there’s nothing anyone can do about it so the best thing to do is make sure it is a productive break.
Now, depending on the situation/position of a team some of these pros can be perceived as negative and some of the cons may be perceived as positive. For example, a team with not many injuries if any is not going to see injury recovery as a benefit, especially when another team could be getting 1 or 2 key players back in that time.
However, the point of this is to focus on what benefits are there for your team and how you can maximise these benefits for when they return to football again.
Same with the cons, what can be done to minimise the effect that these have on your team? Match fitness, for example, try and have your team fitter than the rest n their return. Yes, they may not be math fit but if your team comes back one of or the fittest in the league, it’s a big advantage for the first few games.
Ultimately, if a football break was to be put in place, it’s for health and safety reasons which are the most important and I don’t want to come across as if I’m disregarding that.
In relation to football, do you think there are any more pros and cons of the Premier League having a Covid break?