Pep Guardiola: EPL fixture list a 'disaster' for player well being

It's been dubbed "the best league in the world," but the English Premier League's fixture scheduling has been labeled...

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 3:29 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2018 3:29 PM

It's been dubbed "the best league in the world," but the English Premier League's fixture scheduling has been labeled a "disaster" for player health by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Four games over Christmas and the new year has long been a tradition in English football, but this season's festive schedule has drawn the ire of Guardiola, whose team hold a 12-point lead at the top of table, but now face Watford on Tuesday, having played on Sunday.

Guardiola's Man City top EPL table

Man City play four matches in 11 days

EPL fixture schedule draws criticism

"If you tell me that technically, physically it's good for the players: no, it's a disaster," said Guardiola ahead of his team's fourth match in 11 days.

Two of City's leading stars -- Brazilian Gabriel Jesus and Belgian Kevin de Bruyne -- picked up injuries in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend.

READ: Arsenal's 'Invincibles' would beat Man City

Do you agree with Guardiola? Have your say on our Facebook page.

Long-term repercussions

Sports strength coach Simon Brundish, who has worked with a number of Premier League clubs over a 21-year career, described the schedule as "utter craziness."

"These elite athletes need four days between games to 'fully' recover," Brunish told CNN Sport.

"One is demanding injury, while one day between games after three games in nine days is accepting it in return for money," added Brundish, a reference to the billion-dollar television deal the Premier League and its clubs signed with broadcasters.

"The injuries they cause now have repercussions for the season and often careers of these footballers. Ask Mo Salah of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alii or Mesut Ozil of Arsenal when the World Cup comes round in June."

Europe's other top leagues enjoy a winter break. Germany's Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1 returns to action on January 12, while Spain's La Liga will re-start on January 6.

READ: The unstoppable rise of the 'Insta-trainer'

READ: Honing LeBron James' billion-dollar body

'It's not fair'

City aren't the only club complaining.

Relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion has made an official complaint to the Premier League over their Christmas schedule. The Premier League did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

West Brom face relegation rivals West Ham Tuesday, having played out a 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Sunday. Meanwhile, West Ham have had a week to prepare for the game, though David Moyes' team will next play Tottenham on Thursday.

Both Tottenham and West Ham will also play FA Cup games on Sunday, ensuring they will have had three matches in six days.

"It is going to have a big damage on the FA Cup for us, to have two games in three days and then have to play another three days later in the FA Cup," Moyes told reporters.

"That's where it's taking its toll and the Premier League is eating into dates where the Cup games might be getting used.

"Do I want to win the FA Cup? 100%. But I don't think it can be where we can damage our league form."

Go to CNN.com/sport for more stories & features

West Ham's Head of Medical Services Gary Lewin added: "I don't think it is particularly fair -- physically it is it not a level playing field for all clubs, as some are playing every few days, some have a longer break between matches and some have a week off before playing twice in three days.

"But that is how it is and we have to deal with it."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180
West Lafayette
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 56°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 61°
Delphi
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 57°
Clear Skies Continue
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events