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Does the modern day footballer play too often?


Big Geordie
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So, nearly into October and we have begun resting players already. I can see why to be honest, we have a small squad which is incapable of battling on in 4 fronts. But on the other hand, we are talking about lads who are supposed to be in their physical prime here and some managers complain about having to play 3 times in a week? And granted, that it's not just Newcastle who do this.

 

In Spain, we see the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta playing 60+ games a season and whilst la Liga possibly isn't as quick as the PL, how come they manage it? My belief is that modern players and wrapped in cotton wool too much and if they are constantly being told they are tired by their boss and the media, then surely they will begin to believe it?

 

I remember a famous stat about when Villa won in the league in 81/82 (I think) and in that season, they only used 13/14 players in what was a 42 game top division season. How did they manage it? Yes, football may well be quicker now but it's a lot softer a game now than it was back then in terms of tackling, etc.

 

Any thoughts lads and lasses?

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I think we are far far too sensitive to players and are seemingly terrified of injuries. To be fair, it's not just not us, it's like the entire game has become brainwashed into thinking professionals can't play twice a week.

 

Take Cisse and HBA for example. Neither has played much in the European games and its not even October. There's absolutely no reason why they couldn't have played tonight.

 

It's really getting out of hand.

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Not at all.

 

I'm not a big fan of Tennis but those lads can play up to 5 hours every 3/4 days in a major tournament then be off a week later to play in smaller tour tournaments all the time.

 

Fair enough it's different sports but the body surely can put up with it in what is a very short career of about 15-20 years

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I think we are far far too sensitive to players and are seemingly terrified of injuries. To be fair, it's not just not us, it's like the entire game has become brainwashed into thinking professionals can't play twice a week.

 

Take Cisse and HBA for example. Neither has played much in the European games and its not even October. There's absolutely no reason why they couldn't have played tonight.

 

It's really getting out of hand.

 

I can understand about Ben Arfa given his injury record. No reason as to why he can't play in Europe and the PL though now he has served his ban for the former. I remember when we played in the CL and UEFA Cup under SBR and there was little or no squad rotation then. 3 games in a week was no problem and we had a superb record for winning a PL game, straight after a european one.

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I think there's also the fact that any injuries in the past were simply dealt with a painkilling injection and a kick up the arse. Fairly sure there's stories of ex players from that era whose legs are completely shot now in middle age.

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I think we are far far too sensitive to players and are seemingly terrified of injuries. To be fair, it's not just not us, it's like the entire game has become brainwashed into thinking professionals can't play twice a week.

 

Take Cisse and HBA for example. Neither has played much in the European games and its not even October. There's absolutely no reason why they couldn't have played tonight.

 

It's really getting out of hand.

 

Bang on.

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Comparing to tennis or other single player sports is an awkward one. They're all on a level playing field in a way, that they have to rely on themselves and only their fitness. In football you've got 11 players' fitness to worry about at least in one match.

 

There's much more scope to mix it up and put fresher legs out there to give you an advantage over a more tired team, even if it is only for that one extra match during the week. They're not going to collapse of exhaustion, no. But it'll still be enough to tire them out easier than a team you face who have had no midweek game, surely?

 

Comparing it to 'back in the day' isn't easy either, as it wasn't anywhere near as physically intensive in the way it is now. You stick players into the sport without the training they have to do now, I couldn't see many of them hitting the heights that they did back then.

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You're never going to get a sensible answer from fans imo. Everyone will just peddle this kind of nonsense about how well paid they are, as if that's a massive factor in how well they can recover from playing football.

 

I'm sure for the most part, players could play every game, but it wouldn't be at the level that they could perform if they were fresher beforehand. Barca are used as an example, but I've definitely heard VI complaining that they looked tired towards the end of last season, and they certainly fell short of their goals. They're probably a bad example too, given their dominance of games, though I can't say I'm all that sure how that translates to how far they've ran during a game.

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On a less generalist note, I think our players do more running than they would if we played more possession football. Especially the front men. Our narrow lead/defend-for-dear life tactics do not come easy.

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Some players can be played too often while others can play more often, it depends on the players and the type of game they play. 

 

I wouldn't want to see Ben Arfa play every game because I think he'd lose his edge and would probably lose that sudden burst of pace which is almost instantaneous.  A player like Jonas could play more games because his game is different and he doesn’t play in quick bursts and he seems to cover a lot of ground but is more steady which doesn’t seem as draining physically.

 

Some players are like sprinters while others are like marathon runners.

 

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Premiership players have 38 games, plus 2 cups and maybe Europe yet apparantly play too much. Meanwhile, go to League 2 and their far smaller squads play 46 games, enter those 2 cups earlier and have the Football League Trophy.

 

The standards and pace isn't the same though.

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Premiership players have 38 games, plus 2 cups and maybe Europe yet apparantly play too much. Meanwhile, go to League 2 and their far smaller squads play 46 games, enter those 2 cups earlier and have the Football League Trophy.

 

At a lower quality with nowhere near the emphasis on player conditioning. :dontknow:

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Very much in two minds about this.

 

Think age comes into it.  I can see no reason why an 18 or 19 year old couldn't play a game every other day, but I can see why this would be a problem for someone in their late 20s. Although it is easy to say that from a bar stool and Gerrard seemed to genuinely struggle with completing matches regularly at the start of his career.

 

I also hate it when you can open a newspaper and see Carroll or Ashley Cole absolutely shit faced, and then hear all about how we need to have a winter break to help England win tournaments. Surely they have to give up drinking before reducing games is even considered?

 

As an amateur I just cannot get my head around the supposedly crippling effect of playing an hour and a half of football a week, whereas by Monday I regularly struggle to recall whether or not I played on the Friday.  But on the other hand the majority of international players do seem to lose a split second of sharpness by the end of the season - so many international tournaments have players performing nowhere near the standard you would expect.

 

Have to say that when someone like Gary Neville who seems switched on about everything and has done it all himself is talking about what Europe takes out of you then I am inclined to believe him.

 

Ferguson and Wenger constantly go on about it as well, whereas managers more inclined to tell players to shake it off and get on with it (like Dalglish and Souness) belong to a different era. That could be seen as proof in itself. Overall I think its self-evident that extra fixtures do make a difference, unfortunately.

 

 

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