Southampton manager blasts English Premier League for intense winter fixtures

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has blasted the English Premier League for the crazy set of fixtures scheduled in the winter, Daily Star reports.

The Saints have been in brilliant form this season, sitting second on the Premier League table but their challenge to finish in the top four could be wrecked ahead of a nasty run of games.

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Koeman’s side will be playing 11 games in just 42 days, with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and the Manchester clubs amongst the teams they’ll be facing.

The Dutch manager has never experienced such a quick-fire run of matches, as every other European league has a Christmas break apart from the English top flight and even asked his players for some guidance.

Koeman said: “I spoke to the players. I said, ‘Honestly, I don’t have that experience’.

“I always used to be on holiday during Christmas and now we have a lot of games to prepare for.

“It is crazy. You have one day off between two games and that is crazy – 24 hours to recover is not enough.

“It is impossible. That is my problem with the schedule. If the games are on the 26th and the 29th of December, then I have no problem.

“But it is Friday-Sunday and that is crazy. One day off? Crazy. It is also difficult as I don’t have experience in having these kind of games over a short time.

“The worst situation will be for the clubs who don’t have 24 players on the same level because you will have to change and I don’t like to change.

“I believe if the team is doing well then, like what you have seen already this season, I have changed one or two positions. I don’t believe changing my team in terms of six or seven players.

“In some cases it can favour the bigger clubs as they can change much easier than a lot of other teams in the Premier League.”

Southampton travel to Aston Villa on Monday night in their attempt to keep hold of second place, seven points behind league leaders Chelsea.


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