The Times reports that Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is set to revive the classic ‘winter break’ campaign, but with a twist. He reckons that Premier League clubs should have a two-week winter hiatus, not because of fatigue, but because of the African exodus expected in January. Big Sam said:
“Losing players in January is going to be a big problem for me and everyone else in the Premier League. Manchester United are a rare exception and are alone among the big four clubs in having no exposure at the tournament.
“In the early days [at Bolton Wanderers] it was a problem I always had and people just said that I was moaning about it and shouldn’t buy them. But the fact is that they were the cheapest around with quality. Now a huge amount of African players have been brought into the league, so the conflict lies with FIFA, who will always promote international tournaments because that’s where their bread and butter is.
“It causes a big problem for the Premier League now and I can’t see a resolution to it because they’re not going to play it in the middle of the summer, like the other tournaments. It would be all right if we had a two-week break in January.”
So the Newcasle boss thinks a two-week break would be good, but he also admits that losing players to the African Cup of Nations will be a problem for pretty much everyone – and if that’s the case, then what is the problem?
STOP MOANING SAM.