As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, it’s that time in the football season when managers start calling for a break in fixtures over the Christmas period. On the one hand, you can understand their point-of-view, especially in an age where player fitness is absolutely crucial to the success of a team. Others would argue that it’s the same for every team concerned, although there are some who have their fair share of South American stars…
One of those sides are Manchester City, and it’s therefore little surprise to hear that Mark Hughes is calling for a winter break. Sky Sports reports that the Welshman is calling for a gap in the action to ensure that Premier League teams have the best possible chance of success in Europe, despite Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool doing OK in the Champions League last season!
“I think English teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to the business end of the season and trophies are up for grabs,” he said.
“Most of the time British players and British-based players are going into these games not in the peak of fitness because of the demands they’ve placed their bodies under from the beginning of the season to the end.
“So I think it’s something worth looking at. It’s been mooted in previous seasons but nothing’s come of it so maybe there’s an opportunity to look at it again.”
What Sparky actually means is “Look, I’ve just mentioned to Robinho that there are many league fixtures in December and he thought I was joking. He said there’s more chance of him re-joining Real Madrid than going to Blackburn on 28th December, especially as he’s got a big party lined up the day before. Jo also looks even less interested in playing over Christmas than he does normally, while Elano will probably go missing for three months like he did last year.”