Thomas Tuchel has appealed to the Premier League over the reluctance to introduce five substitutions.
It has been the big debate of the winter in the Premier League, which only permits three substitutions despite the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
Last season, we saw five substitutions allowed with via three separate stoppages, but the same luxury hasn’t been afforded to clubs this season.
Nor has that rule changed in the face of a slew of positive tests across clubs in recent weeks, with 14 or more clubs needing to approve the change of rules.
Currently, there are less than 14 clubs willing to approve it, and that has left a number of head coaches furious, especially at bigger clubs with international players.
The workload being placed upon players is rather significant, and that’s why Chelsea boss Tuchel is begging for protection for his players.
“We love the schedule and we love to play through winter and be the only league to play through the winter, but we need also protection from the league,” he told the official Chelsea website.
“I can absolutely not understand zero per cent why we are the only league that plays through the winter and we are the only league with three substitutes in a period of heavy Covid threat and heavy Covid situations.
“I’m heavily concerned and I don’t understand why we have only three substitutes. That makes absolutely no sense but it’s a situation so it is worrying that we struggle and we have injuries and we have players who suffered from Covid, and we have no time to build them up.
“So obviously we are in the middle of a very strange situation where all teams are affected heavily and I simply don’t understand why we cannot have the five changes because five changes have been invented also in UK now when coronavirus first started.
“We are now in the middle of it and simply I get the feeling that everybody’s refusing it or not even thinking about it or refusing to think about it.
“For me it is logical to do this because everybody is affected by Covid and you simply need more possibilities to protect the players and to share the minutes. It is my opinion, and I will not stop to stand up for it.”
The argument against the increase in substitutions is that the bigger clubs will have better benches to call upon, while smaller clubs are only likely to have a select number of impactful players.
It is also argued that the bigger clubs should call upon younger players and rotate their starting XIs more often if they truly want to rest players.
Though, the safety of players should come first and this is a debate that is likely to rumble on for the time being.