Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit out at the Premier League for their decision to reverse the five substitution rule at the start of this season.
When football resumed after the lockdown last season, teams were allowed to make up to five substitutions so that they can cope with the lack of preparations.
However, the rule was reversed to a maximum of three substitutions at the start of this season as it would have given the big clubs an unfair advantage.
Clubs had very little time to prepare for the new season and several players have had to suffer injury blows because of that.
Pep Guardiola claims that the players need to be protected and the five substitution rule would have allowed clubs to rotate their squads and keep the players fresh for the hectic schedule.
He said to MEN: “It’s time to take care of the main reason everybody is in this business, which is the football players.
“Some players have 8 days, 10 days off [if they don’t play in European competition] so forget about the five substitutions [giving] an advantage for some teams. It’s to protect the players, all of them.
“The last 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes of games are when players who are playing every three days start to suffer. The rule is to protect them, that’s all. Why all around the world is it happening in all the leagues – in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, everywhere – but here, which is the more demanding for many reasons, we cannot protect the players?
“It’s not about protecting Man City. It’s about protecting all Premier League players and the statistics speak for themselves – almost 50 per cent more muscular injuries than last season.
“Why? Because the players play not being recovered from the previous game but also maybe most of them not from the previous season. It has happened in all the other leagues so why should we not do it? It make no sense, honestly – no sense. “
The Champions League is still allowing five substitutions per game and clubs in Italy, Germany and Spain are also following the same rules.
Guardiola is not the only manager unhappy with the rule reversal this season. The likes of Jurgen Klopp have complained about the same in recent weeks.
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