It has been nine days since Villa lost 2-1 away to relegation rivals Bournemouth. By the time Villa return to playing action on Sunday, they would have enjoyed a 15-day break but was the winter break just what we needed?
Over the last week or so I have heard many people give their opinions on the Winter break that the Premier League has introduced this season. I think it was Paul Merson who stated that it had come too late in the season and that had it come a little earlier after such a busy Christmas period players like Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane wouldn’t have picked up the injuries they did.
Maybe he has a point. Villa lost both Wesley and Tom Heaton for the season over the busy schedule. Did the Premier League cause this by expecting too much from the players? Or was it caused by fitting so many games in a short period of time to allow for this break?
DON’T FIX WHAT ISNT BROKEN
Traditionalists will always tell you that there was no need for a Winter break. They will say that players have played for years and never complained about the Winter schedule. In fact, I have heard some saying that the only reason it has come about is the influx of more and more foreign players in the Premier League.
But again, you could argue that these foreign players want to play in the Premier League. When they join their respective clubs they will know full well about what is expected of them. The Premier League is regarded as one of the best and hardest leagues in world football so by introducing this break, is it just making it like every other league?
The old saying of ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ springs to mind but the FA say that it will improve the quality in the final third of the Premier League campaign because of the break. They will also turn to the England international side as our players will get a similar break to those oversea’s.
WILL VILLA BENEFIT?
It is unclear at this stage if Villa will benefit from the break. Some bookies like Betfred already have Villa as one of the relegation favourites but only time will be able to answer that question. Football players seem to play a lot more than other sports stars who all seem to get decent breaks – apart from maybe those who play cricket who seem to never stop playing.
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Villa players have been posting pictures of themselves on holidays with each other as well as those with loved ones. They are humans after all and deserve some downtime as much as anyone else. I just wonder if it was the right time for us?
Dean Smith has stated that his sides tend to perform better after Christmas and they will need to should we survive in the Premier League this season. And after this Winter break will anyone have any excuses? What are your thoughts on the Winter break?