Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter break

Every year there will be at least one article in the tabloids with a high profile manager about the need for a winter break in the Premier League like those in Europe. I for one don't really agree with this, I think footballers at the top should be able to play a couple of extra games during a period when other people actually have some extra time and cash to get to a game.

I actually think though that the non-league game would benefit from having a bit of time off. The players here also have jobs to do and most frustrating of all lower down the clubs don't have the facilities and the games get called off anyway leading to a fixture glut later on in the season. 

Today Ely were supposed to take on Godmanchester, but storms have battered the city and the game is off. This is the second game off in the last couple of weeks and apart from a game at Mildenhall on Boxing Day a couple of years ago it has been almost the same story of cancellations over the six years.

If a team has a good cup run then without a winter break it can mean that their season can come apart with the amount of games they need to get done before June. I have spoken to people at the Cambs FA and there is no way clubs are going to be allowed to play in June. Why? Well, this raises other questions about the mindset and aspirations of the leagues and local football associations, which could be a book rather than an article in itself.

Three years ago there was the case of Guernsey who ended up playing 12 games in the space of a month and I remember 4 years ago when the wheels came off King's Lynn's promotion chase after a run in the Vase and poor weather over Christmas saw them have to play 9 games in 3 weeks. Coupled with this the players all had full time jobs away from football, so perhaps we should have more sympathy for them and considering a winter break at a more grass roots level than giving so many column inches to Louis Van Gaal and his complaints of 3 matches in a week once in the season.

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