A Winter Break?

Is it time for the EPL to have a winter break? I think the answer is yes, but it is highly unlikely to happen. Let’s take a look.

Players have petitioned for years that they need a break in the winter. I have mentioned on this blog numerous times that the EPL season is incredibly physical and this affects how the England National Team performs during the Euro Championships and World Cups. Injuries are high and the wear and tear effect is obvious.

Wayne Rooney is the current high profile player that is suggesting we need a winter break and he is actually a poster child for a good case of needing one. Last season he started like a house on fire. He was playing incredibly well and scoring goals as if it was going out of fashion. As the season took it’s toll (and possibly a cumulative effect of numerous seasons), he slowed somewhat, got injured and had ended it with poor performances in the World Cup.

It was often remarked that Patrick Vieira used to purposely get himself red carded during the winter so that he could take a much needed break. And if you look at some of his red cards, they were inexplicable, so there is probably some truth to this. Viera also famously asked Arsenal for a break just a couple of weeks into the season after a summer at the World Cup. Arsene Wenger has also campaigned over the years for a winter break.

But – Chances are, it won’t happen – at least not anytime soon. Why? Money and tradition.

The winter break would probably be set for Christmas and the New Year. But in England there is a tradition of playing games over the holiday period. Not only games, but more of them. Sometimes, depending on what day Christmas and New Year fall, there can be as many four games in 8-10 days. Add to this that these games typically have higher attendances than if they were played at other times and you can see why club owners are not going to give up on them easily.

I don’t know how the schedule would work, but maybe taking a break from Jan 5 – 25 or something might work. But I think something needs doing. It would certainly help the England National Team or at least give them one less excuse they could use for poor performances.

4 Comments

  1. benjamin says:

    I was also reading about this on ESPN soccernet.com.

    It would only make sense, and possibly help to lead to some better football. Everybody needs a break at one point or another. If the stakes were not so high, I bet that more managers would probably give their reserve players more playing time during these months. Or figure out some way to give more players time to recoup.

    Mike, your comment about Viera leads me to another topic of interest that I was also reading about on the soccernet. Might be a good topic for your next blog – “Bad tackling – the answer?”
    The offered 3 suggestions:
    1) Longer, harsher bans 35.3 %
    2) Ban them for as long as injured party 38.9 %
    3) It’s man’s game, get over it 25.9 %

    I say, make the person that committed the foul pay for the injured persons medical fees, or some type of supplemental fee for time lost not playing.

  2. yasin says:

    i`m from bulgaria and we have a winter break here .
    i don`t think its very helpful. the teams dont paly competitive matches for 2 and a half months.then they play half of the season for 3 – 3 and a half months and then is the summer break. but here it is impossible to play in the winter the piches will but damaged for a long time.

    i thnik a week or 2 is ok for england PL coz also the pitches a excelent and the players can use a small vacation to recover.
    the other hand the tv and the fans want to watch games when they have vacation around christmas…so i guess, the money (TV) will win again. :)

  3. yasin says:

    i`m from bulgaria and we have a winter break here .
    i don`t think its very helpful. the teams dont paly competitive matches for 2 and a half months.then they play half of the season for 3 – 3 and a half months and then is the summer break. but here it is impossible to play in the winter the pitches will but damaged for a long time.

    i thnik a week or 2 is ok for england PL, and the players can use a short vacation to recover.
    on the other hand there is the tv and the fans, who will want to have games when they have vacation around christmas…so i guess, the money (TV) will win again. :)

  4. John says:

    Where would you fit it in? The weather can be rubbish any time between November and April? Although all the pitches are so good the weather isnt a consideration any more.

    Also if the EPL clubs had a free week then they would just organise a prestige friendly to make a load of money and probably fly around the world to play it!

    I dont think it would help anybody personally anyway as it would extend the season even longer than it is now.