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.