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Premier League managers respond to appearance cap concept

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are among the Premier League managers to have responded to calls from Burnley boss Vincent Kompany for a cap on player appearances.

Kompany has come up with the radical idea to impose a limit on the number of games players can feature in per season, amid fears over an ever-increasing fixture list and player welfare.


Speaking on Thursday ahead of his side’s trip to Newcastle, Kompany suggested that an appearance cap should be introduced by FIFA to protect the game’s elite players and reduce the number of injuries.

“For the players at the top, who have to play for their national teams and all of these other competitions, it should be capped appearances within a season,” Kompany said at his pre-match press conference.

“Put a number on it. It’s not for me to put a number on it, (but) 60 or 65 games. They (still) have to work hard, don’t get me wrong, but 60 games takes a little bit away. It would put the pressure more on coaches and national teams to come to a common-sense calendar.”

Premier League bosses have now been discussing the idea ahead of this weekend’s schedule, with both Chelsea’s Pochettino and Manchester United’s Ten Hag in favour of changes.

“Yes, one players may be able to cope with 70 games, but another cannot,” Pochettino said.

“But it is difficult because every player wants to play every game.

“And then you want to win. I think it is a difficult debate. It is really complicated. It is not a public debate. It is a private debate between the Premier League, the FA and the clubs.”

Ten Hag said the schedule for players cannot continue to increase, amid upcoming expansions for the Champions League and Club World Cup.

“We already expanded the squad this season because we made the reason clear. We had a World Cup in the middle of the season, we had a longer season, we had to play a longer season as well, with FA Cup. A shorter break.

“Every time the schedule is expanding, the load on the players is too much, it’s such a great overload. Many colleagues of mine have pointed to that and I have pointed to that as well. But it keeps going. We keep expanding the schedule.

“Anywhere, it won’t stop. Players can’t deal any more with this overload and I think that’s what you say in this squad at the moment.”

Read – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

Read Also – The Premier League’s Greatest Games: Spurs 3-5 Manchester United 

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