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Tuchel says football schedule is ‘not the problem’ but three sub rules ‘makes absolutely no sense’

Thomas Tuchel has said that he cannot fathom the logic with the Premier League sticking with its three substitute limit amid the current Coronavirus disruption.

Swathes of fixtures up and down the country have been called off in recent weeks amid rising case rates, with the Premier League recording a record 103 positive cases over the last week.


The English football calendar is already packed to the rafters, a problem only exacerbated by the postponements and requirement to reschedule fixtures later in the season.

Following Project Restart in June 2020, teams were permitted to use five subs per game as the league squeezed the remaining fixtures into just a few weeks, with concerns raised over an increase in injuries among players.

However, despite numerous attempts from the big six, the majority of Premier League clubs opted to revert to the original three sub limit, fearing that an additional two subs would be more advantageous to the bigger sides with deeper squads

Every other major league in Europe have opted to keep it at five, and there have been increased calls for it to return to English football in recent weeks, and speaking ahead of this evening’s game against Brighton, Thomas Tuchel says he cannot understand why the Premier League continues to be the odd one out.

“I absolutely cannot understand, zero per cent, why we are the only league who plays through winter and we are the only league with three substitutes in a period of heavy, heavy Covid threat and situations,” the Chelsea boss said.

“It makes absolutely no sense. It is the [current] situation and that is worrying. The schedule is not the problem. We love the schedule. Five changes were invented [permitted] in the UK when corona first started. Now we are in the middle of it, I get the feeling that everybody is refusing it or refusing to think about it.

“For me, it is only logical to do this because Covid affects everybody and you simply need more possibilities to protect the players and share the minutes. This is my opinion and I will not stop standing up for it.

“If you just speak about central midfield, Let’s assume that maybe N’Golo is out, maybe Ruben is still out; so one [positive] test in central midfield is enough for everything to collapse again because then Kova [Mateo Kovačić] will again play 90 minutes from where? Out of nothing,” he said. “You risk injuries – that is what we are doing at the moment. I cannot say more and I cannot see how we are out of Covid threat at the moment.”

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