The reason English clubs have struggled in Europe and the reason the national team consistently fails at summer tournaments is simple, reckons Jurgen Klopp.
Our manager appeared on Football Focus this morning talking to Dan Walker, and claimed that we simply have “Too many games and too many tournaments,” for us to compete with Spain and Germany at club and international level.
He went to mention the lack of a winter break, the arduous pre-season tours to Asia and the two cup competitions as further evidence of an unnecessarily packed schedule.
As a fan, it’s a difficult one to analyse. Firstly, Klopp’s probably right. English football’s manic fixture list and embedded practices can only be detrimental when compared against Europe’s other top nations. It would be great for Klopp to have more time on the training ground with his players, and great for their fitness and development with extra time off.
But on the other hand, it’s the same for all the Premier League teams, and part of what makes the competition the most watched, exciting and discussed in the world.
The Christmas matches are wonderful for fans, who Klopp of course values hugely.
Maybe it’s a full, lengthy summer pre-season the boss needs – with his own purchased players. First though he needs to navigate the winter schedule, something which will hopefully be made easier by the fact we’ve had a week to get ready for today’s Boxing Day game.