Stan Collymore has suggested that Premier League clubs like Liverpool may be forced to cut off their pre-season tour commitments in order to better preserve the health of their players.
This follows comments from leading English top-flight managers, including Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel, around the impact of the congested fixture schedule on player wellbeing.
“I know both men [Klopp and Guardiola] are outspoken in terms of we want to look after our players, and what that essentially means is we don’t want to run them into the ground. If it’s an entertainment industry, we want them fitter, stronger, healthier for longer,” the 50-year-old told Empire of the Kop.
“I agree. Jurgen, I agree. Pep, I agree.
“But then don’t go on any end of season tours; do all of your pre-season at the AXA training campus and don’t fly to Australia, or Singapore, or Malaysia, or the United States.”
With injuries having once been rife in the Reds squad earlier in the season, there’s certainly a case to be made around the negative impact of the schedule.
Whilst remaining local come the end of the season would perhaps keep players a little fresh come the start of the next, one may be inclined to argue that changes to routine shouldn’t come sorely from the clubs themselves.
We can respect that sides have agreed to the schedule on the basis of the significant financial benefits attached, though some degree of flexibility shouldn’t be beyond the realm of reality to protect the health of the sportsmen involved.
Some degree of cooperation will be necessary to ensure that the league’s best players are able to perform at the highest level for as many games as possible – particularly should international tournaments become more regular.