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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

December 23, 2005

Fixture Congestion

It's around this time of year that top football managers' thoughts turn to fixture congestion - between now and the end of the season. And they worry, too, about injuries hobbling their performance, as the season heads into its second half.

Some managers bitterly resent the larger sides' ability to ride out fixture congestion and injury crises with squad rotation, and it struck me the other day that there's a brilliant solution to this, if only.

My visionary suggestion is that - if a team's squad is over a certain number, pick a number - then they can quite legitimately be required to play games back-to-back, or even simultaneously.

When your Liverpools and Manchester Utds and Chelseas swan off to the FIFA World Club Championship, they would still be required to field a team in domestic competitions at home.

When Arsenal play a Wednesday night Champions League game, they'd also have to play, I dunno, Birmingham in the Premiership. This would level the playing field for the other teams, and make for an "interesting" domestic competition.

Unless they chose to have a smaller squad, thus levelling the playing field the other way. Arsenal field a B-team of youngsters in competitions like the League Cup anyway, so why not just formalise the arrangement?

You know it makes sense.


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