Athletes have limits, and their bodies can only endure so much before breaking down. For instance, Manchester United’s Luke Shaw underwent knee surgery that led to further complications. Similarly, Lisandro Martinez suffered a foot injury in April, leading to complications that have sidelined him.
Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, is facing similar challenges, with several key first-team players sidelined due to injuries. Both Manchester United and City managers have voiced their concerns about the packed schedule, and Pep Guardiola has gone a step further by urging players to join in protesting against it.
Guardiola advocates for players to push for schedule reform
There have been rising concerns regarding fixture schedules in the wake of frequent and recurring injuries among footballers. Notably, figures such as Pep Guardiola, Erik Ten Hag, and Vincent Kompany have spoken out against the fixture overload.
Erik Ten Hag, the Manchester United boss, has raised serious concerns about the current fixture. He worries that players cannot deal with the fixture overload stemming from an extended calendar.
Vincent Kompany, the Burnley manager, has also advocated for the introduction of a cap on the number of appearances a player can make in a season.
Pep Guardiola has proposed that the only means of reducing the number of matches on the football calendar would involve players going on strike.
The Man City boss has previously stated that both Uefa and Fifa are overburdening players with additional games in the schedule, which he believes is detrimental to their well-being. He suggests that the only way to bring about change is for the players to take action. Guardiola points to the example of the women’s game in Spain, where strike action played a crucial role in pressuring the federation to make changes and raise the minimum wage for players.
“There is only one solution to change something; maybe if all the players decide for themselves to say, ‘Stop’, then you have to change something,” Guardiola said. “And then Fifa, Uefa will maybe react a little bit.
“In this business, the show must go on. Without Pep, keep going, but the show will not go on without the players. But it depends on them if they decide.”
“I love to play football games. It’s just that when there is a break, there has to be a proper break,” he added. “This is my point of view. I always use the NBA as an example. They play 80 games in a few months, but after that, they have four or three months off if you don’t play the finals, and you can regenerate, the managers and everything, new ideas, and after you can go full.”
Pep Guardiola missed key players in loss vs Wolves
Pep Guardiola has expressed concerns about Manchester City facing a precarious situation due to their expanding injury list, with Bernardo Silva being the most recent player to be sidelined.
The Portugal international has been crucial to the City team since Kevin De Bryune’s injury, but unfortunately for Pep, Bernardo was substituted just before half-time during Manchester City’s 3-1 victory against Red Star in their Champions League opener. Guardiola mentioned that Silva is anticipated to be unavailable for “the next few weeks” due to his injury.
Hence, Pep Guardiola has attributed Manchester City’s loss to Wolves to the absence of key first-team players such as Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic, and John Stones, Bernardo Silva, all of whom have been on the injury list this season.
Man City have some interesting features ahead. Guardiola’s team will have to play without Silva and other absentees in their upcoming encounters with Leipzig, Arsenal and Brighton in the coming weeks