What makes Christmas, Christmas? Is it the presents under the tree? The flashing lights outside houses? Or, is it Jurgen Klopp ranting about the festive fixture list?
The Liverpool boss has been vocal in how strongly he disagrees with having the festive periods packed to the rafters full of top-flight football, and some have had enough of his outbursts.
His side were scheduled to take on Leeds United on Boxing Day (26th) before then travelling to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City on the 28th.
Of course, it is unusual and draining for teams to have only a 24-hour break between two matches, however, this isn’t anything new in England – though clubs have, arguably, not been as stretched as they are at the moment courtesy of Covid.
Klopp revealed in his post-match press conference on Wednesday night after beating Leicester in the EFL Cup that he felt people 'don't care' about the risks of a tight-packed month of football.
Discussing the comments, Alan Brazil and Ally McCoist called for the German manager to take a ‘get on with it’ approach to the games – though the former Borussia Dortmund boss won’t have to as his Boxing Day fixture has been postponed.
Speaking on Thursday, Brazil said on talkSPORT: “The word you are missing Jurgen is ‘tradition’. Stop changing it you numpty!
“With the benefits of the squad he’s got and the size he’s got… for God’s sake.”
HAVE YOUR SAY! Is Jurgen Klopp right to request a quieter festive period? Comment below.
McCoist then added: “I know what he’s saying, but we’ve been doing it for years. It is part and parcel of British footballing culture. That’s what we do. Just get on with it!
“I know he wants another 24 hours and his physio and medical staff will be saying stuff, of course, they will. But he’s better off than anybody else, in terms of the squad he’s got.
“I can understand what he’s saying. However, you can’t beat a bit of tradition. The old British football over the festive period. Games flying at us left, right and centre. You can’t beat it.”
Leeds were forced to apply for their match against the Reds to be postponed due to their growing list of Covid cases and injuries, to which the Premier League accepted.
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Speaking about the fixtures pre-postponement, Klopp said on Wednesday night: “26th and 28th is not right. I know in this country we have done it for years, but if you count the injuries over the years that happen in that period.
“People don’t care. If they have to go, they have to go. We don’t ask for 26th and next year, we ask for 26th and 29th. That’s what we are asking for, nothing else. It can’t be that difficult, to be honest.”
It remains to be seen how many more fixtures on Boxing Day are cancelled, and also whether this year will provide evidence that the crammed few days of football will see an increase in injuries.
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