As expected, Liverpool’s success in Europe is becoming a major problem for them this season and the EFL are not providing any reasonable solutions for the current best team in Europe.
As I wrote in the beginning of the season, Liverpool are playing for a whopping seven trophies this season. FIFPro released a report earlier this year showing that many Liverpool players among others are at risk of injury due to the unreasonably high number of games they have played for both club and country and not enough rest in between.
After their win against Arsenal in a thrilling 5-5 game ending in a penalty-shootout win for Liverpool, Klopp knew scheduling was about to become an even worse nightmare than it already was.
With Liverpool having won the Champions League last season, they are qualified for the Club World Cup in Qatar, which takes place in December. This meant there was no valid slot for Liverpool to play their Carabao Cup quarter final in December.
Klopp mentioned the issue early on, hoping for a reasonable resolution from the EFL.
“You cannot work like this that you hope that somebody goes out and then everything is fine”.
“I don’t want to cancel competitions, I am from Germany, why would I want to cancel English competitions? But it should still be possible to talk about the problems and that is what I did. If some people don’t like that — I cannot change.
“The problems are obvious. Every year we do the same thing — and some people find it funny that ‘Look at that they have to play five games in three days, let’s see how they do that?’
“We cannot carry on like this, come on, that is why I asked to sit down at a table because at one point we have to find a solution, the solutions so far sound to me more like another problem.” – Source: ESPN
It was in vain, as the EFL scheduled the game one day before Liverpool’s first Club World Cup game, in Qatar. This was, the EFL claims, the best possible solution, which makes us wonder, if the best possible solution means a team has to play two games in two days on two separate continents, then there is a much bigger problem here.
Long have coaches from the EPL’s top six teams claimed the FA does nothing to help it’s teams be successful in Europe. Now we can see this problem exacerbated, with Liverpool forced to field a weaker team in an Carabao Cup quarter final. The situation might get worse if Liverpool actually beat Aston Villa for a two-legged semi final is next, with not much space in Liverpool’s already crowded schedule to fit it in.
On top of that, the EFL had the audacity of releasing a statement saying Liverpool have to meet the competition’s selection requirements: “Each Club shall play its full available strength in and during all Cup Competition matches, unless some satisfactory reason is given”.
What they do not realize is it is actually the EFL’s scheduling problem that is forcing Liverpool to play this game on a day where it’s not humanly possible to field any first team player. No club in the world will forsake the Club World Cup for a Carabao Cup quarter final.
It is up to the EFL and the FA to provide sensible scheduling to all clubs in England, *especially* the ones which are more successful in Europe. Scheduling exceptions should be made whenever necessary to enable these teams to do well in prestigious continental or international competitions.
This turn of events is unfortunate and it is clear that instead of finding a real, long-term solution for this problem, the EFL is indirectly sanctioning England’s most successful team for no valid reason.
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