Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo concerned about increasing matches
Speaking to the press, Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo was worried about the increasing number of games on the calendar. The statement stemmed from the fact that there has been a proposal to hold the FIFA World Cup every two years instead of four.
Elite level football is a never-ending cycle. Top clubs these days play around 60+ games in a season. Not just that, the season is also peppered with international games that culminate in tournaments every four years with some or the other taking place almost every year during the offseason.
This creates a dangerous setting for players who are playing so many games during the seasons that they run the risk of burning out rather early in their careers. With the schedule already jacked up, there has been a proposal from Arsene Wenger, FIFA chief of Global Development. The idea is to hold the World Cup every two years instead of four.
While the ideal has been met with criticism, which is good to hear, Wenger has gone on to outline how it would result in more meaningful games. Nuno Santo was asked about his opinion on the same. Given how the last international break turned out, his response was not the least bit surprising. (h/t Evening Standard)
“I don’t have a big view [on staging the World Cup every two years]. What I can tell you is that everything that has been changing in football is only [towards] more and more. Each time a decision is made it is more games, more games. I don’t know if the players will be able to maintain their level of performance with so many games through all these seasons. It is my worry and my biggest concern. But I don’t have a clear view on what is best for the game, on World Cups every two years.”
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Adding more games at the end of the season and reducing the number of qualifiers is an ambitious proposal. However, the World Cup is a spectacle and perhaps holds its value due to being held at the current interval. Players need to get some break during the offseason and adding more tournaments are probably not the best way to go about that.