Almost Time For The Annual Moan

Posted: October 23, 2015 in Football, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

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As Christmas approaches there will be the inevitable cries from some of the Premier League managers, (for it is only them, the lower league managers just get on with it), for a Winter break from the gruelling schedule that can see a top player sometimes having to don his playing boots twice in three days.

You have to feel for the poor souls. Having to survive on a mere pittance of a salary, play on pitches resembling the finest Persian carpets, stay in five star hotels the night before a game, (which now seems to be the norm even for a home game) and then , to add insult to injury, go and kick a ball around for 180 minutes over a period of three days.

As you will no doubt be aware, this scenario is only available at Christmas and the New Year. Thankfully, the poor, vulnerable little waifs and strays will only be asked to run around in circles twice per week at other times of the year, so they don’t feel quite as shattered.

Remember also, it is only the very top echelons who have to play twice per week reasonably regularly. Teams competing in the Champions or Europa Leagues and looking for a decent run in the FA and Capital One Cups will be required to play a high number of games.

The thing is, it is THEIR choice! If, as a manager, you are unhappy that you have no break at Christmas then go and manage in a league where there is one. If you are annoyed with the number of games that a successful team has to play, then go and manage a less successful team. It is not a difficult decision to make. If you are doing something you don’t like doing, then stop doing it, simple. Don’t go whining on about it when everybody else in the country is quite happy with things the way they are.

I am pretty sure there are firemen, nurses, doctors, policemen and women who would love to have a break at Christmas. The reason they don’t is not because of the salaries they are paid, it is because they have a sense of public duty. They realise that not everybody can be off at Christmas and that somebody has to make the sacrifice. Unlike professional footballers, they cannot look in their pay packet for Christmas week and see upwards of £20,000. They may make that in a year, but certainly never in a week.

Footballers too have a public duty, although not all of them may be aware of it. They are entertainers who get paid a lot of money all year round so they should see it as nothing more than a minor inconvenience that, for the few years they will be at the top of the game, they should give the public as much as possible, whenever possible.

So why is it the managers who are always moaning? In actual fact I can think of three who don’t, so it isn’t fair to group them with the rest. Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger both love the Christmas period of games and I have never actually heard Manuel Pellegrini complain about it. I have heard Louis van Gaal go on about it and he should be the last one to criticise. He signed a three year contract and is adamant that he is going to retire at the end of it, so what’s the big deal about having to leave the house for three Christmases running?

As per usual it all seems to be a way of readying excuses if things don’t go as planned. It is the same for everyone, the only exception being that, obviously, the away teams have to travel and the fixtures computer can be very unkind at this time of year.

The average fan just wishes that the managers and players would get on with what they are paid very highly to do, with less moaning and groaning. The season of festive cheer and goodwill should extend from the clubs to the fans, yet it always seems to be the other way round.

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