5-substitutions per-game: Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta gives Premier League stiff warning

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The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has warned the Premier League that the league might start having “some really bad news with players” if the 5-substitutions per game format is not re-introduced.

Recall that when the coronavirus pandemic halted football across the world in March, the world football governing body, FIFA advised other football bodies across the world to adopt the 5-substitutions per game format.

The format was to help football managers substitute at most 5 players during a game instead of the regular 3-substitutions. This is believed to be helpful to players who were made to play a high number of matches at short intervals.

The format was adopted in the Premier League in June and was used to complete the 2019-2020 Premier League season. It was also used in other leagues in Europe including the UEFA Champions League. At the end of the season, the Premier League announced that the format would not be used during the 2020-2021 season.

Hence, when the new season started in September, the league returned to the 3-substitutions per game format and abandoned the 5-substitutions format. The criticism from some fans and pundits of the league against the 5-substitutions policy is seen as one of the factors that encouraged the league to scrap the policy.

Critics of the 5-substitutions policy thought that the policy gave room for too many breaks during a league match which sometimes makes the match to drag for too long or become a bit boring.

The fact that the critics of the policy had their ways had not stopped some coaches from the Premier League to keep stressing the need to continue with such a policy. Players are having it as hard as ever as they usually have to play a game after two to three days. A situation Mikel Arteta believes the 5-substitutions per match format is needed for.

5-substitutions per-game: Arsenal's Mikel Arteta gives Premier League stiff warning
Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta.

“I would strongly support [five substitutions in the Premier League],” he said. “We are here to give the best possible show. We need players.

“They are the most important part of that. We have to protect them. It goes on and on and on.

“We’re going to have some really bad news with players that we are not respecting.”

Mikel Arteta will lead Arsenal to play against Molde in the UEFA Europa League tonight, November 5, 2020. The Premier League club is currently topping the Group B table of the competition after two wins in two games.