Frank Lampard is the latest Premier League football manager to add his voice to the voices agitating for 5 substitutions per game in the league. Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola are among the coaches that have been at the forefront of the agitation.
The Premier League is the only major league in Europe that voted to discontinue the 5 substitutions rule which was introduced after the three months coronavirus induced break. The league used the rule between June and July to complete the 2019-2020 Premier League season.
When the new season was about to commence, the majority of Premier League club owners voted against the policy and ended it to the infuriation of the few clubs that voted in favor of it.
Recently, the English Football League (EFL) bowed to pressure and decided to reintroduce the 5 substitutions rule in the lower leagues. Yet, the Premier League stood on continuing with the regular 3 substitutions per match.
The Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told a Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee meeting that he does not expect the reintroduction of the rule.
Hence, just like Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, and other football managers who spoke in favor of the 5 substitutions rule, Frank Lampard stressed that those clubs competing in European competitions (UEFA Champions League and Europa League), are being overstretched and the 5 substitutions rule would help to minimize the pressure on the players.
“I think it is something we have to address again with the clubs. The circumstances have not changed since we had five subs at the start of the restart,” Lampard said.
“The reason that maybe managers aren’t making three subs is that if you have 10 players fearful of tiredness, there is a danger zone to make a third substitute in case of an injury.
“My main concern is player welfare, they are under incredible stress, especially those playing in Europe.
“I don’t want anyone to cry their eyes out for players, we all know how lucky we are, but everywhere else has five subs so we have to revisit this in my opinion.”
The condensed nature of the 2020-2021 season has put so much pressure on the players that almost every club in the Premier League is suffering several cases of injuries. The top clubs are most affected due to their multiple engagements.
For instance, Chelsea will not be with the likes of Christian Pulisic and Thiago Silva when the club return to Premier League action against Newcastle United on Saturday, November 21 due to injuries. Kai Havertz is back in training a few days after recovering from coronavirus and Ben Chilwell is still a doubt for Saturday’s league game.