Jürgen, look away now! The Winter World Cup in Qatar is set to spark an injury spell as Premier League clubs are warned of the impact the brutal schedule will have on their stars
- Premier League clubs have been warned to prepare for another injury-plagued year
- Medical experts have said the jam-packed campaign will increase injuries
- Research has shown that English players who appeared in last summer’s big tournament saw their minutes fall dramatically this season
- Some clubs have asked players to report for pre-season duty by June 27
- For the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates, click here
Premier League clubs have been warned to prepare for another season of injury chaos as the World Cup will put players at even greater risk.
Experts believe the packed season, with a truncated pre-season and a World Cup in Qatar, will create “a perfect storm” for players who are set to increase injuries.
Research by Premier Injuries showed that many of the England outfield players who featured at Euro 2020 suffered a significant drop in Premier League minutes last season due to rotation or injuries, raising concerns for the well-being of Gareth’s squad Southgate reinforced.
Premier League clubs have been warned to prepare for another season of injury chaos
Stars missed more than 2,700 Premier League games last season as 677 injuries and absences left players on the sidelines together for more than 53 years – an increase of almost six per cent from the previous season.
The impact on these players has continued in England’s current games, cramming four games in 16 days as Kalvin Phillips and James Justin both suffered injuries.
To accommodate the World Cup from November 21 to December 18, the Premier League will start a week earlier on August 6 and resume on Boxing Day, eight days after the final.
Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips was among those who felt the effects of a packed summer last season
Some clubs have asked players to report for pre-season training as early as 27 June, just 13 days after England’s international game against Hungary.
“Research will tell you we’re in danger of creating the perfect storm,” said Premier Injuries injury analyst Ben Dinnery The Post on Sunday. “I always use the analogy of a bucket under a dripping faucet. You don’t see any problems until it gets to the very top and then it overflows and players collapse.
“The situation is not ideal in terms of recovery from last season, then throw in these international games that have been smuggled in. The Premier League is brought forward a week where these players really need to go away and recharge their batteries.
“We could see the players back at the pre-season training ground within the next three weeks. So the players are arriving ahead of the new season and the red flags are already being raised. All of these things can come together and increase the risk of a kickback or injury.
How the players suffered after a grueling season followed by a long EM
Jurgen Klopp has been vocal about the stars’ workload and will no doubt be concerned
“It’s obviously a concern and a concern. Managers are more aware that you can’t play with the same core of players as you could a few seasons ago. There’s a lot more rotation.’
A recent poll by Fifpro (players’ union) found that almost 90 per cent of players wanted to limit the number of consecutive games played, while 88 per cent of coaches believed players should play no more than 55 games per season.
Wales and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale lashed out at the “crazy” fixture list, saying it was wrong for a player like Belgium and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to be able to play nearly 80 games this season.
Clubs in the Champions League also play every week instead of the usual two or three week intervals to cram all their group games ahead of the World Cup.
Gareth Bale hit the pileup and said playing almost 80 games this season was wrong
Premier Injuries looked at how England outfield players’ Premier League minutes last season at Euro 2020 compared to their average from the previous two seasons. Eleven of the 17 players analyzed had to accept absences, many of them due to injuries. The likes of Phillips, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw all missed important parts of the season through injury.
However, the concerns are not limited to those at the World Cup. Zone7 uses artificial intelligence to advise clubs like Liverpool on how to manage player workloads.
“Clubs need to give serious thought to how best to deal with players staying at home,” said Rich Buchanan, Zone7 performance director.
“They may be at greatest risk of injury because of disruptions in their normative training. We often see an increase in the risk of injury during international seasons and the working hypothesis is related to a disruption in the normal rhythm of training.
“Will the clubs stick to their regular training cycles or do something completely different? Finding the right balance will be crucial.”