Season after season, English teams struggle to stay fit and healthy towards the last months of the year, as their fixtures get piled up with two or three different competitions.
That’s why Jurgen Klopp used mostly academy players for Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash vs. Arsenal, as the team’s top priority is winning the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
However, perhaps he wasn’t counting on the youngsters to get the win and Liverpool to move on to the next phase of the competition, so he threatened to boycott the cup unless they find a proper date for the upcoming match:
“If they don’t find an appropriate place – and I don’t mean Christmas Day 3 am – then we don’t play (that game). If they don’t find a proper date and we can’t play the next round, then whoever our opponent is will go through, or Arsenal play. I think a lot of people from the Premier League were sitting watching on television hoping Arsenal can do it. But I’m sorry,” Klopp told the media following his team’s victory, as quoted by The Guardian.
England’s schedule makes it really difficult for their teams to stay competitive towards the second half of the season, as regardless of the depth of their squad, it’s impossible to be at your best when you have to play every three or four days for two straight months.
Should Liverpool comply and decide to forfeit this game, they’ll likely face a tough punishment from the FA, but it would also send a strong message.
Things need to change right now if they want English soccer to stay at the top of the world and avoid players from getting hurt. At the end of the day, most big clubs don’t even try to win these kinds of tournaments and only use their starters if they get to the final stage.