Every time I hear a manager complain about the fact that their players are feeling a little tired, I will smile. Every time they call for a winter break, I will giggle. And every time they bemoan England’s chances in the World Cup because of our playing schedule, I will laugh. Not just because I find it funny that this is the only time of the year that multi-millionaires have it worse than the common fan, but because I remember all the great matches we’ve had over the latest Christmas period, and I wouldn’t give them up, even for the World Cup!
This year we’ve been more spoilt than ever, with matches on the weekend before Christmas, Boxing Day, Saturday 29th and a final round of matches on New Years Day to come! And we’ve had some amazing matches – way back on the 22nd Liverpool finally started to shine with a 4-0 victory (in true rollercoaster-Liverpool fashion they followed it up with a 3-1 loss and then a 3-0 win!)
On the 23rd, Chelsea took Aston Villa to pieces with an emphatic 8-0 win, and enough goals to keep us entertained until the 26th! On Boxing Day the entertainement reached new levels, with Manchester United managing their usual last-gasp antics to steal three points from Newcastle, even though they had been trailing three times in the match!
Just three days later all the players were back to the grindstone, with Arsenal giving the stand-out performance with a 7-3 victory over the Toon Army, before Liverpool and Chelsea stole convincing wins yesterday. This has to have been one of the best ever Christmases on record!?
With all of these fantastic matches helping to break-up the family monotony, and add some extra sparkle to the Christmas period, I can’t ever see a time when the majority of fans are calling for a winter-break – no matter how many times Sir Alex or Arsene whinge about it.
Given that all the other European leagues DO have a winter break, there is an argument about giving ourselves an even chance (both in European competitions and internationals) but in truth, if that came at a cost of Christmas football, most fans would accept that maybe we just won’t be that competitive on the World stage. Especially when we embroider the whole story with the fact that for many fans, the taking of family (and sons in particular) to the Boxing Day matches has become something of an institution.
Given that the Premier League markets itself as the ‘most entertaining’ in the world, it seems only right that we continue to pride ourselves in our entertainment, and continue to give fans what they want – plenty of games over Christmas!
Do you agree? Is this better than winning the World Cup? Tweet me at ftbllr