Premier League English

Pep Guardiola gets what he wants with Premier League rule change

Manchester City are now already priming to get ready to resume their Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup campaigns after a three-month layoff.

Guardiola has been vocal for his dislike of the Premier League fixture schedule, especially around Christmas.

The multiple trophies winning manager joked this season that his players would have to be ‘kept in the fridge’ to preserve them over the Christmas period, as City played six times in 18 days – including twice within 48 hours.

Which is why the prospect of having to finish the season with 10 games in 38 days won’t immediately ease Guardiola’s concerns over intense fixture schedules, even if City have not played in three months. They could also have up to nine further games in the Champions League and FA Cup to contend with if they reach the finals of both competitions

However, the light at the end of the tunnel is one possible rule change that could give Guardiola the relieve he has been asking for during his four seasons in England, as the International Football Association Board recently announced that they would temporarily allow five substitutions to be made by a team in each game.

A rule that is being successfully used in the Bundesliga since its restart earlier this month, and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said it will be discussed before the season resumes.

“The IFAB laws have changed, extra dispensation is possible and the Bundesliga decided to go to five substitutes,” he said.

“Our clubs will make that decision in the next few weeks on whether they want to or not. There are mixed views out there and we will come to a conclusion in the coming weeks.”

One would expect Guardiola and City to suppport the changes, especially considering they could play more games than any other club between now and the end of the season if they continue to be successful in the remaining cup competitions.

Being able to field an extra two substitutes would allow Guardiola to further rotate and rest his players between games, and get the most productive use of a fully-fit squad. The availability of all his players for the first time this season would undoubtedly be a boost, besides also bringing new challenges to keep all squad members happy.