Saturday, 17 July 2010

Mid season break

There have been lots of excuses made as to why we didn't do well at the world cup.

One that is always trotted out is that the players are tired because of such a demanding season.

I'm not sure about that because Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka etc also haven't performed.

However, if we assume that we do need to reduce the burden on players then having a midwinter break is not the answer for a number of reasons:

1. The players would still have to play the same number of games but in a shorter space of time.

2. The clubs would undoubtedly want the players to keep up their fitness during the break.

3. The football on their return would not be as good as the players would all be short of match fitness.

4. Fans really enjoy their Christmas football.

5. No-one knows when the weather will be bad and so we could have a break and then when everyone comes back there could be a bad weather spell which would leave no time to finish all of the fixtures by the end of the season.

So what are the alternatives?

I think there are two that would not impact on the clubs or fans that are worthy of consideration.

1. Players are limited to a certain number of matches/playing hours in a season. Each manager would then have to manage when they play each player, staggering the games players miss. To a certain extent a lot of team do this already so by enforcing this it would ensure that each player is not overworked in the season. This would also enable more of the younger English players to get game time during Premier League matches rather than just the Carling Cup.

2. Manager have to declare a mid season break for each player. This break would be for a set period of say 2 or 3 weeks. You could put whatever restrictions you want on this period - like players are not allowed to train or they can only train for a set number of days etc and they can't play in that period either. It would then be up to each manager to manage his squad and stagger the players' breaks throughout the season. You would have to stipulate that players cannot serve suspensions during this period. The benefit of this is that players who get injured and so miss a lot of football anyway could have their break during this injury period since they won't be tired if they have been missing games anyway.

I think all of this makes a lot more sense than having an arbitrary break for a set time... it's bad enough during the close season!

This blog seems to be evolving into a less regular, less poker themed blog so I don't know whether to start bring more poker back into it.

I did play the Friday night side event at Leos last week but that was a pure crapshoot with the blinds steeper than the normal Friday night event. A starting stack of 7500 was worth only 10 big blinds by the end of the first 2 hours. I ended up going out when I was down to 4000 ish chips and raised to 900 with 77 which was called by the chip leader. I lead out for 1000 on the 6 high flop and got reraised all in by AQ for 1800 more. Of course a queen hit the river. I then had a bad couple of hours playing cash to finish a couple of buy ins down in the £1/£2 cash game after. I did meet the eventual main event winner Mark McCluskey in the cash game and had a good conversation with him over a number of things which was well worth the time.

Anyway that's it for now.


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