Premier League players would benefit from a mid-season break, according to a member of the England national team’s medical setup.
English football’s traditionally hectic festive schedule has once again come under the microscope this season.
Liverpool’s Premier League rookie Jurgen Klopp and seasoned Premier League manager Sam Allardyce at Sunderland are among those in agreement that players should spend the Christmas period resting up like their counterparts in the other major European leagues.
Steve Kemp, who was speaking to Omnisport from Perform at St George’s Park, where he works as elite physiotherapist, accompanied Roy Hodgson’s England side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The former Wolves, Leeds United and Preston North End physio is preparing to travel to France among the backroom staff when Hodgson’s men bid for Euro 2016 glory in June and he believes players battling for a place in the 23-man squad would be well-served by time off during the English winter.
“It’s a challenge, isn’t it?” Kemp said. “It’s a real challenge, that amount of loading over a short period of time and that fixture congestion.
“Obviously the pitch dynamics change so there are a lot of things going on for the athlete which are a challenge and you do see peaks in injuries around this time.
“Personally, I think if we ever could arrive at a winter break it would only help.
“But there are so many variables and so many challenges to that. It’s been spoken about for a long time.”
If those obstacles of scheduling and tradition could be overcome to make way for a mid-season break, Kemp feels England’s prospects of lifting a first major honour since 1966 would enjoy a boost
He said: “It think it can [help the nation’s chances of honours] in the long run. Just so these players don’t get overloaded during the season – it’s a long, hard season. Then you reach May and you roll straight into a European Championship.
“It can be challenging, so anywhere where we could support the athletes throughout the season I think would be of benefit.”
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