Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has dismissed the idea of getting rid of England’s festive fixture list.
Many managers from home and abroad have spoken out against the flurry of games that come between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with some sides having less than 48 hours to recover between games.
However Rangnick, who spent most of his career coaching in Germany where they observe a winter break, thinks the quintessentially British custom should be preserved.
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“I’ve watched Premier League football for the last 40 years so when it was also the First Division and I know what kind of tradition it is to play football over Christmas and on Boxing Day, the 27th, the 30th and even New Year’s Day or the 2nd January,” he told United’s official website.
“So if somebody came across the idea to abolish then we might as well speak about abolishing the five o’clock tea or the Queen or whatever – this is all part of the tradition of this country and I’m very much looking forward to being part of this for the first time in my career.”
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s interim replacement did suggest that English football may benefit from scrapping one of their two domestic cup competitions, and could retain five substitutes per game rather than three.
“As I said earlier, there might be one or two issues we could think about or seriously discuss. In the future does it still make sense to have two cup competitions?” he asked.
“All other big European leagues have only one so this might be an issue worth talking about again and of course we are also discussing that it makes sense to have five subs instead of three now we have COVID times again. The reason the five substitutes were implemented was for COVID, now we have a COVID situation again and we still have 18 players on the team-sheet and for me it makes sense to be able to substitute not just three, but five players."
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