Premier League 2023-24 review: Season complaints | Football


Managers complaining about workloads

Invariably it is the managers with the greatest resources who make the most noise about match congestion and “workloads.” Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp are arguably the worst offenders in this regard, despite rule changes in recent years that have directly addressed the issue of fatigue and exhaustion: a mid-season winter break and the introduction of five substitutes (which favors the so-called big clubs with multiple winners on the bench). It's true that some get tired and even injured as a result of being overplayed, but coaches should simply use the rest of their team (of senior internationals) more often. Football is difficult, a full season doesn't have to be easy, but Guardiola has only used someone who would be classified as a youth player on three occasions this season: City's final Champions League group game (where the group was already won), their return match against Copenhagen (with an aggregate score of 6-2) and in the FA Cup at home against Huddersfield (with a score of 5-0). yours and any other first division The coach's comments about exhaustion are becoming more and more fleeting and are only intended to create pressure and even more favorable conditions for the top teams. The scrapping of FA Cup replays – a decision that hurts those further down the football pyramid – suggests the authorities are falling for it.

'You couldn't make it up, Clive'

One for the pedants. Year after year, the mountain of hyperbole on our TV and internet screens grows ever larger, with excited commentators, all-caps YouTube headlines from Sky Sports and an army of bedroom podcasters keen to describe how “unbelievable” or “Unreal” is the Best League in The World™ it is. But the phrase “I couldn't make it up” (see also “I couldn't write this script”) is still unacceptable. This is not a new phrase (thanks Richard Littlejohn), nor one Premier League exclusive either even football, but the world would be a better place with this boring cliché in the trash. As an old letter in Viz once so expertly reflected: “If people can write scripts about dystopian futures in which life is, in fact, a simulation made by sentient machines to harness the heat and electricity of humans as a power source, they probably can.” write about Gary Taylor-Fletcher achieving a late-minute equalizer against Stoke.”

The Nottingham Forest Victim Complex

From the failure to comply with the Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) that they themselves signed, to the appointment of Mark Clattenburg – also known for his column in the Daily Mail and for refereeing on the television show Gladiators – as “ refereeing consultant”, Nottingham Forest have been more of a disaster off the pitch this season than on it, which is saying something. The club's attitude towards managers has been particularly shameful, as summarized in a tweet from the club's official account regarding “Three terrible decisions” after a controversial 1-1 draw at Luton. “Three sanctions not imposed, which we simply cannot accept,” reads an extraordinary statement on Twitter. “We notified the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they did not change it. Our patience has been tested several times. “The NFFC will now consider its options.” Did a frustrated kid write this? Any sympathy that might have arisen from the decisions was quickly erased. VAR may be a disaster, but Forest's missives and victim complex had all the grace of a dump truck reversing without tires, setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

Step on club badges

Football has always strived to show “respect”. Of course, this is a good thing in most scenarios. Who could anger a club for organizing a minute's silence or applause on Remembrance Day or a black armband to commemorate the death of a former player? But beyond the most traditional gestures, there are many postures. Players not properly celebrating their goals against former teams is tolerable, although it's absolutely fine, even funnier, if they're not being watched (Emmanuel Adebayor, anyone?!). The decision to cancel all top-flight matches due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year was debatable. Now we have a new trend, with players (and Rio Fernando) avoiding stepping on the club's emblems. It is difficult to know where this phenomenon began; certainly not with Ander Herrera in 2018 – but it is observed more religiously in Spain. The Real Madrid players made an effort to Avoid stepping on the city sign. ahead of their Champions League match at the Etihad in April. This will no doubt trickle down to the Premier League, but if clubs and their fans feel disrespected when their shields are trampled on, perhaps stop putting them on the pitch?

Rio Ferdinand joined the badge-dodging trend as he appeared as an on-pitch expert in Madrid. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Chelsea is still a disaster

An exasperating transfer policy (approximately £1.1bn spent since the start of last season) has created chaos on and off the pitch at Chelsea, but clever accounting (aided by contract write-offs and building sales hoteliers to a subsidiary of the owners) parent company) has helped maintain the club's viability. With a couple of notable exceptions, the latest big-money additions – Christopher Nkunku, Roméo Lavia, Robert Sánchez, Lesley Ugochukwu – have been disappointing, marginalized or both, while many of those who left have shone elsewhere. Mateo Kovacic is now a Premier League winner, Kai Havertz is one of England's best strikers, Ian Maatsen will play in the Champions League final, while Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek lit up Serie A. Mauricio Pochettino made sure the European title. football for next season it could well be the bag. Ipswich, a rare feel-good success story, could end up losing their coach Kieran McKenna as a result. Chelsea's transfer gurus, most of them hailing from Brighton, have decided that the best way to add to a young, inexperienced squad lacking leadership is to potentially spend another £50m on (admittedly brilliant) Estêvão Willian, 17-year-old Brazilian while Conor Gallagher, a Chelsea fan since childhood, adored by Stamford Bridge faithful, who has been at the club since he was seven years old and has captained the team with aplomb, could be sold due to FFP rules. At every level, Chelsea's decisions are incredible. Watching this car crash would be fun if his regrettable decisions didn't set such a bad precedent.

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