Pep Guardiola says it’s time to axe the League Cup

‘Less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. It’s too much’

Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola has won the League Cup in two of his three full seasons at City. Photograph: Getty Images

Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola has won the League Cup in two of his three full seasons at City. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Pep Guardiola believes the League Cup should be dispensed with for the good of English football. The Manchester City manager says teams are currently overburdened by the hectic schedule and has pointed to the recent injuries picked up by Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford as evidence that the relentless workload during the season’s winter months is more than players can physically bear.

Guardiola has won the League Cup in two of his three full seasons at City, and his side lead Manchester United 3-1 after the first leg of this year’s semi-final, yet he is of the opinion the competition does more harm than good.

“Eliminate competitions, take out this competition,” he said when asked how to relieve fixture congestion over the festive period. “So less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. People can live without football for a while. It’s too much.

“Start the season later after the summer. We have one game a week for a long time and then, after, we start having two or three in one week. In February it is one week [PLAYING], one week [PLAYING], two weeks off. We have two games in two weeks then, after, we have 72 games in one week. It’s a little bit strange.”

Guardiola believes the national team is currently suffering from the punishing calendar. “With that number of games players break down. I’m not surprised. I’m so sorry for Kane and Rashford. [The authorities] should reflect on it but all the managers complained about it and they don’t care. A distance of two or three days, again and again. The players suffer.

“They want to do well. Clubs have a lot of pressure to win or qualify for the Champions League and we push and push. The body says stop, it’s enough.”

Guardiola also defended Raheem Sterling, who is enduring a relative dry patch in front of goal after a prolific start to the season. “He has played more than 3,000 minutes,” he said. “His standards are continuing quite similar. Maybe he hasn’t scored in the last games but there are no doubts.”

Guardiola’s side travel to Sheffield United on Tuesday night looking to make up ground on the leaders, Liverpool, before hosting Fulham in the FA Cup on Sunday – a fixture in which City hope to welcome back Aymeric Laporte from a long-term knee injury.

- Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.