Tuchel wants return of five subs to ease players’ workload

Thomas Tuchel has joined the growing calls for five substitutes to be allowed in the Premier League again.

The league permitted five changes to be made at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but reverted back to three last term.

However, as cases rise among players over the busy festive period, Tuchel feels the players need their workload to be eased.

The Chelsea head coach was unhappy their match at Wolves had to go ahead last weekend despite an outbreak at the club, although he hopes two of his affected players, Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi, will be available for match at Aston Villa on Boxing Day, which is live on Sky Sports.

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    He said: “For us it’s the same situation as for anyone else. We have concerns, because we are not only football players and coaches, we are also fathers and have family members so we are also concerned and have doubts and fears.

    “Still we are privileged to do our jobs and do what we love the most so it’s kind of in between. I’m very impressed with how the team takes it.

    “You know very well that the situation was very different when we arrived in Wolverhampton and had seven positive tests in three days.

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    “We had the feeling that we had an outbreak and wanted some time to deal with it mentally and to settle the team down. That was not the case and we lived with it. We tried to be as supportive as possible.

    “I just can say on this occasion I would love to push for five substitutions because five substitutions were made to protect the players when coronavirus popped up and made life difficult.

    “I think the situation is very serious and very challenging so if we decided to keep on playing at least we should have five changes to control the load.”

    Rangnick favours return of five subs

    Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick feels it would make sense to reinstate five subs – a rule which has remained in the rest of Europe’s top leagues since it was introduced in summer 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.

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      “The five subs were implemented when Covid started, and I think it was the right decision to do that to save energy for players, especially if they have just recovered from Covid,” said Rangnick, ahead of the Monday Night Football encounter with Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

      “The same is true right now – we are in a similar situation to the one we had one-and-a-half years ago, therefore I don’t see why it shouldn’t be as it was one-and-a-half years ago. As far as I know, in Europe England is the only country where they only allow three subs.

      “You’re still allowed eight field players on the team sheet, you should be able to replace five, you will always have five players on the bench who cannot be substituted on and cannot play.”

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      Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick wants the rule of five substitutes to be reinstated in the Premier League

      He added: “I think it would be of great help to have five subs. I would be much more in favour of having five subs. I think we should seriously think about that again. Most of the players would be in favour of that.”

      ‘This is the only country to not accept five substitutions’

      Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola have also spoken out about not being able to use five substitutions.

      “This is the only country to not accept five substitutions, just three. Why?” Guardiola said.

      “We want to protect the players, so bring five substitutions. It’s much better for the amount of games, but the Premier League and clubs decide no”.

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      Pep Guardiola has raised the possibility of players striking over the congested fixture schedule, but does not think it is likely to happen

      “If the players and managers come together and strike or something… just words won’t solve anything. UEFA, FIFA, the Premier League, the broadcasters, the business is more important than the welfare. A simple example is the five substitutions. Tell me one argument to take care to be more welfare for the players than this one.

      “If we talk about the welfare, if it’s just for the players, the association of players they say okay we don’t play anymore until you solve this. Maybe we need a strike for people to take attention.”