Guardiola reveals he will 'demand to bring back five substitutions'

‘LeBron James won the NBA title and now he’s on holiday for months – our guys had eight days’: Klopp and Guardiola join forces to rail against the Premier League for only allowing three substitutes as Alexander-Arnold becomes latest star to suffer injury

  • Pep Guardiola says Premier League clubs should be allowed five substitutions 
  • Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury against Manchester City 
  • Guardiola says that reverting to five changes would benefit clubs hugely 

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp explosively railed against the Premier League’s ‘lack of leadership’ on Sunday night. 

Klopp and Guardiola joined forces to lambast the lack of five substitutes with more ferocity than ever, before then backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s complaints over television scheduling. 

The Liverpool boss noted a ‘lack of leadership’ within the top flight, while Manchester City’s manager glibly suggested the league’s product was more important than player safety.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola joined forces to criticise Premier League’s lack of leadership

Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered a calf problem in Liverpool’s draw with Manchester City

Klopp, who lost Trent Alexander-Arnold to a calf injury just after half-time of Sunday’s 1-1 draw, again demanded that the Premier League rethink the three substitutes rule but is not holding out much hope for change.

‘We have to talk again,’ he said. ‘You go in a meeting with all the different teams and Richard Masters says “what do we think, do you want five or three subs?”

‘Richard Masters sold it completely wrong, is my understanding. It’s the only big league with only three subs. Big surprise! It’s a lack of leadership… If 14 teams do not agree that five subs should happen then at least let the top six sub five times when we play each other.

‘Ole was right. Everyone needs to get round a table. Sky, BT, BBC, whoever. They have to talk. You cannot keep the players fit.’ 

Guardiola added: ‘This league likes to be different. I don’t understand how the Premier League understand the situation.’

Solskjaer’s comments surrounding Manchester United featuring at lunchtime on Saturday following an arduous trip to Turkey on Wednesday drew sympathy from his rivals.

Liverpool boss Klopp wants the Premier League to rethink the three substitutes rule

Liverpool and Manchester City shared the spoils at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon

‘It’s déjà vu,’ Guardiola sighed. ‘When I was a young lad, reading the news from England, I remember reading Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez complaining about the same thing.

‘I don’t have any optimistic solution. The TVs have to decide. I don’t think the situation will change. They cannot come together because each one looks for himself, his own business.

‘My business is to protect my players. They are exhausted. LeBron James won the NBA title and now he is on holiday for one or two months. Our guys had eight days. It’s games, games, games, because TV decided to do it. OK.

‘It’s just the same as the old period. It doesn’t matter how important the mangers were then and it is the same now. Maybe Alexander-Arnold is out for a month or one and a half months for that reason. National team in England, now you don’t play without an exceptional right back.’ 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasted Premier League schedulers after watching his side beat Everton

Guardiola and Klopp both agreed with Solskjaer and complained about their hectic schedules

Klopp revealed the Premier League rejected his concerns surrounding the scheduling a fortnight ago, chiefly teams in Europe picked to fulfil the early Saturday fixture.

‘The club organised a meeting for me and the person responsible for the fixtures and he told me we cannot change it,’ the German said.

‘I understand the need of television 100 per cent, but the Premier League needs to fulfil the position of unity among the players as well.

‘I don’t think anyone objects to playing on a Saturday after a Wednesday, that’s completely normal. The 12:30 is the killer.

‘Tottenham played Thursday night in Ludogorets, and played today at 12. Tottenham beat West Brom late in the game because they needed much longer.’ 

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