Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola joined forces to make a statement supporting the reinstatement of the five-substitution rule in the English Premier League.
Manchester City and Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Sunday. The result leaves Liverpool one point off the top, while City lies 5 points adrift in 10th. Mohamed Salah scored the opening goal after he dispatched the spot-kick won by Sadio Mane. Gabriel Jesus equalized at the half-hour mark with a brilliant first touch and finish.
The first half had thrilling football on display as both teams sought to win. The pace dropped off after the restart when Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold hobbled off the pitch with a calf injury. Both teams showed signs of jet lag and exhaustion after a string of matches in quick succession.
Klopp and Guardiola criticize Premier League for not taking the lead over rule change
After the game, both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola shared words on the touchline. While it baffled the viewers then, it was later revealed that both the managers were discussing making statements in the post-match interview regarding the three substitutes rule.
After the restart of football post-Covid-19 lockdown, the Premier League permitted the use of 5 substitutes in a match. The rule was reverted in the 2020/21 season, which meant the teams could now only use 3 substitutes in a match.
The decision was put up to vote for the 20 Premier League clubs, where it did not receive majority approval. The smaller teams thought that this rule would benefit the bigger clubs and voted against it. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury seemed like the tipping point for both managers.
Klopp and Guardiola both came out firing verbally, as they accused the Premier League’s lack of leadership over the matter. The Reds’ Boss questioned the Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters’ leadership skills, as the German failed to understand why Masters would leave such a decision up to the clubs instead of taking charge himself.
Manchester City boss Guardiola pointed to Trent’s injury and questioned why the Premier League thinks it’s special when all the other major leagues are using the 5 substitute rule:
“All around the world it’s five substitutions, but here we believe we are more special people. We don’t protect the players, and that’s why it’s a disaster. In this calendar, especially. I will demand, if the people allow, we have to come back to five substitutions. If not, it’s difficult to sustain it.”Guardiola speaking post-match about the five substitution rule.
“In my understanding, it is a lack of leadership. Richard Masters sold it completely wrong. It is the only big-league where you have only three subs. Trent will be out for England. What he has we don’t know. It will not be the only one Gareth (Southgate) has lost.”Klopp criticizing the leadership of Premier League CEO Richard Masters.
The plea from Pep and Klopp has apparently been rejected by the Premier League board of directors.
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