Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has reiterated his view that the Premier League is the most difficult league in the world. The Portuguese tactician believes that this season would be one of the most difficult to win.
The coronavirus pandemic sent the whole world into lockdown earlier in the year, and football was not exempted, with major sporting activities shut down for over three months.
Upon resumption, games were played at an alarming speed post-lockdown, and the trickle effect has been felt this season. Clubs on the continent have played over 15 matches in a six-week span.
This, coupled with the absence of fans in stadiums, has somewhat leveled the playing field. And Mourinho believes that this Premier League season would be more unpredictable than others before.
Leicester City currently top the standings with eight matches gone, with other unfancied names like Southampton and Aston Villa find themselves in the top six.
Further down, heavyweights like Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal are not in the upper echelons of the standings. Moreover, there have been some truly remarkable shocks and results in the Premier League.
''I would say that this team could be champion in many European countries. The Premier League is the most difficult one to be, because in the Premier League you can do a good season, can have lots of points, but in the end... Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Leicester, Arsenal.
"So you can have a good season and not be champion. So what can we do? We go match after match. We try to win, we don't care about the others. I promise you I'm not worried about Leicester v Wolves, or City v Liverpool.
''If Liverpool wins, it is because City loses points. If Leicester wins, it is because Wolves dropped points. So I don't care, I just want the team to play match after match, and then at the end of the season let's see where we are."
Could the Premier League re-introduce five substitutes?
The lack of a pre-season and the congested nature of games this season has seen players pick up muscle injuries at a more alarming rate.
This has been especially more common for sides with European exertions, and this has had a damaging impact on their fortunes on the field.
Post-lockdown last season, IFAB and FIFA gave special concessions that allowed managers to name a 21-man matchday squad and allowed for five substitutes to deal with the impact of the increased workload.
The rule was extended this season, and almost all major leagues on the continent implemented it, with the exception of the Premier League.
A majority of clubs voted in favor of reverting to the previous method of just three substitutes. But several managers, including Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, and Jurgen Klopp, have voiced their displeasure at the development and have publicly called for the reintroduction of five substitutes.
The Premier League might reconsider putting the option to another vote, considering the rampant nature of injuries currently being suffered by virtually all clubs in the division.Published 10 Nov 2020, 18:11 IST