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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has blamed the Premier League of wanting to be different and called to allow five substitutions. The Blues’ 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad saw Trent Alexander-Arnold become the latest player to pick up a muscle injury this season.
Jurgen Klopp lamented the Premier League’s decision to revert back to three substitutions for this season in his post-game press conference. City boss Guardiola took up the baton from Klopp in demanding the Premier League changes its rules.
“Today the right-back for the national team for England is injured, and other players. It’s so demanding for the players, the same argument all the time,” said Guardiola. “I don’t understand, I don’t know who is in charge to decide these things but I don’t know how they don’t understand when all the leagues around the world except this league have five substitutions, to protect the players, to protect the footballers, to protect the physicality of playing every three days.
“Maybe this league likes to be different. The situation is unusual, it is different. That’s why I am surprised, I don’t understand and since I have a microphone and people ask me about this I will have the same theory. It’s not to take advantage, it’s to protect the players, today a right-back from the national team is injured for that reason and tomorrow it will be another player.
“I don’t understand what benefit it three or five, the show must go on, it’s not to play games or not play games, it’s to protect the players. The previous season finished later, it was exceptional [circumstances] and all the leagues around the world understand the situation, except here.
“It’s ridiculous. LeBron James won the NBA title, know he will be on holiday for one month, two months, three months, these guys had eight days to two weeks and then it’s games, games, games. The pandemic is still here, every league around the world has five subs.”