Thomas Tuchel has joined the growing demands to admit five substitutes back to the Premier League.
The league allowed five changes to be made at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but returned to three in the last term.
However, as cases increase among players during the busy holiday season, Tuchel believes players need to lighten their workload.
The Chelsea manager was unhappy that their game at Wolves had gone on last weekend despite an outbreak at the club, although he hopes that two of his affected players, Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi, will be available for the game at the club. ‘Aston Villa on Boxing Day, which is live Sky Sports.
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He said: “For us it is the same situation as everyone else. We have concerns, because we are not only players and coaches, we are also fathers and we have family members so we are also worried and we have doubts and fears.
“However we have the privilege of doing our job and doing what we love most, so it’s somewhere 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 we had seven positive tests in three days.
“We felt like we had an outbreak and we wanted some time to deal with it mentally and to fix the team. It didn’t and we lived with it. We tried to be as supportive as possible.
“I can only say that on this occasion I would like to push for five substitutions because five substitutions were made to protect the players when the coronavirus appeared and made life difficult.
“I think the situation is very serious and very demanding so if we decide to continue playing at least we should make five changes to control the load.”
Rangnick favors the return of five divers
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick believes it would make sense to restore five reserves, a rule that has remained in the rest of Europe’s top leagues since it was introduced in summer 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
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“The five replacements were implemented when Covid started, and I think it was the right decision to do it to save players energy, especially if they have just recovered from Covid,” Rangnick said, ahead of the Monday night football match with Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
“The same is true right now – we are in a similar situation to what we had a year and a half ago, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be as it was a year and a half ago. England is the only country where they only allow three subtitles.
“You still have eight players on the field on the team sheet, you should be able to substitute five, you will always have five players on the bench who cannot be substituted and cannot play.”
He added: “I think it would be of great help to have five substitutes. I would be much more in favor of having five substitutes. I think we should seriously think about it again. Most of the players would be in favor of that.”
“This is the only country not to accept five replacements”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also said they could not use five substitutions.
“This is the only country not to accept five substitutions, only 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 the clubs decide not.”
“If players and managers come together and hit or something … just words don’t solve anything. UEFA, FIFA, Premier League, broadcasters, business is more important than welfare. A simple example are the five substitutions Tell me an argument for having more welfare for the players than this.
“If we talk about well-being, if it’s just for the players, the players association says it’s okay we don’t play anymore until you solve this. Maybe we need a strike for people to pay attention.”