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 Where in the world has the English Premiership gone?!?! Do I really have to entertain myself now with Saturday morning cartoons again? Most would say that would be an appropriate activity for my maturity level. Though, watching Batman dish out some dark-knight justice would be cool, it still wouldn’t make the EPL fixture schedule any less befuddling.

I mean really… My beloved Aston Villa haven’t played for over 2 weeks now but they played 2 games in the first week of the season and 5 games in a two-and-a-half week holiday grind fest! Having said that, I really enjoyed watching tons of matches over the winter holiday, especially on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but is that fixture-log-jam best for the league and best for the teams? More specifically, how does it affect the players?? For supporters of ‘smaller’ clubs which can’t affort two full squads of Premiership quality players, this should be a major point of concern. Having lots of games in just a few days is one thing, but having long breaks when most players don’t see any competetive action is another.

As everyone knows, players need regular games as much as they need rest to stay sharp. This is just the time of year when clubs need to have games coming at regular intervals. Especially those teams looking to keep up some sort of momentum as the season comes into the home stretch. Just look at Reading and the results they’ve put together in January and February. Whether clubs are battling against relegation or trying to seal the deal at the top, regular league fixtures are what they need.

Some would argue that all the other competitions provide regular games during these long breaks from league play. But this is really for only a select few English clubs, and it’s an awful lot to ask 17 teams to conform to the schedule of the top 3 big boys. No matter how big they are.

What about tuning in other leagues, you say? I’m sorry ladies and gents, but closed door matches from the bottom of the Serie A table don’t really cut the mustard for me. I suppose watching the Bundesliga games go part of the way in trying to fill the void left by the absence of the EPL, but for one reason or another, the same level of attachment and interest isn’t there. Maybe this says something about the soccer coverage in North America being saturated by the English game, as there seems to be little air time left for the other major european leagues?

Now, TV coverage and Italian diciplinary problems notwithstanding, I would just like someone to tell me what happens between the ears of those beloved FA officals when they’re coming up with the wacky (at best) Premiership fixture schedule.

For further reading: Premiership boss Chris Coleman of Fulham relates his first-hand experience with this ‘nonsense’ (his words).

Up the Villa!


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