Frank Lampard said Chelsea was at a disadvantage in the title race because they have to play twice in 48 hours during the Christmas period. He accused the Premier League of bringing football back in time and endangering the fairness of the league.
Chelsea goes to the Arsenal on Boxing Day at 5:30 p.m. The kick-off is Saturday at GMT, followed by a home game against Aston Villa exactly 48 hours later.
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Manchester City has the same schedule, although it starts at 8pm. GMT on both days – but Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are playing on the 27th. December and then on 30. December, while Manchester United on 26. and 29. December is playing, an imbalance that Lampard finds unfair.
It’s two games in two days, 48 hours, Lampard said at a press conference. I’m not trying to be smart, it’s an important point for us because there are other teams leading the championship with two games in three days.
And I know exactly what happened to it. The game will be broadcast live, as they all are now. We play at Arsenal on Boxing Day and our game against Man City has been moved to Sunday (3 January). So the calendar didn’t allow us to play and Aston Villa wanted to play on Tuesday, they wanted one more day and so did we. But we’ve been ignored by the Premier League and the broadcasters.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Frank Lampard, the boss ofChelsea, believes that the festive season is counterproductive for the quality of the Premier League. Photo: Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
I know that sometimes [with] the Premier League is blamed on the broadcasters and the Premier League. I know that together we have decided that we play twice in 48 hours, while other teams at the top of the league play twice in three days.
I don’t see how that’s fair, I think it’s wrong and it wouldn’t be better for players who play at the highest level. Don’t get me wrong, the Aston Villa has the same problem. If we play them, we’ll both have the same problems. But I’m just saying we won’t have the same break as the other teams.
Lampard insisted that the speed of the execution meant he might have to wake his team when Villa traveled to Stamford Bridge.
I think [playing in the same team] is almost impossible, he said. I could not say what I just said and then fuck the same team and expect them to get a result of great class and great energy, necessarily in a fitness style.
I think anyone who works in sports, if we play now, it’s the second day off. It’s not even good for players to train, let alone play 90 minutes at a high level. You have to look at Arsenal where there are players, everyone’s different. We’re doing everything we can to turn right.
They used to play one after the other. For some reason, it took you back to a time when we had the best product in the world and wanted to see the best players on the field.
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