Burnley boss Vincent Kompany proposes a radical plan to cap the number of games top stars can play in a season to 60
- Vincent Kompany has proposed a radical play to tackle the injury epidemic
- He believes that a cap on appearances within a season could help injury issues
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Almost 100 Premier League stars are either out of the weekend’s fixtures or battling to prove their fitness and top-flight managers are increasingly exasperated by an ever-expanding schedule.
Kompany, whose final years as Manchester City’s captain were plagued by muscle problems, believes there should be a limit imposed on appearances in a campaign to curb the issues.
‘For the players at the top, who have to play for their national teams and all of these other competitions, it should be capped appearances within a season,’ the Burnley boss said.
‘Put a number on it. It’s not for me to put a number on it, (but) 60 or 65 games. They (still) have to work hard, don’t get me wrong, but 60 games takes a little bit away.
‘It would put the pressure more on coaches and national teams to come to a common-sense calendar.’
Vincent Kompany believes there should be a limit imposed on appearances in a campaign to curb injury issues
Bernardo Silva and Rodri both played over 60 matches last season for Manchester City
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Nobody across the world featured more often for club and country last season than Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, who appeared a staggering 70 times. Thirteen players made 65 or more appearances. Fifty-five hit the 60-game mark, with 110 ending the season on at least 57 matches.
The 5,304 minutes chalked up by City midfielder Rodri across 66 matches as they secured a Treble saw him as the sixth hardest worked outfielder, while team-mate Bernardo Silva played 67 times.
The Spain international, whose campaign would have been more gruelling but for a disappointingly early World Cup exit, revealed last month that he has held talks with City over game time.
‘It’s not healthy,’ he said. ‘You can do it for one season, but when it’s two or three in a row, it can be worse for the team because your physicality can drop. So I have to watch out. We have already spoken that it cannot always be like this.’
Rodri’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has repeatedly claimed that the authorities are ‘killing’ players. There are fears over the Champions League’s expansion from next year, as well as a larger Club World Cup held during the summer months, starting from 2025.
Kompany retired in 2019 and suggested that elite football has become more intense in the time since he hung up his foots, adding an extra layer to injury problems.
‘There is a part of the league with an enormous amount of international players playing all over the world who get very little rest,’ Kompany added. ‘If I look at the position we’re in, compared to the Championship last season, it is OK. We’re all right.
‘I really believe in common sense. You’re not going to keep a player away from finals or important games, you’re not going to do that, but I think if you decide that physiologically that 65 games is beyond healthy then that should be the cap.
‘So when he has to have time off, he has time off. Squads get bigger, players get more game time – everyone is happy.
‘After that, you start juggling around like you do when you have an injured player. It’s no more difficult than that.’
City manager Pep Guardiola has repeatedly claimed the authorities are ‘killing’ players
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