• Guardiola doesn’t want drinks breaks to become permanent in Premier League

    Guardiola Man City

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he is not in favour of drinks breaks continuing in the Premier League next season.

    Since the English top flight’s return from a three-month coronavirus pandemic-enforced hiatus in June, matches have stopped midway through each half to allow players to rehydrate.

    The measure was introduced to help players cope with playing in the summer heat, but coaches have used the opportunity to give tactical instructions to their squad.

    Guardiola was asked if he believes the drinks breaks should be made a permanent rule in the league, but the 49-year-old would rather they scrapped the idea next term.

    “No. I think we did it because of the lack of preparation for all of the teams, with just three weeks before the start of the competition and maybe for the weather conditions,” he said.

    “The managers use it to talk to players, of course.”

    West Ham boss David Moyes agrees with his City counterpart, as the Scottish coach believes it is unnecessary this season, too.

    “Personally, I don’t think water breaks should have been introduced,” he told reporters.

    “I understood why they were, but I thought it should’ve been at the referee’s discretion in games – if the temperature were up in the 70s or the 80s [Fahrenheit], and they felt that players needed a drink.

    “I don’t think they’re a necessity and it’s also a change of rules from where we were at the start of the season. I think it’s wrong to start the Premier League season in one way and finish it in a different way.”

    Along with drinks breaks, the Premier League allowed teams to make five substitutions in each game to help lower the risk of players suffering injuries in the crowded calendar.

    Moyes is happy with the way his charges have dealt with the rush back to action in recent weeks, saying: “The players are recovering much quicker than usual, and they know and realise what they have to do to get back ready to play again.

    “Players and clubs are not being able to have as many recovery days as usual because of the turnaround of games. We have to do the same as everybody else, and I have to say the players have been great. They’ve looked after themselves.

    “We’re trying to keep as many of them fit and ready for games as we can. After they came back from lockdown, they were in good condition. They kept themselves well and we trained hard and tried to prepare, and I hope what we did shows through in the coming days.

    “We only have three weeks to go of the season now so we have to try and keep focused and fit, and mentally and physically in good shape.”

    You may also like