With the onset of the deadly virus, Corona Virus, all major leagues were suspended until further notice. As time progressed and the conditions eased, some football leagues have returned and matches are being played. With the return of the Bundesliga on the 16th of May, when a total of 6 matches were played throughout Germany, the football leagues are expected to return within the next month or so. The Premier League is set to return by June 19, Serie A is expected to return by June 13, and the Ligue 1 is resuming its season on June 17. The return of football has given hope and joy to all fans but the return of football does not mean everything will go back to normal. Due to current conditions new rules have and will be implemented keeping social distancing and hygiene in mind for the safety of all staff and players present in the stadium. This blog will cover most of the major new rules that are being planned to be implemented in all leagues and their impacts.
- 5 SUBSTITUTIONS TO BE MADE
The Bundesliga has seen a change in the number of player substitutions to increase from 3 players to 5 players. This was done to keep the player’s safety and fatigue in mind as games will be played more frequently to catch up with the projected estimate of the season and finish it on the estimated finish date. The change may have a heavy impact on the game. It will allow managers to change the whole dynamic of the team as he can replace almost 50% of the whole team. A predominantly aggressive and attacking squad can be converted into defensive based on the conditions of the match. For Example: A team is in the lead by 1 goal and there are 10 minutes left. The manager can sub off most forwards, strikers, and attacking midfielders with defensive midfielders and full backs. This would effectively change an aggressive formation such as 4 – 3 – 3 to relatively more defensive formation such as 4 – 5 – 1, keeping 1 CAM and 1 CF. Hence by allowing so many player swaps, a whole team dynamic can be altered making it unfair in some perspectives as it would be overwhelming for the opponent’s team as their whole strategy may go for a toss.
- SLOTS FOR SUBSTITUTIONS
Instead of the previous rule of substitutions being made at any time of the manager’s discretion, substitutions will be made only during 3 slots, one being halftime itself. This was done to ensure a smooth game and so that it can get over quickly. I personally believe this has a lot of negative impacts on how managers will have to think as now they will have to predict how the match may lay out and make changes which may prove risky for the team. Substitutions are usually made to offer a change in tactics for the forseeable future, so that the team is given a tactical boost with the introduction of a new healthy player and new instructions for the squad. They are usually made at times when the manager sees fit and when the change can make the most impact. With the introduction of this new rule, the process of sending in subs will become much more complicated as there will be innumerable variables to take into account and no second chances will be given to correct tactical mistakes. Obviously some advantages of this would be time would not be wasted during last minutes making it more fair. From a fan’s perspective it will keep the tension of the game high during critical times. I don’t know about you guys but when subs are made to waste time the game really loses its intensity.
- MORE FREQUENT GAMES
It can be assumed that after this unfortunate break, games will be played more frequently. It can already be seen int he Bundesliga where there will be 2 matchdays in a week rather than 1. This means teams will have to play 2 games in a week. The rule was implemented so the season could move much faster and catch up with the expected season. It essentially is a medium so that this far too much stretched season of 2019/20 will end quickly and allow the new season of 2020/21 to start faster. Although it seems like wonderful news for fans getting to see their favourite teams play more often and also the chance to see more matches, it will be incredibly taxing on players. This is because the new routine will involve more travelling, less training time, and less time for them to recover. Playing football is extremely tiring as it is a high intensity game for essentially 90 minutes non-stop, with only a 15 minute break in between. The daily routine of a player during the season includes 2 – 3 days of rest with light training during the rest of the days. Most of the vigorous training is done during pre-season. If the gaps between 2 matches is reduced, it would mean less rest for the players increasing the scope of injury and fatigue. This would be quite harmful to them.
So, these are the 3 major new changes that are being implemented that I feel would make a big impact on the game. Some minor changes are that no celebrations are allowed after a goal is scored and matches will be held in closed doors. These would obviously be a little disappointing for the fans as the game is not the same without them, but it is extremely good news that football will be on track once again and we can watch it. Keep seeing this space for more posts. Stay home and Stay safe.