Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Saturday December 24 2005
What a pleasure to see a Premiership manager accepting the Christmas fixture list for what it is, part of English football's tradition. Christmas has always been a time for the fans, a time when most are on holiday and can mange to see more games in a week than they may often see in a month. In these days of International Saturdays and cup weekends it is even more pertinant given that the New Year often carries so few fixtures if your team is knocked out of the FA cup early. Last season saw just three games for City in March, yet the next week and a half sees us treated to no fewer than four games.
Manager's such as Graeme Souness bemoan the fixture list, claiming it puts a great stress on their precious athletes bodies. For god sake I wish I only did a four day week and a half. Others such as Sam Allardyce whinge about small squads and potential injuries that may (or may not) occur. But isn't that what football is all about, managing the fixture list with the best of your ability with the resources available to you. The best teams and manager's come through it which is why the Christmas period is spoken of in such important terms.
Stuart Pearce is right to suggest that the moaning is a relatively new gripe. Prior to the Premiership and the over the top hyperbole that accompanies it, footballers and managers got on with doing what they do best, playing the game. No one thought to question the number of games and the game was more pleasurable as a result. I, like many other supporters, enjoy the christmas period. Football is as much part of my Christmas as presents and turkey. Enough has been taken from those of us that have followed the game through good and bad, please leave our christmas fixtures alone.
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Date:Saturday December 24 2005
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