I asked in an article the other day, Is This Really Sustainable. It looks Like A Recipe For A Spate Of Injuries To Me
It, obviously, wasn’t a criticism of Aston Villa, the manager, or players, just the system and the way the fixtures have been scheduled for our team following our return from the serious COVID outbreak where, reportedly, 9 players and 14 members of staff, had tested positive for the virus.
Taking into account the team haven’t played since New Years Day, most have had to isolate and some have suffered with COVID, I think a game every three days, even though they are fit and finely tuned athletes, is a big ask.
I said in the original article
Whatever, I don’t think those doing the fixtures know much about top level sport, or indeed, pandemics, when they allow a pile up like this.
20/01/2021 18:00 Manchester City v Aston Villa BT Sports
23/01/2021 20.00 Aston Villa v Newcastle United Sky Sports
27/01/2021 18:00 Burnley v Aston Villa BT Sport
30/01/2021 20:00 Southampton v Aston Villa Sky Sports
02/02/2021 19:45 Aston Villa v West Ham United
06/02/2021 15:00 Aston Villa v Arsenal
As said, that is 6 games in 18 days. Now, I’m always on about the players being young and fit, they can handle it, but this looks too intense and with a lack of strength in depth for all but the very top teams, it seems to me this is the path to major injuries.
However, the gaffer, and manager of the month for December, isn’t putting up any excuses or moans.
He has said on the official site that all clubs are having to adapt in one way or another and Villa are no different.
“I believe in the players and the mentality they have at the moment that they’ll be ready for this game.” Adding, “All clubs have been hit in some way. Manchester City have had a few players who’ve had it, I think Sergio Aguero will miss the game as he’s in isolation, so all clubs are having to adapt and we’re no different.”
Within that article, he also points out a lot of the players are used to the brutal run of fixtures faced by clubs in the Championship and says Villa are looking forward to the fixtures.
Nice to read the positivity. I guess the backroom team are all prepared and have bought extra body-rub for the massages!
I am sure Dean Smith and the staff would agree that the situation is far from ideal, but on the other hand, I guess our team (apart from those who might have had the symptoms of COVID) have had a bit of a break and might come back stronger.
Smith added in the press conference today:
“The players that I’ve got here have got that hunger and desire to play football games. I’m sure the majority of them would admit that six games in 18 days is better than 12 days on the training ground.”
So there you go, our gaffer in answer to the question “Is this sustainable?” appears to be saying, yes, it is!
(I’m making a tentative return to writing, something I’ve done for 20 years now, following yet more brain ache issues and my 14th operation. I was close to hanging up the keyboard, but I’ll see how it goes. Hopefully this article is error free! Right now, the lights are on but no one is home so to speak!)