Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched a scathing attack on the Premier League's fixture schedule, insisting change is needed or else there will be more injuries like Trent Alexander-Arnold's against Manchester City.
The right-back limped off in the second half of Sunday's 1-1 draw with an apparent muscle injury, which is expected to keep him out of international duty with England over the coming weeks.
While there is an acceptance that the Premier League's hectic schedule was largely unavoidable because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Klopp joined Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in urging league officials to stop making things harder for the teams by reducing their recovery times between games.
“Hopefully we can play the Euros next summer but if we continue like this let’s see which players can be part of that,” Klopp said (via The Guardian). “Trent will be out for England [for the three games]. What injury he has we don’t know but he cannot play for England and he is not the first and will not be the last that Gareth Southgate will miss. He’ll have a scan, then we will see.
“We played [last month] after the international break at 12:30 on Saturday. Some of my players were coming back from Peru,” Klopp said. “These kind of things should not happen.
“I spoke about two weeks ago – in a meeting with the person responsible at the Premier League who organised the fixtures. We cannot change it [I was told]. It is not about Manchester United, Liverpool and City.
“Usually in the season we all have a [hectic] November and December. This year the October is like a December, the November is like a November and the December is still like a December. The 12:30 game – that is a killer. If the Tuesday [Champions League playing] teams are in contention for the Saturday 12:30 that is OK. But the Wednesday teams should not be.”
His frustration was echoed by City counterpart Pep Guardiola, who urged the Premier League to follow the example set by leagues across Europe.
"Today the right-back for the national team of England is injured. Tomorrow it will be another player. It is too much,” Guardiola added. “It is so demanding for the players – and is the same for all teams. I don’t understand how the Premier League understands [addresses] the situation.
"I remember when I was a young player and I read the news from England – Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger complaining the same thing. I don’t have any optimistic solution."