'I don’t make the decisions' - Sean Dyche not being drawn into five substitutes row after comments from Jurgen Klopp

Sean Dyche hasn’t been drawn into the row over whether to return to the use of five subsitutes in the Premier League.

By Chris Boden
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 10:30 pm
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

On Monday, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp aimed a dig at the Clarets, as one of the clubs voting against allowing two extra changes from the regulation three.

Klopp, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick are among those wanting to use five subs, at a time where squads have been tested to the limit by the Festive schedule and Covid outbreak, with a number of Premier League games postponed.

Asked if he agreed with Tuchel’s standpoint over a return to five substitutions, Klopp said: “Yes. So we have to put the competition aside and don’t say, “Well (Manchester) City have better subs than Southampton, we have better subs than Burnley” or whatever.

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“Yes, that’s probably true.

“The problem is, this intensity for top-class football in England is definitely at the edge. So it means a top-class player in England plays 38 games in the Premier League, two cup competitions, so even if you don’t go to the final lets add on another five.

“Pretty much all of them play for their national teams, so eight or nine, maybe 10 games a year, plus Champions League, so pretty quickly you’re at an area of more than 50 games – or higher.

“But now the decision about it (extra subs) is made by 14 clubs, you need 14 votes to change it. And there is something wrong.

“As an example, Burnley, I’m not sure how many players of them play international football. When our players have three games, they have no games. So they play 38 Premier League games, cup games – another two, three, four – so that makes it 42.

“So we’re talking about an issue that some clubs definitely have, but it’s decided by other teams. And because we’ve made kind of a competition of it, other teams are like, “Well no, they are better than us”, and that’s a real problem.”

Dyche, as he said over a year ago, understands where the elite clubs are coming from, but is protecting his own club’s interests: “Every manager will have their own thoughts on their own situation, the requirements and challenges, but I’ve never had a problem with that, good or bad.

“I’ve never really questioned that.

“I only offered a commonsensical view about five subs, and I don’t make the decisions, that’s for sure.

“If you have a super power club with 25 recognised internationals, and you can now put five of those on the pitch at any time, that would suggest they would be stronger than the smaller clubs without the depth of quality – and that’s no disrespect to us, because I think we have some very good players.

“But at the super power clubs, it’s fair to say they were all brought into the clubs for massive amounts of money, world-wide stars. You understand the train of thought.

“You want to keep things competitive, and over my years in the Premier League, things like everyone having to have the same pitch size and length of grass suit the bigger teams – and we’ve even had that questioned, when the rules state the grass has to be cut at a certain length.

“Then you start adding more subs and this, that and the other, and all these things take away the competitive element, home advantage etc.

“Just keep it as competitive as possible.”