Breaking news: the English Football Association has behaved less than intelligently, and the clubs could suffer because of it.
Well, it’s not news. The dudes who run English football are known for their lack of interest in the well being of the clubs and their scheduling mishaps that have often left local teams with little to no time to rest for a European fixture, which has in part lead to the decline of English success on continental level.
Chelsea have been victims of the governing body’s idocity more than once, with the most memorable example was when the FA refused to reschedule our Liverpool match at Anfield before our trip to Madrid in 2014. We ended up playing a weakened side and beating The Reds courtesy of Steven Gerrard’s famous slip, thus ending their title hopes. Unfortunately for us, we’d already lost the league title and were knocked out in the Champions League against Diego Simeone’s troops.
This time around the FA have really outdone themselves. How, you ask? Well, they made sure that both we and Arsenal are playing in an inconvenient time, when switching our games would have helped us both. Here is a list of fixture:
Friday, March 11:
Reading vs. Crystal Palace (BBC, 19:55 GMT)
Saturday, March 12:
Hull City vs. Watford (BT Sport, 12:00 GMT)
Everton vs. CHELSEA (BBC, 17:30 GMT)
Sunday 13 March:
Arsenal vs. Watford (BT Sport, 13:30 GMT)
Manchester United vs. West Ham United (BT Sport, 16:00 GMT)
If Arsenal win their replay, they go head to head with Watford just two days before they make the spine-tingling trip to the Camp Nou, while our playing date is set in stone on March 12th, only a couple of nights after hosting Paris Saint Germain.
So obviously, switching both fixtures will help both us and our unfriendly neighbors get an extra day’s rest, which is not too important, but when it is manageable then why not do it? The logic behind this has failed me and everyone else as well, as there is no excuse to why such imbecility is happening, and the reoccurrence of this mess-up might lead one to think that the FA are purposely setting out to ruin English clubs’ European campaigns. And if no drastic change is made on this front along with a few others, Sky’s billions won’t be enough to keep the Premier League among the world’s best.