Over the weekend, new Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola, revealed that he believes competitive football matches should allow up to six substitutes rather than three.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager’s argument is that such a busy schedule means players get burned out and if coaches have a chance to make more changes, this shouldn’t happen. At least, not as much.
“They are focusing on more and more and more – it affects the quality,” the Spaniard said.
“I am thinking just for the players. They need to breathe, to [have a] break, to enjoy.
“It’s just three substitutions now – why can you not make four, five or six? All the players [would be] involved more than before, the coaches can use different tactics.”
When asked about Pep’s take on substitutes ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Goodison park on Tuesday evening, Arsene Wenger seemed to understand what the 45-year-old meant but admitted that he reckons six is a bit too many.
“Six is maybe too many,” Wenger said.
“We’ve had that debate many times in Europe. You don’t want to stop the flow of the game too much. We thought about it. When you play extra time in the Champions League, we had that debate and it’s not easy because you have to reduce the substitutions then.
“You cannot have six substitutions. We see it in pre-season games. When you change player after player, sometimes you sit together before the game and say, ‘If we make the changes let’s make two by two or three by three’.
“He has a point. It’s good to think about it but it really has to be a bit sophisticated to improve it.”
While I can also understand Pep’s side, six substitutes allows more time for time-wasting. Although, it could also offer even more options when it comes to changing game plan mid-match and could help to keep certain players fit.
As Pep also points out, it would also give players who don’t usually play more chances.