Three moments. Three film clips. Three incidents that Andy Robertson dissects while sitting in an office in Melwood. Three things Liverpool fans lion him in front.
Three things he considers with some pride and some regret. Three statements that tell you a lot about what you need to know about him and the unbreakable spirit that the remarkable team of Jurgen Klopp holds.
The first moment: the last minute of the first half of the Fifa Club World Cup final in Doha a few days before Christmas when Liverpool gets closer to becoming the world champion for the first time. Sadio Mane becomes increasingly agitated about the way he is chosen by the opponents of Liverpool, Flamengo, and especially right back Rafinha.
The Brazilian has already escaped a red card for Fouling Mane, who overcooks and is booked for an error on Rafinha. Robertson intervenes to calm his teammate. The cameras & audio feed comfortably catches his teammate. "Sad, I understand him, don't worry," he says. Seven minutes in the second half, Robertson leaves Rafinha on his back.
Liverpool fans love it. They love Robertson without reservation. They love the way he leaves everything on the field. They love his sincere attitude. They love his commitment. They love his ability. They love his energy. His relentless energy. They love his selflessness. They love its lush left foot and the goals it creates. They love where he came from, that he wasn't a gilt path to the top. They think it was great that he had to make his way and fight for Anfield through rejection at Celtic and stints at Queen's Park, Marks & Spencer at Sauchiehall Street, Dundee United and Hull City. They love him because he is everyone. They love him because he is one of them.
They think it's great that Robertson, 25, doesn't forget. He does not forget how he got here. He does not forget where he comes from and who he is. He hates it when people describe his rise as a fairy tale because it hides the hard work he puts into it. It suggests an element of happiness. He hates it too, because it shows that the world he left behind was something to look at.
He loved the world he left behind. He went to the M&S in Glasgow with a smile on his face. "I was at the checkout," he says. "I wasn't tall enough to pile up the shelves." He loved his family's routine on Saturday: go to Parkhead to see Celtic, go to Clarkston, order a curry at the Indian takeaway, go to mass, collect the curry, go home
Therefore Robertson did not go to Dubai or the Maldives or the Seychelles during the recent winter break. He went back to Glasgow. Not much winter sun then?
& # 39; It would not have been good if I came back here with a sunstroke, & # 39; he says smiling, & # 39; so I did everyone a favor and went back upstairs and spent time on the golf course.
& # 39; For people to say it was a fairytale that Marks & Spencer left behind – how many thousands of people work in these supermarkets, I thought that was a bit disrespectful.
& # 39; These are normal lives and people can have a very good life there. How many of them are in our gallery this weekend and there I say: "I have left this terrible life behind me and have continued". Of course I get paid better. Would I be happier with football than at M&S? Yes, of course, but if that were my life, I would be the same person I am today. Money doesn't bring me luck, but from the age of three or four I wanted to be a football player. That was my dream in life.
& # 39; If you are a child and you say it, then believe not really. Not many children have said it and will be it. Life is changing. I am one of the lucky ones who have said that I have wanted to be a footballer all my life. I held that when I was in Queen & # 39; s Park and people probably laughed at me when I was 16 or 17 and they asked me what I would be.
& # 39; People looked at me and thought: & # 39; get a grip, it's gone now ”. For me, my dream has always been to become a soccer player. That's why I say "yes, of course", I am happier than when I was at M&S. Forget the money. Forget everything else. I wanted to play football every day. That's why I have the dream job. If you paid me the same wage as an M&S employee, I wouldn't care. I think all the boys here are the same. It is the dream of playing football. Of course it is an extra bonus for me to prepare my children for life and to give them a good start in life, is an extra bonus, but for me it was only about kicking a ball every day. & # 39;
Liverpool fans love him for that. They love him because he is a team player. They love him because of the blizzard of assists that he and Trent Alexander-Arnold have served for their side this season because they have become a runaway in the top of the Premier League. They love him because of crosses that curled over the face of the Manchester City goal last December and bounced on the head of Mo Salah, who nodded into it. They love him because he represents them like him. For his determination and his joy in the game. They love the fact that he runs to Anfield every time he runs onto the field. And "Sadio, I understand him, don't worry." They like that too.
Robertson is not sure. He does not want to be remembered as a kind of common ax person. He is not. But he thinks the Rafinha incident tells us something about the spirit of this Liverpool team that goes to the core of their intransigence.
"Everyone knows that Sadio sometimes got angry with him," says Robertson. & # 39; I know how to handle Sadio. That was me trying to calm down my own teammate. I know that things can sometimes affect Sadio. In that game he became the target. Once booked, he really can't do anything anymore. So if I said something short and sharp to Sadio, it could have a small effect. He never got involved with anything in the second half in Doha. Whether that had to do with me or that someone else spoke to him during the rest, I am not sure. I do what is best for my team. Having Sadio on the left is the best for me and the team.
"Unfortunately, the camera and the audio picked it up. I don't want to come across as that player, but when it comes to protecting a teammate, I like to think my teammates protect me as much as I try to protect them. We are a family and if one of them becomes a target, we will support them all. That happens in every good team. Like the old Man United team. Like with Roy Keane. They have never shied back to protect each other. Arsenal with Vieira. That was the same thing. Fernandinho is doing it in Man City.
"For me as a team we protect each other. We are like a family. We are like brothers. If one of them becomes a target or is bullied, it is up to us to protect him. That is what I am trying to do.
"When people insist that I do, it annoys me a bit. Maybe more than that annoys Liverpool fans. For me, maybe in ten years that I'm no longer here and I'm retired, I don't want people to look back on me like that. I want people to look back and say "he played in a good team and he played a big role in that". I hope they say that instead of saying a few words to Rafinha or smiling in the face of Tom Davies. & # 39;
The second moment: the first half of the Merseyside derby on December 4, in which Liverpool wins 5-2. Davies, Everton's young midfielder, receives the ball on the edge of the Everton area and starts turning it away when Robertson shoots it in and the two fall to the ground. Robertson lands heavily on Davies and his forearm crunches the Everton player on the back of the head.
"I think Andy Robertson knew exactly what he was doing there," says the TV commentator. Again, fans of Liverpool love it. This is a team with a head start, they think.
This is a player with a head start. This is a player who is not going backwards. This is a player who will take the fight to his local rivals. Davies gets up and pushes Robertson while he is lying on the floor. Robertson stands up, turns around, stares at Davies and laughs. Millions of repetitions are being launched at this time.
"It looked worse on the video," says Robertson. & # 39; It was a complete accident. I fell over. It would be interesting to see how people would have reacted if I had started pushing him and wanted to start a big fight. A lot has been made of me when I tried to laugh at it. I did not know what irritated him at the time, but afterwards I saw the video and I thought: "Yes, if I were I would be annoyed." The way some people used to say that I was an annoying player annoys me. I just don't think it reflects me, just like other things. The people who know me know that I am honest.
"To defend, you sometimes have to walk the line. Sometimes you have to make cynical mistakes. You must make a booking. If you've been looking at my Premier League disciplinary record since I'm in Liverpool, I only have one booking this season, maybe two. Regarding defending, if we press against each other, that's pretty good. & # 39;
The third moment: the first minute of the Miracle of Anfield last May when Liverpool entered the second leg of their semi-final Champions League against Barcelona with 3- 0 started. Lionel Messi sprints forward and Fabinho and Robertson stop his run on the edge of the box. Messi thinks it should be a free kick and indicates so much.
The game continues. Messi is sitting on the grass. Robertson runs in the direction of the game and then stops. He puts both hands on the back of Messi's head and shoves him half, half ruffles his hair and then runs on. Messi looks up, surprise etched all over his face.
Liverpool fans also like this. They love him because of the declaration of intent. They love him because of the boldness of it. They like the iconoclasm of it. And amid the joy of one of the greatest occasions where club football has been witnessed in this country, amidst wild Liverpool & # 39; s 4-0 victory celebrations that night, it is remembered as one of the most important moments of the game, a symbol of what would come. "When I look back on things, I actually don't regret anything, because I feel that everything is experience that makes you who you are," says Robertson. & # 39; But I do look back on that moment with Messi as a regret. I don't like to see it. When I saw it later, I was stripped.
& # 39; That day we all had the attitude that nothing prevented us from reaching that final and we created that atmosphere around the stadium and me and Fabinho followed him and there was a jumble of legs and we were on the floor. To do that to the greatest player who has ever played …
& I have nothing but respect for him and Barcelona, but we went into that game with the attitude that we were 3- 0 were down, we needed a miracle, we needed something special and if that little thing the best player in the world would stop playing to his highest potential …
& # 39; But I got there regret it. I am not that person. That is not my personality. But many things happened that night that you don't really remember. There was no thought process behind it. We were completely ready for the game. The fans roared and you get caught up in it. You are human. We were 3-0 behind in the semi-final of the Champions League, which we wanted to restore in the previous season. It was the loudest dressing room I have been to before the game. You could see the focus and the determination in all of us and maybe I crossed the line.
& # 39; But Liverpool fans love the lead, I think. I think this whole team might be very good at representing Liverpool right now. Liverpool is a big working-class city. We are going to work hard. We are defeated in games, but what you cannot doubt is that we give 100 percent every time we go outside. & # 39;
Robertson is right about the way this team carries everything for itself, that has only fallen two points the entire season, which is still unbeaten in the league, represents the city. Players like him, Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk embody a manual connection between the players and the community. In the modern game it sometimes seems as if footballers take a distance from supporters. That is not the case with this Liverpool team.
They now need a maximum of five more wins. Five more wins to win the title that Liverpool has missed so long. That starts with West Ham's visit to Anfield on Monday evening. It is only a matter of when now. Whether locked in at home at Crystal Palace on March 21 or five days earlier to Everton in Goodison Park. Or even earlier.
The fans sing that they are going to win the competition now, but Robertson is not. It is not his style.
A fan came up to him while he was shopping in a supermarket on Merseyside last week and argued: & # 39; You're going to win the competition, aren't you? & # 39; & # 39; I said to him: & # 39; We are doing well so far. & # 39; & # 39;
& # 39; I didn't want to give him too much hope. Look, we are a team that loves winning games and are very good at it and we now need five wins and we think we can achieve those five wins and more.
& # 39; We know what position we are in. Do we believe we are going to win? Not yet. Only when the champion stitches are above our heads. & # 39;
Jamie Vardy has not scored since December and has only made FIVE shots in six games (but he is still the Premier League top scorer!) … So, Leicester & # 39; s frontman will finally reach his goal dryness against Manchester City?
- Leicester organizes Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday night
- Striker Jamie Vardy wants to end a series of eight games without a purpose
- The target drought of two months is the longest of the 33-year-old in the past three years
- His last goal came against Man City and he has a brilliant record against them
A lack of goals is not something you usually would associate with the top scorer of the Premier League but that is precisely the problem that Jamie Vardy now faces.
The striker of Leicester is currently experiencing his worst drought for the goal in three years, the 0-0 draw on Wolves saw him extend his current run to eight games without a goal in all competitions.
The 33-year-old found the net exactly two months in August The last time he fired so long came to the bleak end of Claudio Ranieri's tenure in February 2017.
PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SCORERS 2019-20
Jamie Vardy – 17
Sergio Aguero – 16
Danny Ings – 15
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 15
Mo Salah – 14
Marcus Rashford – 14
Because of a amazing first half of the season, he remains somewhat unbelievably the leader in the race for the Golden Boot.
Vardy played as well as he ever did when he scored 17 goals in the 18 Premier League games that Leicester opened, having one of the best conversion rates in Europe.
Being exploited before Christmas means that he is still one goal ahead of Manchester City, Sergio Aguero.
And he will get encouragement from where his last strikes came, the Englishman just found it with a great finish at Etihad Stadium.
VARDY IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE SINCE 21 DEC
Opportunities created: 4
Touches in opposition box: 11
That's because Vardy and his teammates are once again taking on the reigning champions, this time with the King Power on Saturday, giving him the chance to continue where he is was stopped on December 21.
The former England international got rest – and time with his family after the birth of his daughter – after that match against City.
He then missed the next game against Newcastle with a calf problem and has never looked good since then, the 16-day break seemed to kill his momentum.
And the foxes suffered from it, who fell well out of the title race and won only one win of their last five since Vardy & # 39; s return with the striker who managed only four shots.
JAMIE VARDY & DRUG [DAMUGGETDROUGHT
Liverpool 4-0 Leicester (PL)
Leicester 1-1 Aston Villa (EFL)
Leicester 1-2 Southampton (PL)
Burnley 2-1 Leicester (PL)
Leicester 4-1 West Ham (PL)
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester (EFL)
Leicester 2-2 Chelsea (PL)
Wolves 0-0 Leicester (PL)
If Brendan Rodgers & Men must close the g ap in second place City up to a certain point on Saturday, then you feel they need their star to do what he did doing best and doing what he did to them last time.
And few would bet as he does precisely, no world football player has scored more goals than the six Vardy who have succeeded against City since Pep Guardiola took the lead.
& # 39; He has been refreshed and is ready to impress in the last part of the season, & # 39; Rodgers said last week.
& # 39; These things happen.
& # 39; Part of that was that he was injured and worked his way back inside.
& I have no doubt that he is the player who will always be the threat and he will always get those opportunities.
& # 39; It is the responsibility of the team to create opportunities for him because he is that sort of striker. He needs the last pass, or the cross. In a few games, he had the misfortune not to score.
& # 39; But he is such a & # 39; n threat and that will certainly happen again. & # 39;
That time could come Saturday at 5:30 PM.
The NBA summarized on Thursday after a fantastic All-Star weekend in Chicago.
Six games took place – including reigning MVwa Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks against the Detroit Pistons.
Below is an overview of Thursday's action with 12 of the 30 teams in the NBA, including news about the season of one star due to injury …
Philadelphia 76ers 112- 104 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Joel Embiid had 39 points and 16 rebounds, Alec Burks and Shake Milton added large baskets in the extension and the Philadelphia 76ers extended their dominance at home with a victory of 112-104 over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.
Playing without All-Star point guard Ben Simmons due to the tightness of the lower back, Philadelphia improved his record at the Wells Fargo Center to 26-2 of the season. The 76ers are 9-19 on the road.
Tobias Harris added 22 points and 12 boards for the 76ers. Burks added 19 points, including a few lay-ups in the extension that gave Philadelphia the lead forever.
Caris LeVert scored 25 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 22 for Brooklyn.
And the nets stay the rest of the season without their All-Star point guard …
Kyrie Irving tried to keep playing pain, a cortisone recording that no longer offered adequate lighting.
Eventually, he and the Brooklyn Nets decided it would be best to have his right shoulder cared for now and to be healthy for next season – when Irving and Kevin Durant can finally play together.
Irving will undergo arthroscopic surgery and miss the rest of the season, general manager of Nets Sean Marks sa id Thursday.
& Kyrie said he was playing through pain and you have to give him a lot of credit for that. He wants to be out there and play with his boys, & Marks said. & # 39; But there comes a point where you say that enough is enough and again, it goes to long-term health. And the best that (we) can do is take out and arrange this once and for all. & # 39;
Coach Kenny Atkinson said the point guard still had problems with the shoulder that began to worry him in October and sidelined for 26 games earlier this season.
& # 39; Some days it was OK and other days it bothered him, & # 39; said Atkinson before the Nets faced the Philadelphia 76ers. & # 39; It is clear that it is difficult to perform under those circumstances. & # 39;
Irving said the shoulder pain initially worsened after a match on November 4. The nets then went on a five-game road trip, where Irving continued to play until the pain became so bad that he struggled to lift his shoulder.
He received a cortisone injection on December 24 and was able to return on January 12, but he acknowledged that surgery might still be needed. Irving met a specialist this week and by deciding to have a procedure now, his first season in Brooklyn ends after just 20 games.
Irving had an average of 27.4 points, with a 50-point match on the opening night and a 54-point match against Chicago on January 31. He then only played one game.
Marks said the nets provide more information about Irving's recovery process after surgery, but expects him to be back for summer training.
Atkinson said that Irving was even better than he had expected after seeing him play in Cleveland and Boston.
] & # 39; I really love the player and feel that we have had a really good el elationhip. We are really good, but of course you want more. More repetitions, more time with him, & Atkinson said. "But we will have time in the off season to make contact and work with him a little."
Irving missed the last five games before the break with a sprained right knee. He now joins Durant on the sidelines; the superstars signed with the nets in July. Durant has been out all season while recovering from surgery to fix his Achilles tendon.
Assuming both are healthy to start the 2020-21 season, the nets can become one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
& # 39; We & # 39; "right on schedule and aim to fight there," Marks said. "That has always been the goal."
Brooklyn is still in a good position to make the play-offs and comes out of the break in seventh place in the east and five games for ninth place Washington. The nets have received strong waiting game from Dinwiddie and LeVert.
Detroit Pistons 106-126 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 16 rebounds while the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Detroit Pistons 126-106 on Thursday nights.
De Bucks were 70-41 before half time and with no less than 34 points in the second half. Detroit could never get enough stops in the last two quarters to reach a major rally.
Former Piston Khris Middleton added 28 points for the Bucks, who won for the 15th time in 17 games. Eric Bledsoe added 19 points and Brook Lopez scored 18.
The Pistons have lost five times since they sold Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 6 and played for the first time since they bought up the Reggie Jackson contract . Christian Wood, one of the seven players in the game who played for both teams, had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Bruce Brown ended with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Trae Young had a career-high 50 points and the Atlanta Hawks scored the last 10 points of the game to beat the Miami Heat 129-124 on Thursday evening.
Young made 18 of 19 free throws and eight of 15 three-pointers to set his score high in his first game after starting in the NBA All-Star Game
Bam Adebayo had 28 points and a season-high 19 rebounds for Miami. Adebayo, the NBA All-Star skills champion, added seven assists.
Miami could not maintain a late 124-119 lead. After the tying three-pointer by De & # 39; Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish scored with 31 seconds after his steal from Goran Dragic to give the Hawks a 126-124 lead. Young's two free throws increased the lead to four points.
Miami has lost five of the last six games.
Kevin Huerter and Hunter each scored 17 points for Atlanta.
Golden State Warriors 105-135 Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors 105-135 Houston Rockets
James Harden had 29 points and 10 assists and led the Houston Rockets past the cold-shooting Golden State Warriors 135-105 on Thursday night in the first game of the teams back from the All-Star break.
Russell Westbrook had 21 points and 10 assists before being ejected, while PJ Tucker scored 15 points. He made all five of his three-pointers when the Rockets beat a total of 25 – a franchise record allowed by the Warriors against every opponent. Houston set an NBA record of 27 three in a win against the Phoenix Suns last April.
Robert Covington added 20 points and all five Houston starters scored in double digits, as the Rockets ran away early after losing 116 -104 in Chase Center on Christmas Day.
It was testy this time with 6:04 to play when Westbrook struggled with various Warriors. After a repeat review, Westbrook received his second technique of the night and was ejected.
Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points in the fifth consecutive loss of the Warriors and also their fifth consecutive home. Draymond Green issued seven assists after having received nine in each of his previous two games.
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Five days after winning the three-point competition during All-Star weekend, Buddy Hield & # 39; s free-throw shooting made the difference for Sacramento and let the Kings are thinking about a possible late run in the late season.
That may be a lofty ambition for a team that still plays 11 games under .500, but Hield wants his teammates to embrace it as much as possible.
Harrison Barnes scored a 32-season high and combined his career high with seven three, De & # 39; Aaron Fox added 26 points and Sacramento defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 129-125 on Thursday night.
Hield added 20 points, including four free throws in the final seconds. Kent Bazemore scored 18 when the kings won their fourth straight at home against the Grizzlies.
The & # 39; Anthony Melton scored 24 and Ja Morant had 19 for Memphis.
Chicago Bulls 93-103 Charlotte Hornets
Malik Monk scored 25 points, Miles Bridges 22 added and the Charlotte Hornets hung the cold-shooting Chicago Bulls 103-93 on Thursday evening.
After the NBA presented a memorable show last weekend with the All-Star festivities in Chicago for the first time since 1988, the Hornets and Bulls delivered a rather forgettable performance.
The Hornets dropped 21 points in the third quarter to two. But they regrouped to win their third in a row after five straight and 13 out of 14.
The Bulls missed their first 17 three-pointers before Zach LaVine made one in the third quarter and seven of 31 of further then the bow in losing their seventh consecutive game
PJ Washington scored 17 points for Charlotte. Cody Zeller added 16 points and eight rebounds. Bridges also took eight rebounds after winning MVP awards in the Rising Stars Challenge at the United Center during All-Star weekend.
Thaddeus Young led Chicago with season highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds. LaVine scored 19 points.
& # 39; Perhaps he is the difference in certain games & # 39 ;: Gary Neville calls on Bruno Fernandes to help Manchester United break down heavy defenses at Old Trafford in pursuit of the top four
- Gary Neville says Bruno Fernandes could be the difference for United in important games
- The Portuguese midfielder played in the 2-0 victory of United in Chelsea on Monday
- ] But United has difficulty defeating teams among them, especially on its own soil
- Neville hopes that Fernandes can bring the creativity needed to turn them into victories
Gary Neville hopes that Bruno Fernandes will be the difference & # 39; for Manchester United in contests in which they struggle to break down the opposition's defense.
United strengthened their top four hopes on Monday night with a 2-0 win over Chelsea but it is against teams among them in the table they fought against, especially at home.
Neville told Sky Sports: The problem they have (United) is when they encounter a solid team.
& # 39; They have problems with creativity and breaking down a team that is in fact behind the ball in numbers.
& # 39; That has happened time and time again. It is a familiar pattern.
& # 39; Maybe Bruno Fernandes is the difference in certain games now on Old Trafford.
& # 39; They hope they can get a little more out of him in terms of creativity and help, but there is still a lot to do for them to convince all of us that they can make a constant run. & # 39;
Fernandes was delighted with his first victory as Manchester United ] player after he helped his side to win at Stamford Bridge.
Anthony Martial and heads of Harry Maguire gave the Red Devils the victory in a game in which Chelsea had two goals that were rejected by VAR.
The midfielder told Sky Sports: "I feel great, it's a tough match, a great match team, and we have to win to stay ahead in this way."
& # 39; We can do much better with the ball, but here it was a good match. I feel good, I play for the biggest club in England and I am really happy, it is a dream come true. & # 39;
Captain Maguire praises their new £ 68 million men: & # 39; The quality on the ball that he brings, technical competence, the presence that he has brought, he is a leader, it may continue for a long time. & # 39;
Is the winter break UNFAIR for the big clubs? Manchester United and Arsenal face fresher teams when Premier League has a full set of matches next weekend, and this is why …
- The nature of the Premier League's winter break will be some damage teams
- Manchester United has three days preparation for their game with Watford
- The Hornets come into play in Old Trafford on the back of 15 days off
- Arsenal have the same problem when they welcome Everton to the Emirates
A combination of the split nature of the winter break – in which the 20 clubs do not take their two-week break at the same time – and the return of European football leaves certain clubs a noticeable disadvantage during the first full weekend of matches for example, the break is
Manchester United will be faced with Watford in their third match in six days on February 23, while their opponents break on the back of a 15-day play.
Manchester United plays three games in six days after the winter break ends
HOW did WINTER WORK?
– 8 teams played the weekend of 8/9 February and 12 in the weekend of 15/16 February
– Without mid-week games *, all teams had at least two weeks off
– The Premier League returns to a normal full weekend on February 22
This means that Watford has had much more time to prepare for that match in particular, and will be in top condition after their long break.
The permanent congestion of United immediately after the return of their winter break is explained by the return of the Europa League on February 20, when they travel to play Club Brugge.
But the Premier League match schedule can favor certain teams, especially those not involved in European football, during this specific match on 22, 23 and 24 February.
It is a potential problem that the Premier League could have simply canceled had they insisted that all 20 clubs take their two-week break at the same time, instead of splitting the competition into two and making sure that competition games would be played every weekend during the break.
served to guarantee TV rights holders that they would not have a week without games to broadcast.
Arsenal has the same problem as United when they meet Everton at the Emirates Stadium on February 23.
Arsenal returns to action against Newcastle on February 16, but has to fly across the continent for a Europa League match, en route to Greece to play Olympiacos.
That will only give them a three-day break before they play Everton.
But for the men of Carlo Ancelotti, who played Crystal Palace in Goodison Park last weekend, they will enjoy an excellent 15-day rest before going to the Emirates Stadium.
Liverpool also had a fresher team because of their own Champions League excursions, but the canceled West Ham game in Manchester City means that this is no longer the case.
The Hammers would have a 15-day break before Liverpool is played, but will now have games against City and the Reds over a four-day period. They take place on Wednesday evening at Pep Guardiola.
One of the old guard has actually spared a thought for those without it game that stayed around the world during the first Premier League winter break.
I enjoy soccer and have a great lifestyle, "said Everton coach Duncan Ferguson. & # 39; But the fans can't go on vacation. They miss it. That is why I do not agree with the winter break. & # 39;
For players, the only debate during their 13-day intervals, spread over two weekends, seems to have been whether Five Palm Jumeirah or the Cove Beach, two of Dubai's most favorite locations .
Images of James Maddison, a fully registered member of the Cove Beach set, caught him a magnum of spirits during a daytime pool party with his teammate Ben Chilwell, Jack Grealish from Aston Villa and Chelsea's Ross Barkley. This was not entirely in line with the image of Leicester & # 39; s shattered players who & # 39; empty & # 39; painted days earlier by their manager Brendan Rodgers.
Dubai has become a Premier League social melting pot in the last two weeks. While Maddison and Co went from the pool to the Mantis nightclub, where the 23-year-old shot photos at 4 o'clock in the morning, the jet ski man of the Five Palm Jumeirah told Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle and Brandon Williams from Manchester United had been out
Stormzy & # 39; s concert at the city's RedFest DXB on the first Friday of the winter break was a great attraction for players. The Cove Beach brigade, along with Ryan Sessegnon of Tottenham and Tammy Abraham of Chelsea, were all present. Even the injured Marcus Rashford flew to Miami to attend.
Some Brighton players settled for the more boring ones, as images of Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Leandro Trossard, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross at a table full of drinks and later seeming to inhale balloons are all to pass by .
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder needed this as a hole in the head after three victories on his five side had lifted to fifth place.
& # 39; I do not agree with the break, & # 39; he said before taking his team to Dubai. & # 39; I wanted to continue. Players are fit and healthy. & # 39;
Another Premier League coach agrees that there may be negative consequences. & # 39; We only see it when it starts again. It can take time to rebuild the intensity and the rhythms, "he says.
Not all players match the same picture. James Milner, a player's man-machine, was seen at the back of Anfield's home field during the night of Liverpool & # 39; s FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town, who had boycotted Jurgen Klopp and effectively excluded his senior players . Milner, recovering from an injury and badly in need of playing time, asked if he could be present and finally gave a team talk.
Mo Salah posted a picture of himself in the Melwood gym. "I didn't go back from the holidays," he tweeted.
Luke Shaw described paintball and squadrones during the Manchester United break in Marbella. "It has been hard work, but probably the big bonus is the binding side of it," he insisted.
It must be said that the law of unintended consequences has always applied to such breaches. Bob Paisley developed a routine to take his Liverpool players away on a Saturday night in Llangollen, North Wales, when they regularly won titles.
A dispute after beer was taken in the picturesque Bryn Howell Hotel in the picturesque town in 1981 ended with Ray Kennedy throwing a bar stool at the landlord Albert Lloyd and spending a night behind bars at Wrexham police station with Jimmy Case. Both were fined £ 150.
But for all risks, physios universally welcome the new break. The FA also anticipates the benefits for the English team at Gareth Southgate during the European championships this season. Gary Lewin, a physio with Sven Goran Eriksson's England, however, believes that one weekend is not really enough.
& # 39; Unfortunately, some people will just think they are all on vacation, but that's an attitude we need, & he says. & # 39; We argued to miss two weekends, so it was a three-week break, so ten days off and ten days of training. & # 39;
The debate among top coaches is whether the break should have come sooner after the hectic Christmas / New Year schedule.
& # 39; The issue is whether this is the best time & # 39 ;, says a senior employee of a Premier League club. "We could be more scientific about looking at injuries and when the general load takes its biggest toll."
Indeed, a study by PhysioRoom.com in 2018 showed that most Premier League injuries occur in December and January, about 135 over the top flight.
A break in mid-January has been impossible until now because the Premier League was simply not willing to allow one. The beneficiaries and their money are king. It took the FA's willingness to move the fifth round of the FA Cup to midweek the following round to free up space, which the Premier League used to spread a round of matches over two weekends. They won't even call it a winter break.
& # 39; We call it a mid-season player break, & # 39; said PL-chief Richard Scudamore when it was announced in June 2018. & # 39; We call it is not a winter break. Why is that Because we don't break. & # 39;
Spain and Germany know what a real break looks like. There was no football for two weeks between December 21 and January 4 in La Liga and the Bundesliga – which has four fewer league rounds than the Premier League and only one cup competition, with single legs. Players had a 28-day break this season. Nobody complains in these countries because the break is part of their football culture – and because everyone just retreats to watch the Premier League.
Both Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino have said they would not want it the other way around.
& # 39; I would cry if there was a winter break, & # 39; Wenger once remarked. "It is a very important part of our popularity in the world that nobody works at Christmas and everyone watches the Premier League."
Yet there are many managers who regard the break in the coming days as an elixir. & # 39; We have 13 games in the next three and a half months & # 39 ;, says Steve Bruce from Newcastle. & # 39; It is therefore ridiculous to ask the players [to go without]. & # 39;
Burnley's Sean Dyche claims it helps a small team like his. "I think this break is prepared for the super powers, left behind in all kinds of competitions, but we have had some injuries and it helps the bodies to settle, fix and be ready to go."
But the way a 17-day break took the wind out of Steven Gerrard's Rangers sails – they won four in advance but have since lost twice. It is a warning lesson.
When Alex Ferguson was manager at Aberdeen, he would carefully cut a week break for his players between two games, select a weekend when they played in Glasgow to fly away from there for a week in Marbella or Mallorca. There was one designated night out for the players with a strict curfew and a warning, according to Alex McLeish, about what had to happen when they returned.
& He urged us that we could not go back and pick up our season slowly. We had to sit on it. & # 39;
& # 39; Everyone is trying us out … but Arsenal is even worse! & # 39 ;: Fired-up Luke Shaw SLAMS how the Manchester United fight is aimed at old rivals Arsenal
- ] Manchester United returns to action against Chelsea after their winter break
- The Old Trafford club drifts six points in race for Champions League spot
- Luke Shaw insisted on clearing the ground and claimed that Arsenal was worse
While the praise is lifted on Manchester United & # 39; s latest discovery, Brandon Williams, it must be remembered that his rival Luke Shaw had played in a World Cup and had become the fourth most expensive defender in the world by the time he was 20.
Indeed, Shaw is only 24 and, refreshed by a team-binding camp in Marbella, still has a lot to fight after a career-threatening broken leg under Louis van Gaal and harsh public criticism from Jose Mourinho to have conquered.
Mourinho once boasted about guiding Shaw through a match against Everton and stated that the defender's performance was "his body with my brain". You cannot imagine that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is so disrespectful.
Shaw loves the philosophy of playing his manager's prot players and believes that they now owe him a few results, starting at Chelsea with United six points drift in the race for a place in the Champions League.
& # 39; Ole is different from other managers I have played for who have not yet played has slowly criticized us & # 39 ;, Shaw acknowledges, who in 2014 rejected a move to Stamford Bridge to become a member from United.
& # 39; Every manager has his own way of doing things. Jose had his methods and you have to accept that they believe this is the best way to be successful.
"But we all know how this manager tried to take criticism of himself this season. We admire him for that, but understand that there will come a time when players must look at themselves and do it all for us.
"The manager cannot continue to defend us. We are the ones who must take the blame and act on the field. This is Manchester United. You know why you are here. & # 39;
Solskjaer fears for his job if United does not win a trophy or does not qualify for the Champions League, with names like Mauricio Pochettino and Gareth Southgate named as future replacements.
The rebuilding of United after Sir Alex Ferguson did not go smoothly, although the summer signatures Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have strengthened their defense and £ 46 million Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes looked good before the winter break .
Their only league win of 2020 so far came against bottom club Norwich at Old Trafford and their deadline day signing of former Watford striker Odion Ighalo from the Chinese League was widely mocked.
Shaw considers the wave of negativity over the top, but predictable, given the size of United.
& # 39; We know you need thick skin to play football, especially for the biggest club in the world & he admits.
& # 39; Everyone looks, everyone wants to try when you lose. It is part of playing for United.
& # 39; No lack of respect for Arsenal because I think they are a fantastic club, but they do not have the best season and it is hardly mentioned.
& # 39; I find it funny that if it is United, everyone is critical.
"We know when we have not been good enough.
& # 39; We are here to bring this club back to where it belongs – winning trophies and challenging for titles.
& # 39; There are still many good days to come. & # 39;
According to most Premier League clubs, their players could spend individual free time during the winter break, Solskjaer flew his team to southern Spain to spend time together, including training, meals, paintball and frank discussions about it. improve the shape.
& # 39; We are really a close group. Ole has brought that much more. We worked hard on the trip and it was a great opportunity to get to know Bruno, not just as a player. There are many good friendships in the team, & says Shaw.
"Mind and body have been refreshed and we are ready for Stamford Bridge. What has brought us even closer is a determination to improve because we have sometimes been careless. "
Shaw is positive about the challenge to fight for his place against the upcoming Williams. & # 39; The competition is good for the club & # 39 ;, he says.
And he hopes there is time to keep an eye on England manager Gareth Southgate for Euro 2020. & # 39; I would lie if I said it wasn't me & # 39; t thinking of the euro & # 39 ;, he said.
Premier League winter break to clash with FA Cup plays again next season while more clubs face the prospect that time will be shortened
- The 2020-21 Premier League winter break will still clashing with FA Cup repeats
- Teams seeing peace break undermined the impact of the winter break
- A design schedule shows that the pause again appears in pencil before the beginning of February
The winter break of the Premier League clashes with the FA Cup fourth round will play again next season, creating the prospect that more clubs will be denied their full rest period.
Manchester City and West Ham became the newest clubs forced to return to an early return from their break on Tuesday when their deferred league game last weekend was moved to next Wednesday.
Such a congestion of the fixture has undermined the impact of the winter break, which was first introduced this season.
The Premier League initially guaranteed every club between 13 and 16 days of rest this month, comparable to the break that teams in most other competitions in Europe offered.
But the need to schedule FA Cup repeats has ridiculed the mockery – Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton have played a maximum of 11 days between matches.
And the impact of Storm Ciara means that City and West Ham will now meet at Etihad Stadium, just 10 days after the original game was postponed.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was so upset by the accumulation of competitions that he did not even attend the club's fourth round at Shrewsbury last week, positioning a team of young people so that his team from the first team could have had their full winter break.
Klopp has called for FA Cup replays to be deleted, but despite such anger Premier League managers will face exactly the same scenario next season.
A design plan for the 2020-21 campaign shows that the winter break is being repotted again for the first two weekends in February, with the first set-aside weekend preceded by FA Cup repeats fourth round.
The problem of fixture congestion is so acute that the Premier League had to seek special dispensation from UEFA to reschedule the journey from West Ham to City for next Wednesday, as it will clash with two final 16 Champions League matches, including Tottenham's home game against Red Bull Leipzig.
Under normal circumstances, domestic league matches are not permitted at the same time as European tires, but UEFA reluctantly gave permission for a kick-off at 19.30 at the Etihad due to the & # 39; exceptional circumstances of City & # 39 ; s ba bklog layout.
The city has only one other free midweek for the rest of the season, and that is needed for a rescheduled league match when they beat Sheffield Wednesday to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals next month, so the Premier League argued that the West Ham game had to be fitted as quickly as possible.
Arsenal stars go on desert safaris during the winter break in Dubai … but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette look like they have the hump while riding a camel on the sand
- ] Arsenal is currently taking part in a warm-weather training camp in Dubai
- The team left for the desert before flying back on Tuesday
- Mikel Arteta's team looked good while taking photos and riding camels
Arsenal made the most from their surroundings on Monday when they set out on a desert safari on the last day of their warm weather training camp in Dubai.
The players looked cheerful while they entered the dunes in 4×4 & # 39; s. before they got out to take photos and enjoy the incredible view.
The gunners have been in the United Arab Emirates for four days with manager manager Mikel Arteta believing that the & # 39; mini pre-season & # 39; will come in handy for the rest of the campaign.
& # 39; We can't be happier with the conditions for us to train, & # 39; he said. "We came here to work, it was like a mini pre-season.
" I wanted to use it to work on our principles and our playing styles, and as well as we live together.
& # 39; We had a good reason to come here. We are very happy that we made that decision. We came here to work, it was not a vacation.
& # 39; We have worked very hard. We have been working on things that will be good for us in the coming months. & # 39;
Manchester City and West Ham & # 39; may be forced to end the winter break early because Premier League plans to play a new game NEXT WEEK after postponing Storm Ciara & # 39;
- Manchester City and West Ham may have to immediately play their canceled draw
- The two teams couldn't platy because of the problems caused by Storm Ciara
- Premier League Chiefs have been discussing the option to play the draw next week
- The city now sees the prospect of three games a week in the next two months
The two sides would meet on Sunday, although heavy disruption caused by Storm Ciara, saw the game ceased for security reasons.
It means that a heavy stack is in the pipeline for Pep Guardiola & s side, as City now faces the daunting prospect of three games a week for the coming two months.
The city must find suitable dates for two games Premier League with an alternative week for the home conflict against Arsenal to be determined, considering their participation in the Carabao Cup -final.
Premier League leaders are locked up in talks about the best possible time to organize the revised contest and keep the campaign running.
Currently, the City players are on vacation and recharge the batteries before the domestic and Champions League tasks return.
A huge final 16 confrontation with Spanish giants Real Madrid is now on the horizon, which can be set to make or break the season.
West Ham has meanwhile also been given a five-day rest period by manager David Moyes, with most players taking the opportunity to go to warmer climbs with friends and family.