Belgium’s Toby Alderweireld claims that England’s lack of a winter break cost its national team at EURO 2016.
The Three Lions fell to Iceland 2-1 in the tournament’s Round of 16 on Tuesday. They struggled to find finish all tournament long despite taking the second-most shots of the tournament.
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Alderweireld thinks he knows why England lacked sharpness. The Belgium defender is at Spurs and previously played for Southampton, but also has played in leagues that do something he’d like to see in England: Take a winter break.
The festive period is one of the more fun periods of the Premier League season, but has come under fire from players and some managers in recent years.
“Who am I, of course, to judge them, but the Premier League must urgently think about a rest period in a European Championship or World Cup year,” Alderweireld told a news conference.
“We are working day by day for a year. When the other leagues take a winter break, we just gear up. That creeps into your clothes and translates into the elimination of England,” he said.
As fans, we hate the idea of not being able to settle in for a day of matches on Boxing Day, and that’s why we think it’ll last longer. The Premier League is in focus around those times, and has very little responsibility to international teams.
Does the lack of break cost English energy come summer? It’s hard to say, as La Liga and Serie A play the same amount of matches in a congested schedule outside of the holidays, and perhaps the lack of winter break allows English teams more flexibility in the latter stages of the Champions League.