HomeFootballRodri's Playing Will Depend on His Will, Says Guardiola

Rodri’s Playing Will Depend on His Will, Says Guardiola


Rodri’s Playing Will Depend on His Will, Says Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that midfielder Rodri’s playing time will depend on his willingness to continue playing. The 27-year-old has played a staggering 41 games this season and recently expressed his need for a break after the Champions League draw against Real Madrid. However, Guardiola has made it clear that if a player doesn’t want to play, he won’t be forced to do so.

Importance of Rodri

Guardiola acknowledges the significance of Rodri’s presence on the field. He believes that the midfielder’s quality greatly benefits the team and makes him an essential player. In fact, Rodri has lost only one game in his 429 days and 66 games playing for City in any competition. Interestingly, only three players in Europe’s top five leagues have made more starts than Rodri this season.

Physical and Mental Fatigue

Guardiola acknowledges that playing every three days takes a toll on players, both physically and mentally. He believes that Rodri’s tiredness in recent matches against Crystal Palace and Real Madrid was evident in the first half but improved significantly in the second half. The Manchester City manager attributes this improvement to Rodri’s mental energy and states that it is natural for players to feel exhausted after playing a lot of minutes.

Increasing Strain and Injuries

Guardiola expresses his concern about the increasingly busy calendar and its impact on players. He believes that the demanding schedule is leading to more injuries and placing a strain on the players. City has already played three games in April, with five more scheduled. Furthermore, they could potentially face an additional six games in May, including a possible Champions League final on 1 June.

The Viewpoint of Others

Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea’s manager, shares Guardiola’s concerns about the demanding season. Pochettino emphasizes the difficulties faced when a squad is plagued by injuries, as it limits the options available to the manager. Furthermore, data analyst Ben Dinnery predicts a 15% rise in injuries that cause players to miss matches this season, with the number of days spent out injured set to increase by 30%. Alexander Bielefeld, head of policy at global players’ union Fifpro, also expresses frustration, stating that patience is running out among players and unions.

The Physiological Challenge

Chris Hattersley, a football physio, sheds light on the physical demands placed on players. He believes that the current fixture schedule is too demanding for the human body to tolerate. Hattersley explains that the physiological recovery from games typically takes three to four days, meaning players aren’t fully recovered by the time they have to play again on a Tuesday after playing on a Saturday. He warns that if the fixture schedule is not addressed, the risk of injuries will continue to rise.

In conclusion, Rodri’s playing time will ultimately depend on his willingness to continue playing, according to Guardiola. The manager acknowledges the importance of Rodri’s presence on the field but understands the physical and mental strain that comes with playing so many games. Guardiola, along with other managers and experts in the field, raises concerns about the increasing strain on players and its correlation with rising injury rates. It is clear that changes need to be made to the fixture schedule in order to protect the well-being and performance of players.

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