Liverpool coach Pepijn Lijnders believes Premier League substitution rule has saved football
This move was initially introduced the the FA post the coronavirus pandemic when football was just beginning to get resumed on its full scale. However, the league reverted back to three substitutions since the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
Earlier this year in March though, Premier League clubs agreed on switching to five substitutions on a permanent basis. This is a move welcomed with open hands by the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
“The big thing this season and I think the most decisive aspect of this season will be how teams use the five subs because that will change massively the Premier League”
The 39 year old also emphasised on the impact it had on Liverpool’s style of gegenpressing as well. The Reds’ style of high press, Lijnders came across a rather happy figure on the now-permanent change. Liverpool can now play intense football from the start as there is enough leeway to make changes when necessary.
“I think the rule saved football, in my opinion, because if you want to play every three days, this was one of the musts to have”
With the World Cup slated later this year, and players having to play much more frequently than before, it is no surprise that all the clubs saw this move as an opportunity to help reduce player fatigue.
Pep Lijnders’ book called Intensity includes various dynamics the club had to go through in their 2021-22 season. It is fair to say that his thoughts on substitutions are now clear.
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Liverpool begin their league campaign on Saturday at Craven Cottage, against newly promoted side Fulham. It will be interesting to see how clubs are going to use this five-sub rule to the get the most out of their players come the season.