Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has called for changes to be made to this season’s hectic fixture list as it's putting players at risk of injury.
The 2020/21 campaign started late after the coronavirus pandemic forced a delayed finish to last season, and matches have been crammed in to ensure all competitions are completed in time for next season’s European Championship.
The Premier League decided to abandon the five substitutions rule, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been among the most outspoken critics of a situation that has seen an increase in muscle injuries.
Alexander-Arnold, who is currently sidelined with a calf injury, told the Evening Standard that the decision to make these demands after an unusually short pre-season lacks common sense.
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"Not only has the calendar year been the strangest that anyone in football will have ever seen or been a part of, it is also the most intense which doesn't make sense,” he said.
"At a time when we've had a three month lockdown, coming back and not being able to get fully fit as we would like to and having to play the remainder of the games, and then not getting much of a break - I think we got two weeks and then a ten day pre-season - and then straight back into the most competitive league in the world, it's...difficult.
"The times of games, in terms of your last internationals coming back defies common sense really. Anyone with common sense would spot that that is something that cannot happen.
"The teams that play midweek most weeks - I think Tottenham had recently it where they played on the Thursday and then on Sunday at 12 o'clock.
“There is not enough time to recover, your body cannot recover that quickly. Your muscles are going into it not being 100 per cent and that is how you pick up injuries. Something has to change.
"I think these problems could have really been predicted, anyone could have seen them coming.
"Maybe not to this extent because it looks as if every club is feeling the harshness of the schedule, but you would expect this period to be coming around December and Christmas time because that is when it is the most intense, but for this to be happening so early in the season - eight games in - is far too early, it shows that something is not right. As long as something happens soon, then it is better than nothing."
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