All About The Squad
This season of the English Premier League 2022/23 will not be like any other we have seen in the past due to the manner in how the matches have been scheduled. Forget the name players and super stars as the squad depth is going to be the biggest telling factor on who finishes in the top 4 at the end of the season.
This season the fixture list has been turned on it's head due to the World Cup kicking off on the 20th November and finishing with the final on the 18th December. Due to this the EPL started one week earlier and will stop on the 12th November. The 6 week break will then resume with matches on the 26th December and continue until match 38 on the 28th May.
More games being played by players condensed over shorter time periods is the perfect scenario for picking up more injuries. The league position will demand how the mangers manage the workloads which could backfire.
The Christmas rush will be as hectic as ever with Boxing day,31st December and 2nd January. 3 games in 7 days is a proper test of who is match fit. The schedule leading up to the World Cup will take no prisoners as October sees 6 Fixtures for each team excluding Carbaro Cup matches sandwiched in between.
We have seen how injuries affect the best with Liverpool missing 8 players currently and literally have no chance to cover all positions with the same talent that is missing. If one looks around at what each team has as it's squad depth removing 3 or 4 key players and they all look vulnerable.
Squad depths look fine until you start removing first team picks and all of a sudden the season can change very quickly.
The teams that don't have international players as key members of the team actually could do far better than most. If you look at Newcastle or Brentford they could shock a few along with Nottingham Forest. Will we see the top teams rotating their key players as this will be crucial to saving the squad from injury. I suppose results will determine how each team manages the work load of each player as everyone in the squad will have to pull their weight.
There is 1 week remaining in the transfer window and my thinking is the squads need more depth being added and not necessarily top names. Names that have proven their value who have no international commitments is what clubs should be looking for covering certain positions they are light on.
The Carbaro Cup games start tonight and I am sure many of the Premiership teams would like to skip this event this year as injuries to anyone in the squad will be on their minds. The FA CUP at least kicks off for the Premier League teams only on the 7Th January next year which is not an added pressure until then.
The fancied top 6 may not be what we expect when we watch the matches being played on the 28th May next year as this is going to require a lot of luck. We have seen how competitive the League is after only 3 matches with a few major upsets and nothing going to script.
The other difference that we have forgotten is the allowing of the referees allowing the players to contest for 50/50 balls and letting the play continue. This is a contact sport after all and over the last decade one could have questioned how much contact was actually happening as it was all play acting. Whoever wins the League this season would have managed their squad the best as it is going to take far more than seasons before.