Ralf Rangnick was asked to share his views on the five substitutions rule that was scrapped at the start of last season.
When the Premier League season kicked off in 2019-20, every club could make five substitutions rather than three, due to the compact scheduled that was caused by the global pandemic. It’s only fair that the topic comes up again, with games being postponed left, right and centre in the top flight.
While the other four major leagues (Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1) stuck to the newly introduced ruling, the Premier League clubs voted to revert back to the three-subs rule.
What were they thinking?
United can still make five substitutions in the Champions League but, as of now, only three are permitted in the Premier League.
“As far as I remember, the five substitutes were implemented, it was decided every team should substitute five players when COVID started one-and-a-half years ago and I think it was the right decision to do that, to have more options to change players, to save energy for players, especially if they had only just recovered from COVID,” Rangnick said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“And the same is true right now, we have a similar situation to the one we had one-and-a-half years ago and therefore I wouldn’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be as it was one-a-half years ago.
“As far as I know in Europe, England is the only country where they only allow three subs. In the other four big leagues in Europe, you can substitute five players. And, on the other hand, you’re still allowed eight field players on the team sheet, and if you have eight field players on the team sheet you should be able to replace five, but you can only replace three of them. You will always have five players on the bench who cannot be substituted and cannot play.
“You know that better than I do what a big tradition it is in England to play on Boxing Day, to play on the 27th, on the 30th or January 2nd. I think this is a big tradition and we should stick to and respect this tradition. I’m looking forward to that, it will be the first time in my coaching career I will be part of that.
“But there might be two or three other issues that might be discussed have been discussed in the past. England is the only country again in the top five leagues in Europe that plays two cup competitions. In France, they abolished the second one two or three years ago. Currently, we are the only country that plays two cup competitions, this is something we could speak about and discuss.
“The other issue changed in the last two weeks is in the FA Cup after a draw you have to have a replay, this had been changed now. This is a good idea. In other countries, in cup competitions, you play extra-time and penalties, and you never have replays. So those might be issues and topics you could speak about.
“I think it would be a great help to have five substitutes, it would also increase and improve the emotional situation in the squad, it’s a big difference if you can give five players game-time, it’s also about game-time, and I would be much more in favour of having five subs. In other countries, they do that. I think we should seriously think about that once again. I haven’t spoken with the players about that but I don’t need to as most would be in favour of that.”
It would be an advantage for every team in the Premier League if they could make more substitutions. Not only that, but it gives managers more leg room from a tactical point of view.
I can’t get my head around the fact Premier League clubs voted against having five substitutions when they had the chance to keep the ruling in place.