Connect with us


Rodri: ‘Playing 60 games a season is not healthy’



Manchester City midfielder Rodri has shared his concerns about the hectic fixture schedule and the Premier League and EFL’s new approach of increasing the minutes played in injury time.
Football league officials in England intend to add World Cup-style amounts of injury time to matches and accurately calculate the time added on to reflect certain stoppages in play.

As a result of the new laws, all 35 EFL matches on the opening weekend of the 2023-24 season featured at least eight minutes of added time, while all but two matches went beyond the 100-minute mark.

Rodri was one of the standout performers in Man City’s historic treble-winning 2022-23 campaign, providing seven assists and scoring four goals including the match-winner in the Champions League final triumph over Inter Milan in June.

The Spain international played 56 times for the Citizens last season and notched up a total of 4,478 minutes, 203 minutes more than goalkeeper Ederson and 349 minutes more than the next outfield star Erling Haaland.

Heading into the new season, Rodri remains a key cog in the Man City machine managed by Pep Guardiola – who stated last weekend that the ‘big brain’ match officials have never consulted him over the new injury-time rules – and the midfielder has concurred with his boss, admitting that playing an extensive number of games is “not healthy”.

“I don’t remember exactly the games I played, but I had a talk with the club and the coach because starting 57 or 59 games and playing in 60 or something is not healthy,” Rodri told reporters.

“You can do it for one season, but when it’s two or three in a row, it can be worse for the team because your physicality can drop. So I have to watch out. We have already spoken that it cannot always be like this.

“But last year, on the other hand, I had the feeling that we were fighting for everything, and I had to push my body to the limit. That’s why I sometimes feel bad at the end of the season – but for me, it was great.”

The 27-year-old added: “To be honest, I never get enough rest. I feel pretty well recovered after having about one month off. It was a good break, and we have a coach who understands and who gives us everything he can to recover.

“I think we are the last team in the Premier League to start pre-season because he understands that rest is important. So, yes, I’m very happy about last season and how it finished, and now we go into another season, and it’s going to be a long one.”

Asked if he is aware of Man City’s concerns regarding his fitness, Rodri said: “I don’t know. But when you look at the stats and look at the number of minutes, I played seven, eight, nine games more than the second outfield player.

“It’s not a problem now. The important thing for me is that they know the situation, and they know that for the next few seasons we will have to watch out.

“Now I am young, but maybe when I get to 30 or 31 I cannot do this kind of thing, so I have to watch the body because 60 games is not the best thing for a player. Also, the seasons get even longer every year. We have to adapt to this.”

Rodri played the full 90 minutes in Man City’s Community Shield loss on penalties to Arsenal last weekend and he is expected to be involved in their opening Premier League game of the new season away at Burnley on Friday.

Guardiola will also have summer signing Mateo Kovacic to call upon, while the likes of Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Rico Lewis and Maximo Perrone are additional deep-lying midfield options at the Catalan’s disposal.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


They still bully me after 14 years – Aiyegbeni on missing tap-in for Nigeria




Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has cried out over the bullying he suffers in the hands of Nigerians over the goal he missed 13 to 14 years ago.

Nigerian football fanatics are finding it difficult to forget the events of June 22, 2010 when Aiyegbeni missed a tap-in during a World Cup game between Nigeria and South Korea.

The miss came when Nigeria was trailing the Koreans 2-1 in their final Group A match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, South Africa.

The ‘Yak’ would later score from the penalty spot but Super Eagles fans were, at the time, unable to move past the unbelievable miss.

In a recent interview, the video was shared on social media platform, X, and he cried out that he is still getting messages from angry fans who are demanding an explanation of how he missed the tap-in with the goalkeeper and defenders out of the way.

“I still get messages from people. Different messages. I remember one was sending a message last week and he was like ‘how do you explain that goal missed to you daughter Kayla’ he mentioned my daughter’s name ‘Kayla’. I was like 13 to 14 years ago and people still think about that,” he said.

“I got a message today and someone was like ‘you’re the worst Super Eagles striker’ because of that particular goal I missed. They never think about all the other goals I’ve scored.

“They never think about when I scored goals in Sudan when nobody thought we’d qualify for Korea Japan 2002. We went to Sudan. Nobody ever thought we’d qualify because the weather there was crazy. If we get a draw or lose we’re out.

“There I scored 2 goals. Julius Aghahowa scored one and Jay Jay Okocha, ‘pa Jay’ scored another one. We won 4-0. That gave us the ticket and went to Korea-Japan 2000.

“But people in Nigeria never speak about how I made them qualify but didn’t go to the World Cup. I was shocked. I played 99.9% of every game to qualify Nigeria for Japan/Korea and I was dropped.”

Continue Reading


Inter Miami making Messi work too hard – Coach, Martino




Inter Miami are expecting too much work from their Argentine star Lionel Messi, coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday, ahead of the team’s Florida derby clash with Orlando City.

Miami are unbeaten in their opening two games, with a home win over Real Salt Lake followed by a draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

But with a busy run of fixtures for club and country coming up for Messi this month, Martino says the team need to find a way to reduce the eight-times Ballon d’Or winner’s workload.

“I feel that in these last two matches, he has expended too much energy, and that is also my responsibility to make sure the team operates in a way that we can use him in the best way,” Martino told reporters.

Messi has been playing in a relatively free role, behind former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, often floating deep to find the ball and then seeking to drive his team up the field.

It was Messi’s stoppage time goal that earned Miami a point at the Galaxy but Martino says the performance took a lot out of the 36-year-old.

“I’ve been discussing some things with him and what concerns me the most is the day-to-day and how he is recovering game by game. I feel that in these first two matches, we have relied on him too much, which has caused him significant fatigue in both games,” he said.

The former Argentina and Mexico national team coach said the team have to re-find a way to provide Messi service closer to goal.

“In the Leagues Cup game against Orlando (last season), he often found the ball in the final quarter of the field and was able to finish the play, he scored from inside the area. That’s what we need to get back to, the team finding him to make plays and sometimes finding him for the finishes,” he said.

Miami are hoping their latest Argentine signing, midfielder Federico Redondo will have his paperwork resolved in order to make his debut on Saturday.


Continue Reading


Lagos FA Cup Kicks Off With No Sponsor, 80 Clubs Eye Star Prize




Chairman Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, Ogboni Fouad Oki says this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup popularly known as Lagos FA Cup would go ahead without sponsor.

The much awaited Lagos FA Cup would kick off on Saturday 2 March 2024 across the designated centers.

No fewer than 80 clubs are expected to participate in this year’s edition.

Although Winners Golden Bet, a well known Betting Company has been sponsoring the Lagos FA Cup more than six years, but the company is not part of this year’s edition which gives football stakeholders a lot of concerns.

Oki explained that he is not disturbed that no company or individual has partnered with the association for FA Cup but remained optimistic that the competition would get a sponsor before it gets to the quarter final stage.

“I am not too bothered about the sponsorship of the competition.If you look at the country presently, many companies are still struggling to survive but i want to assure the participating teams and football fans before the tournament reaches quarter final, sponsor would surely come.

“We the organising committee are still working on the possibility to get one or two sponsors on board.Like i said i am not really worried and the most important things is that the competition would kick off on Saturday,”he said.

The Lagos FA boss expressed satisfaction with the number of teams that are participating in this year’s edition.

He disclosed that the state has largest number of entries among the states in the country and charged the teams that would represent the the state to do well in the Federation Cup and possibly win the trophy.

“Lagos has number of entries compare to other states that have less than 10 teams in their state’s FA Cup.If we have such numbers of teams registered and i expect any team that would represent Lagos should make us proud and bring the Federation Cup back to the state,”he said.

Continue Reading