The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
Radio City's Alan Irwin, 19th December 2008 - 09:37
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So the Big Day looms large. No, not the Chelsea fixture, Santa's arrival and the inevitable use of the phrase "the hectic Christmas schedule".
Well, don't you believe a word of it this year!!!
A game on Boxing day, followed by one on the Sunday and then a six-day wait until a trip to Macclesfield. Hardly what I'd call "hectic".
Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely delighted that I don't have to work on New Years Day for the first time in years (No sloping off from the party just after midnight this year!!) but three games in eight days is surely not going to over-burden the majority of Premier League clubs with their over-sized squads and rotation policies.
During our Uefa and Carling Cup runs last season we were playing regularly every three or four days. In fact, in the space of 31 days between 1 December and 1 January we played 10 matches - one every 3.1 days! Now that's a hectic schedule! This December, we'll only play five games in total. Hardly taxing on our well-paid players. I know which schedule I'd prefer and I'm sure the players would agree with me too. They'd all rather play than train, and it has to be said once again that we were at our very best last season when the games were coming thick and fast.
It's also around about this time of the year when we hear the inevitable calls for a winter break.
You must be joking!!! What real football fan wants a month or so without their fix?
Winter is the time to be playing football. Let's face it we hardly get Siberian-type weather in the UK nowadays and when a cold snap (relatively that is!) does arrive, whose to know what month it'll be? We're just as likely to get inclement weather in England during February or March as we are in December or January, so who'd decide on the right month to instigate a break from our wonderful game?
Imagine if December was the chosen month, or even mid-December to mid-January. Christmas without football. I couldn't bear it! I don't know about you but surely football is the perfect excuse to escape from the in-laws, family, turkey and mince pies etc over what can become a very trying period!! My excuse is work of course, but I love every minute of it, and, if I wasn't in the commentary box, rest assured I'd be with you in the stands for each and every game over the holiday period.
Bring them on I say, I'd settle for a game every other day from Christmas Eve onwards, if I had my way !!!
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