Gary Neville names date when Premier League should return to action

Gary Neville names date when Premier League should return to action

TEAMtalk Media Group·2020-05-27 19:43

Gary Neville believes that with training underway again, the Premier League should look to return to action no later than June 19 and says two teams could benefit greatly from the enforced break.With Project Restart making good progress and confidence raised by the return of the Bundesliga that it’s safe to start playing again, the former Manchester United defender and TV pundit says that date will give players enough time to have had sufficient training under their belts.Officially, the Premier League says a proposed restart of June 12 is possible although there is flexibility while some clubs prefer June 26 due to concerns that starting again too soon could put players at risk of injury.The Governments guidelines for contact training have been published, and it is anticipated that clubs will gradually build up the level of contact, from clusters of two to three players initially, through larger groups before a return to full team training.Players are set to vote later on Wednesday for a resume to close contact training, which includes tackling.Speaking on The Football Show on Sky Sports, Neville said: “Two or three weeks on top of the fitness work they’ve been doing at home feels about right. June 12 feels a touch early but there’s no reason to go beyond June 19 for a restart.“I don’t see players’ fitness being a concern – I don’t see them needing four or five weeks. Even when they’ve had six weeks off for pre-season, within 10 days of going back in they’d be playing games again in pre-season.”Neville does concede that players won’t be up to full speed by then but says that shouldn’t be a big concern.“They wouldn’t be 100 per cent fit but these are uncharted times. I wouldn’t expect the players to be absolutely perfect. I feel two to three weeks is about right to get them back playing again.“We’re constantly told throughout the season that players are overworked, play too many matches. What we can’t have is a situation where the players have had an eight-week break to then say they need six weeks of training to get back to fitness. That doesn’t feel right.“If Harry Kane was borderline fit for the European Championships and was going to be back two weeks before the tournament, he’d be saying he was fit and ready to go. I don’t see the difference with this situation.“If this was a major cup final or league game, and a player had been out for eight weeks with an injury and he only had 10 days of training, he’d be fighting to get into that squad. I don’t buy into the need for an extended period of time.”Neville also pointed out that some clubs may actually have benefitted from the break in play caused by the coronavirus pandemic as it’s allowed some of their star names to recuperate and return to fitness having been sidelined with injuries.“I think the lockdown helps Tottenham, and helps Manchester United,” he said. “They get Pogba and Rashford back, Tottenham get Kane and Son back. I know we say that these clubs have squads, and they’re big clubs, but you cannot lose Harry Kane and not be impacted.“Son (who broke his arm in February) is a player who I think could go into any team in the world. His style of play is just so modern, he’s a modern forward who can play left, play right, play off the front, and I think in some ways he’s as important to Tottenham as Harry Kane.“If you’re Harry Kane you need Son playing alongside you, he makes the runs past that create the space for Kane. In fact, Kane is a massive positive for Tottenham, but also a bit of a problem because they probably can’t get another centre forward to go to the club because they know he’ll be on the bench. What it does mean is that when Harry Kane is injured, there’s a big loss, so him and Son are hugely important.“Jose I think is obviously still trying to establish himself at Tottenham, and I think he’ll be more confident after lockdown of achieving what he wants this season than he would have done before, because those two players were missing.”A report earlier this week said the Premier League is set to restart on a Friday night next month with Tottenham at home to Manchester United.

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