Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that the Premier League needs to do more to help its clubs in European competition, and that the recent bad results in the Champions League are a result of other leagues helping their clubs where the Premiership does not.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal lost on Tuesday night to Porto and Olympiakos respectively, results that have seriously dented their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages- in particular Arsenal who now have no points from their two games so far.
Rodgers, whose Liverpool side play Swiss side FC Sion in the Europa League tonight, points to the Portuguese league who allowed Porto to play on Friday, a day earlier than Chelsea, which gave them crucial rest time before the game on Tuesday night.
The intensity of the Premiership, the Liverpool manager thinks, makes this especially pertinent, and it is an argument that has been used by managers of Champions League clubs in the past, namely Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Speaking ahead of his side’s game, Rodgers said this:
“I think they could do more to support the teams in Europe. It happens with the other federations and in other countries. They help. That doesn’t happen in this country.
“You see Porto. Porto played on Friday, they had dispensation to move their game, so that keeps them fresh. I also think the big teams abroad can sometimes win games at 70% and conserve their energy and be fresh. There is no game in the Premier League where you can do that.
“Chelsea will come back and have a tough game at Southampton this weekend. There is no easy game in the Premier League. The physicality and the intensity of the games is like no other league.
“In other countries, some of the big teams can change five, six, seven players and still win the game and field a real strong team for the next game. They have got a domestic competition less too. We have two cup competitions in this country, the others have one. It all adds up to it being difficult for the Premier League teams.
“But it is something that we have to cope with and we respect that challenge. It means you have to monitor your players and get the best out of the ones who are available.”