West Ham's Sam Allardyce airs fear he believes will wreck careers

Sam Allardyce

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce fears a lack of a winter break will see Premier League careers cut short by injury.

For many, the Christmas period is what makes the Premier League such an appealing spectacle.

The games come thick and fast and those enjoying a well-earned break from the demands of their 9-5 job get to lap up festive footballing treats.

It is, however, a time of year which is not always embraced by those who take to the field and touchline across the country.

Fears have been raised on a regular basis as to the damage which may be caused by pushing highly-tuned professionals to breaking point.

It can argued that they are very well paid and extremely fit individuals, but West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce is among those who believe hectic schedules cause more harm than good and will ultimately end up wrecking top-flight careers.

He said in the Sunday Mirror: “My opinion has never changed and it never will. You keep flogging your players and keep asking them to ­maintain the levels they maintain, then you are asking for injuries.

“And injuries have a great cost to every investment you make in football. Every injury takes its toll on the player.

“But if they consistently start getting injuries then the player will pay a price down the line. It will shorten his career.

“Until everybody gets their head together and really sorts it out, we are always going to be faced with the fact that at this time of year we are asking them to deliver four games in eight days.

“And for them not to have a break, it means they are open to being criticised because the players can’t get to where they want to produce the sort of football everybody is expecting and continue to want them to get to, because they are not physically capable of doing it anymore.”

Allardyce has a point, with West Ham’s home date with Swansea City on Sunday the first of six games they will play in the space of 26 days.

Is that too much? Maybe.

It may take a serious, career-ending injury for authorities to take note, but for as long as there is money to be made, seats to be filled and a public demand for festive football, you get the feeling that the Premier League will be reluctant to break with tradition.

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