Guardiola on EFL Cup: Do not scrap it or UEFA and FIFA will just create something else

By Sports Desk November 08, 2022

There is little point in scrapping the EFL Cup because UEFA and FIFA would just create another competition in its place, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

City face Chelsea in the third round of the competition at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and should they progress, their next game in the competition would be scheduled for the week commencing December 19.

That would cause selection headaches for many competing teams as the World Cup final takes place on December 18.

"If England decide to play this competition [the EFL Cup] then we play this competition because if we don't play the competition, UEFA and FIFA are going to create a new competition. That's for sure," Guardiola said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"They're not going to give us long weeks off. If you cut off this one then another one comes. So no official game [but] friendly games. And after three weeks, start another season.

"Every season is the same so that's why it's not any better. Just put it on the table but [I don't] pay much attention because the things where you cannot control. Why waste energy? Why?"

Several coaches, including Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, have raised consistent concerns about the schedule in England, particularly with the World Cup starting in Qatar later this month.

Guardiola indicated he shares those frustrations, and aired his concerns about a "crazy World Cup" but conceded that complaints do not change anything.

"It is tougher. It is more intense," he said. "Since day one, I said many times, when I was in Barcelona and managing even maybe at Bayern Munich, I listened to the news in England and all the managers complained about the schedules, schedules, the schedules, and 'Why do you play on Saturday at 12 when we play on Wednesday in the Champions League, and the other countries can play on Friday to be more ready for the Champions League?'

"There were complaints but nothing changed. What is going to change? They have 18 teams [in the Bundesliga], we have 20 teams, and one World Cup in this schedule. A crazy World Cup and the players don't rest. I will rest but the players won't rest with the pressure and the tension to go to the World Cup.

"Against Brentford [on Saturday] the players will have one eye on the World Cup. So what happens if you have an injury against Brentford?

"But the schedule is the schedule, the calendar is the calendar. You have to adapt and nothing's going to change. I tell you my opinion.

"We're going to cancel [the EFL Cup]? No, so we have to do it, go and that's all. Nothing's going to change."

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