Replays and phantom second legs make winter break a waste of time

The schedule conjured by football’s leading authorities does clubs few favours. As for the fans, who wants another 90 minutes of Crystal Palace vs Everton?

The Times

As Luis Díaz’s shot entered Arsenal’s net, a feeling of relief will have swept over Jürgen Klopp. Ten days off now, guaranteed. Between the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Fulham on Wednesday, and the visit to Bournemouth on January 21, Liverpool do not play a game.

It should have been two weeks, but you can’t have everything. Not here, not in modern football. And it could have been worse. Had the match with Arsenal been a draw, the longest breather Liverpool could have taken, given their cup commitments, would have been six days. So much for the Premier League’s winter break. Klopp moans about the calendar and folk roll their eyes but the claim that the needs of players, specifically those who will be