Expert: 'Integrity' is at stake as Jurgen Klopp caught up in Liverpool-Everton controversy
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been right to lobby for the introduction of five substitutes as football’s “integrity” will suffer if players are constantly exhausted.
That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.
Klopp has consistently bartered for the introduction of two extra substitutes since the rule was temporarily introduced during Project Restart in the summer of 2020.
And the Premier League has now confirmed that managers will be able to make five substitutes in three blocks once again from the start of the 2022-23 campaign.
Everton star Andros Townsend claims that the top flight only gave in after Klopp’s constant “moaning”, as quoted by the Daily Mail on Monday (27 June).
But Dinnery insists that the German manager’s stance is for the good of the game.
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“Klopp has clearly been championing the cause,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“Liverpool were fighting on four fronts last season. Games were coming thick and fast. But it’s more than just Klopp and Liverpool who have carried this forward.
“This season, with the World Cup shoehorned in, there has been a shift in fixtures. We’re seeing additional Premier League and Champions League fixtures shoehorned into an already congested period.
“First of all, you want to try and protect the integrity of the game. You also want players performing at optimum levels. This is entertainment and you want to showcase the best of the game.
“If you haven’t got the players to do that because of the high load, it’s detracting from the product. The five substitutes rule will help managers and enhance the viewing.
“During Project Restart, there were massive concerns about injuries going through the roof but that never came. The five substitutes rule probably helped that, as did drinks breaks and lower intensity over the summer.
“I understand the concerns of some of the smaller clubs in that they think it gives top clubs an advantage. But many of the managers who previously voted against it later came out and said they would have prefered to have that option there.”