Guardiola Slams Premier League Holiday Schedule: 'You Don't Protect the Players'

Kyle Walker's injury in Man City's win over Watford sparked the latest criticism of the rapid-fire scheduling period.
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Pep Guardiola has berated the recent fixture schedule in the Premier League for not protecting the players, claiming that the footballing body should "space the [games] out."

The Spaniard's comments came following a 3-1 victory against Watford on Tuesday. Goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero, either side of Christian Kabasele putting the ball into his own net, helped City claim all three points despite a late consolation goal from Andre Gray.

However, Guardiola was left with a sour taste in his mouth after seeing Kyle Walker, a £50m summer signing from Tottenham, limp off the pitch with a suspected injury.

"We are going to check [the injury] out, he might have a little problem," Guardiola told reporters about Walker, as quoted by Goal, after the game.

"I know the show must go on, [but] they have to control it. They don't protect the players, the people come to watch, not the managers or the press conferences. Here in England, you don't protect the players, you have to look for the quality, not the quantity.

"Of course, space the [games] out," he continued. "I'm not saying change Boxing Day, the great tradition, but you cannot play at Selhurst Park, hope to celebrate New Year's Eve but are thinking about the game two days later. 

"People say it's impossible, it's not basketball or tennis, the players need recovery. Just see how many players have muscular injuries.

"The show must go on, we have a lot of people here to take care of them but the schedule does not protect the players."

Manchester City can now have a break from Premier League action and prepare for important games against Burnley and Bristol City in the FA Cup third round and Carabao Cup semifinals respectively.