Following the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, English clubs were allowed to utilise five substitutions per game for the remainder of the season - as opposed to the traditional three with the reasoning being in the name of player welfare.
The rule change was also employed across Europe’s top leagues.
However, unlike each of the top leagues on the continent, the Premier League rules regarding substitutions were reverted before the commencement of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, to the ire of many clubs.
Five substitutions were allowed in last season’s edition of the FA Cup, however, as only three substitutions are allowed during the ongoing edition of the League Cup, Pep Guardiola has continued to complain about the limitations.
Relayed by Mike Minay of BBC Sport Manchester, the Catalan coach took the opportunity to criticise the limitations regarding making substitutions.
Guardiola said, “That would be the best [five substitutions] I’m not here to change anything for this country. All around the world we have five subs, we have three.”
He added, “This is ridiculous. This is why there are injuries. Every three days a game, without any prep, no pre-season. Maybe one day the big bosses will explain why?"
Guardiola's point regarding footballers playing every few days leading to an increase in injuries is certainly valid, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has also vocally criticised substitution restrictions.
The rules regarding substitutions has been an ongoing issue for some time. Last season, 10 Premier League clubs voted against the reintroduction of permitting five substitutions per game.
Guardiola’s recent comments indicate that the issue remains an annoyance for the Catalan coach, and he is unlikely to be alone on the matter.
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