Giggs: Winter break would help
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has added his support to the idea of introducing a winter break to the Barclays Premier League season.
The Reds are currently preparing to play three top-flight fixtures in the space of five days, and while Giggs is unlikely to feature in all of those games, the 40-year-old Welshman has been around long enough to know that such a schedule is not easy to navigate.
A winter break is utilised across several European leagues and many critics of English football suggest a similar schedule would benefit both the Premier League and the national team, a theory that Giggs subscribes to.
“I think I would like a winter break, it doesn’t really need to be over Christmas,” Giggs told MUTV. “I think it could just be in January, maybe when you get a couple of weeks off so you can get to go away, maybe get some sun, and then have a week’s training before getting back into the games. I don’t think it is a lot to ask for.
"But TV is huge over the festive period and obviously all of the stadiums are full. But it does have an effect on the national team. If you have a winter break then it definitely helps you. And going into the Champions League as well, you have had a little week's rest and it definitely helps you. I have benefitted from that in October and November, getting a few days off in the international breaks. It does help you and you do feel refreshed.”
With a trip to Hull City scheduled for Boxing Day, the players will report for work at the Aon Training Complex on Christmas Day to complete any last-minute preparations. And though he admits this isn’t ideal, Giggs doesn’t expect much sympathy from fans.
“It gets harder obviously when you have got kids. When you are single or have not got kids it is not too bad. But you get up early, open all of the presents, you have the kids knocking on the door at 6 o’clock. You do all of that, go to training, then go back home for five or six hours so it’s not too bad.
“And then, of course, we are off to Hull. It is not too bad. We are used to this Christmas period and I don’t think many people are going to feel too sorry for us!”