Sunday 19 November 2017 / 11:16 PM

INTERNATIONAL BREAK & TRANSFER WINDOW TARNISH SEASON’S START

The Premier League season is well and truly underway, and I’m absolutely loving it.

As I wrote last week, the season is already well on its way towards being an absolute cracker. A good, old-fashioned title race, plenty of teams in the hunt for the top four and lots of teams that could get relegated.

But if you’ve been reading this column for a while, you won’t be surprised that I’ve already got a couple of gripes.

GRIPE NUMBER #1

I wrote about this last season, but I simply don’t see the value in having an international break at this stage of the season. The Premier League teams have just had a pre-season, they’ve played three games and then the players head off to their respective international sides.

Why? Why disrupt the flow of the season in that way?

It simply doesn’t make sense to me, and millions of football fans feel the same way.

It might sound cynical, it could even come across as unpatriotic, but the pinnacle of the game is NOT international football. It’s domestic football, and in my view, the calendar should reflect it, with the international fixtures fitting in around the domestic ones, not the other way around.

GRIPE NUMBER #2

You may well have seen this opinion expressed elsewhere, but how ridiculous is the transfer window?

For a start, what happens on the deadline day is bizarre. Why would you wait until the final day and then suddenly do a load of business? Earlier in the window, Tottenham would have had no intention of spending £30 million on Sissoko, but on deadline day, the perception of money just seems to radically alter.

The best Premier League teams are well prepared, and the ones that do really well generally get their business done early – just like Manchester United have done this season. And that makes sense. After all, the more preparation you do, you more prepared you’ll be.

Why have so few clubs cottoned onto the fact that the best way to get value and prepare your side is to buy early rather than waiting until deadline day?

And whilst we’re on the subject, why on earth is deadline day AFTER the start of the season? Why pick an arbitrary date and say, ‘you can’t buy players after that’. Make the day before the first game of the season the last opportunity to buy players – it makes a lot more sense.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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