Mauricio Pochettino Questions Premier League Plans For Winter Break

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has questioned whether the proposed winter break would work successfully in England, saying the Premier League was completely different to other European leagues.

British media reports say that the Football Association (FA), English Football League (EFL) and Premier League have discussed the possibility of top-flight teams having a staggered annual 13-day break in early February, starting from 2020.

The finer details of the proposal have yet to be sorted out but Pochettino said organisers would have a tough task on their hands.

"I think that the Premier League is the Premier League. It is different to other leagues. To keep the same dynamic is so important," he said.

"I don't know how it is going to work. In England you cannot stop playing on Boxing Day or in the New Year or in the Christmas period. I think this is the most beautiful period in England to play football.

"But in Spain, if you want to play in this period, the fans are not happy. It is cultural. Maybe in February it is going to happen. So okay, we will see if it is going to work but I'm not sure."

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino at Selhurst Park, London, February 25. Pochettino has questioned plans to bring in a winter break for English football. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty

Clubs in Spain, Germany, Italy and France have breaks in December and January but English domestic competitions are spread out so there is no lull in action from the start of the season to the finish.

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, called for change in January after seeing three of his first-team players injured in two games.

"I know here in England the show must go on, but that's not normal guys," Guardiola told the BBC.

"We're going to kill the players. They play 11 months in a row. They have to protect them and play with quality and not quantity. We have to think about the artists."

The proposed change would also require alterations to the FA Cup schedule, with media reports suggesting that the current idea would only work if FA Cup fifth round fixtures were played mid-week and without any replays.

Football League teams would not get a break as they play 46 games every campaign, leaving no room for a hiatus.

Tottenham, who are fourth in the league, host Rochdale in the replay of their FA Cup fifth round tie on Wednesday (February 28), with the teams drawing 2-2 at Spotland earlier this month.