Day 2 of the 7 day blog! After a day’s break for family festivities it’s back on it today and for some football action all the way! I was brought up on football over Xmas, the local derby on Boxing Day with an early kick off for a majority and if you were lucky some still kicked off at 3pm and two games in one day.
Depending on when the dates fell, the Saturday before Xmas was seen as the first of 4 festive games up to and including New Years Day, the chance to change the course of your season with 12 points up for grabs, gain some momentum and push on for the play-offs, cement a place firmly within them, haul yourselves out of the relegation zone or continue the title challenge.
At the higher levels, derby games on Boxing Day and New Years Day are pretty much a thing of the past and you genuinely wouldn’t be surprised to see supporters have to trek half the length of the country to watch their team in action, but with decimated public transport to contend with. Dip into non league from the National League downwards and your choice of ending up round the corner to watch your team is endless.
Not only does it mean a much larger gate which would take some clubs anything from 2-6 weeks to normally see that amount of people come to watch, it also means valuable revenue from the tea bar and the main bar and the need to not be traipsing round the shops hunting for a bargain.
It doesn’t however give a lot of time for recovery from knocks and niggles and the use of a good squad and one in depth could be the difference between 6 or 12 points at the turn of the New Year. Whilst there isn’t time to always get out in the media whose missing from the next selection, it certainly leaves supporters baffled when the star from the previous game is missing from the 16 lining up for the next action.
There are plenty around who believe it’s time for the festive games to be dropped and for us to follow the rest of the continent in giving our players a proper break, but our model is different to theirs, especially with 42-46 games to be crammed into a season already it would only add more games into midweek where the lure of games is not always as heavy.
With so many games in such a small space of time, it can throw up some unexpected results and can make a mockery of the betting markets. There is no telling what can happen for these 12 points on offer, you just have to hope that players have looked after themselves on Christmas Day, can last the distance of 4 games in sometimes under 14 days and come out the other side with points on the board. And if your team isn’t lucky enough to pick up much before 2019 hits, then there is 4 months left to get what you need………….