England boss Gareth Southgate faces BURNOUT and fitness fears over his stars ahead of World Cup

Matches come up thick and fast and, just like club managers across the country, Gareth Southgate will watch the coming months unfold with apprehension with the health and fitness of his players in mind.

With less than a year to go to the World Cup finals, Southgate is facing fatigue and fitness concerns over some of England’s star players.

The Three Lions’ last encounter was so hampered by so many dropouts with kicks, feints and bouts of illness that England could only name eight subs, including two goalkeepers, against San Marino instead of the maximum 12.

England coach Gareth Southgate faces fatigue and fitness concerns for England stars

England coach Gareth Southgate faces fatigue and fitness concerns for England stars

Chelsea's Ben Chilwell has a knee injury that could rule him out this season

Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell has a knee injury that could rule him out this season

Since then, Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell has been back at the club, he has sustained a serious knee injury and, if surgery is required in the new year, will rule him out for the rest of the season.

Bukayo Saka and Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe were also the most frequently used players across the Premier League to have picked up injuries in the past two weeks as well, while Leeds’ Calvin Phillips has since struggled with a long-term hamstring problem and Manchester City’s Phil Foden has been . He was knocked out in the 45th minute with another ankle problem against Leipzig on Tuesday.

And that’s before the season really starts to take off in excess with the raucous festive period ahead.

It is understood that some England players are particularly concerned about their workloads about what will happen in 12 months, which makes their situations to be carefully monitored for their managers.

Knowing their bodies, the concern is that if their playing time is not carefully managed, injury is eventually almost inevitable, even if a shock or blows like Chilwell’s are unpredictable.

Anxiety, for those who harbor them, comes with good reason.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been injured in the past two weeks

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been injured in the past two weeks

England captain Harry Kane and fellow regulars Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Calvin Phillips, Conor Cowade and Saka are among the five most-used players by Premier League clubs this season.

New boy Emile Smith Rowe is also in that group and has spent most of the minutes at Arsenal and Conor Gallagher in the top five for Crystal Palace as well.

Borussia Dortmund’s Judd Bellingham and West Brom’s Sam Johnston have played more football than their Premier League counterparts, while in the Premier League, only Rice (1679 minutes) and Kane (1615) have played more football than Tammy Abraham (1581) for Roma.

Potential nominees Ben White, Esri Konsa, Matt Targett, Mark Guehy, Terek Mitchell, Michael Caine, Oliver Skipp, Aaron Cresswell, Jarrod Bowen and Max Kellman made their top five most used clubs alongside goalkeepers Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and. Nick Bob.

They have all spent at least 1,170 minutes with their clubs this season.

Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham has played more club football than Premier League stars

Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has played more club football than Premier League stars

Of the 27 players in Southgate’s plans for the latest double-header against Albania and San Marino, only John Stones (661) and Marcus Rashford (565) have not broken the 1,000-minute barrier so far.

Among Southgate’s options, there are some players who might be considered old-school in their attitude – those who hate lost matches, will always make themselves available and even defy injury to play.

But equally valid are the fears of those who are anxious about falling into the ground.

Some are sparing no effort to reduce the damage caused by the demands of playing for club and country in the way they live their lives off the field.

There are fears that English players will fall to the ground before the 2022 World Cup

There are fears that English players will fall to the ground before the 2022 World Cup

Personal fitness trainers to aid recovery and chefs to provide optimal nutrition are used well by England players.

One player turned down a lucrative trade opportunity so he could get a physical date instead in order to maintain his condition after a grueling buildup of minutes.

Somehow, a balance has to be found.

‘You don’t want to take a player to the World Cup for which he played four times,’ said Colin Lewin, director/physiotherapist at the Lewin Sports Injury Clinic he runs alongside his cousin Gary Lewin, the former Arsenal and England player. club that year. Uneducated people may think, “He must be nice and new and ready to go” but he won’t be as fit as he can be.

Gary Lewin (left) used to be the primary physicist for both Arsenal and the England national team

Gary Lewin (left) used to be the primary physicist for both Arsenal and the England national team

He won’t get his confidence, level and everything else from playing many games but not much.

I’m not sure if anyone out there will be able to give you the perfect number of minutes before the World Cup. You’ve played enough matches to be at your peak fitness, confidence and form but not playing too much tiredness plays a role.

This isn’t always the case but muscle injuries and things like that could indicate some level of overload is likely.

“A player who isn’t at his best physically, or sometimes underperforms in physical stats, or performance stats, will give you the idea that something isn’t quite right.

Harry Kane has played 1,615 minutes for Spurs - more than any Spurs player this season

Harry Kane has played 1,615 minutes for Spurs – more than any Spurs player this season

Are England players at risk of burning?

Declan Rice – 1679 minutes

Harry Kane 1615 minutes

Connor Kwady – 1518 minutes

Harry Maguire 1485 minutes

Conor Gallagher 1291 minutes

Calvin Phillips – 1270 minutes

James Ward Bruce – 1262 minutes

Jordan Pickford – 1260 minutes

Emile Smith Rowe – 1244 minutes

Tyrone Mings – 1208 minutes

Bukayo Saka – 1170 minutes

Total minutes played

Among the players who occupied the top five positions in the most minutes they played for their clubs

“It’s a difficult balance between overburdening a player and decreasing his preparation. Muscle injuries often happen when a player is not ready for a match. If they haven’t trained in the few weeks before a match, they are not ready for this game.

“I can understand why some people think, ‘They’re new’ but that can be just as dangerous as overloading them sometimes when it comes to getting an infection.

This season’s cumulative minutes come against the backdrop of a tough few years for the players.

The next season which will start earlier, after a short summer again, will continue to accommodate the World Cup in Qatar in the middle of the domestic season.

“For them to go straight from the Premier League to the World Cup, I don’t think it’s particularly illogical, because at that time they are in trouble,” explained the experienced Lewin, who has worked at Arsenal for 23 years, the last 10 years. As Head of Medical Services.

“What I think the players will also say is that the mental break was sometimes just as important as the physical break in the summer.”

Conversations between all involved will be key to ensuring that when it comes to the material component of their well-being, players remain on the right side of the line for club and country.

West Ham's Declan Rice has played more minutes than any regular player in England so far this season

West Ham’s Declan Rice has played more minutes than any regular player in England so far this season

England will enter a major tournament in the middle of next season for Qatar 2022

England will enter a major tournament in the middle of next season for Qatar 2022

“The most important thing is people skills,” Lewin said. You can have as many data points as you want but you learn a lot from chatting to players and managers, and having open conversations.

Strength and conditioning coach, fitness coach, physicist, doctor, manager and player sits down and discusses players’ availability for an upcoming important game with onboard data as a learning tool for everyone I think is the best way to do that.

I’m not saying for a second, you’re ignoring the data. I’m not saying for one second that you base your decision on the data. But it’s an extra piece of learning in the background, assuming it’s valid and reliable.

It’s a decision everyone has to make. These things happen in most matches in most clubs.

Captain Kane has played the second most minutes of all England regulars this season

Captain Kane has played the second most minutes of all England regulars this season

“This is not just a decision based on the World Cup. Every week, these conversations and contacts will continue.

When it comes to real red flags, sometimes you have to stamp your feet a bit and I think the vast majority of coaches and players will listen to that.

But if the manager and player decide it’s worth the risk to play on Saturday for that important game, medicine and fitness fall in line. We are there to report, not to pick the team! “

.

Leave a Comment