The English Premier League has been suspended to make room for the first Winter World Cup in Qatar.
The top level of domestic English football will resume on December 26 – but until then, clubs will have to adapt in these more unusual seasons.
We’ve contacted all 20 Premier League clubs to ask about their plans for the break of the season. Here’s what it’s like to be under Gareth Southgate England and Rob Page’s Wells We aim for glory in the World Cup…
Are the players getting a long break?
Several clubs sent players whose countries did not qualify to Qatar on a rest period. in Manchester cityThe players will be off until December 5 – they will maintain a high level of physical fitness, but there will be no formal training.
This is a topic in other clubs. Newcastle United They gave their players time off, though they wouldn’t shut down completely – players are given a less intense regimen to work on to stay fit.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has spoken of the break as a “mini-pre-season” as he looks forward to repeating it last January, when a mid-season break against Saudi Arabia helped spur their rise away from relegation and the fantastic form this campaign took them on. to third place in the table.
in brighton, The players are out of training until November 28, while they are in Brentford 2 more days – they’re back on November 30th.
everton In the meantime, the players will be given a short break after they return from their winter tour to Australia, with full training resuming in early December.
Managers have spoken of the need to balance taking advantage of the season’s holiday to give players a break, while also ensuring there is no holiday hangover come December 26.
In his first press conference Wolverhampton Wanderers “Now it’s good to enjoy the World Cup, rest a bit, work for a month and come again,” said the coach, Julen Lopetegui.
For some clubs, players’ leave has been imposed further as they are still finalizing their break plans. Crystal Palace He told BBC Sport that the mid-season tour and training dates were still being planned.
This is also the case with southampton, Where the sacking of Ralph Hasnotl threw their plans into the air. New manager Nathan Jones said after the defeat to Liverpool that they were still planning an away trip and some friendlies.
Who’s going where?
Premier League clubs will be going to the four corners of the earth during this break, with many players who did not feature in the Middle East’s first World Cup in the region.
Hero rulers Manchester city He will be at a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi, with World Cup absentees Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez two of the most prominent names.
Haaland said he would love to be in the World Cup but, with Norway failing to qualify for the tournament, the 22-year-old will use the break to recharge for the remainder of the Premier League season.
“I wish I had played in the World Cup, of course, but this is the reality now. I will rest my body and mind a lot, and then I will train,” he said.
Haaland will use the interval to recharge and get a break from competitive football – Despite attempts by non-league Ashton United to sign him on loan.
City will return to training in the UK from December 12, but it is clear that they will not know the exact dates when their World Cup players will return until their teams are eliminated.
This is the same across all Premier League clubs who have players who could represent their countries in the World Cup final just eight days before domestic duties resume.
in Chelsea For example, manager Graham Potter has spoken of the need to be adaptable as well as use the break to recover from injuries and take stock of the season.
“I think it will come in handy,” Potter said after their Premier League defeat to Newcastle. “We’ll have a lot of players away so we didn’t have much to work with but at the same time we all need a change in the environment and that will help.
“We have to use it like that. We have to think of it as a positive in that regard. There’s a lot of games to play, there’s a lot of football to play, we need to reset, regroup, reenergize.” And start over.”
members Liverpool The first team not to participate in the World Cup will spend 12 days in the United Arab Emirates, with their domestic schedule paused until the Carabao Cup match at Manchester City on December 22. Leicester City He will also be at a warm camp in Abu Dhabi, before you play at least one friendly match behind closed doors.
Newcastle Meanwhile, the Saudi national team will return from December 4 to 10, including the match against Al-Hilal in Riyadh on December 8.
Roberto de Zerbi lowered Brighton The team, after resting the squad until late November, will go for a training week in Dubai at the beginning of December, which will include at least one friendly match.
BBC Sport understands, too Wolves They’re heading to Dubai in early December, with at least one friend there, but their recent change of manager means the details still have to be finalized.
Reports indicated they would travel to Turkey for a friendly against Serie A leaders Napoli, but the sacking of Bruno Lage and the lengthy time it took to appoint Lopetegui appeared to have turned things around.
far from the Middle East, Manchester United They arranged a mid-season break to Spain for players not on World Cup duty. They have been training in the hot weather in Cadiz for a week.
Leeds United He is also expected to go to Spain for seven days after a week off for players not participating in the World Cup. This is the majority of the first-team squad – they have three World Cup players; American duo Tyler Adams and Brendan Aronson, as well as Danish Rasmus Christensen.
Jessie Marsh’s team were considering a two-week break followed by a camp in the US, BBC Sport understands, but that has been postponed.
Brentford He will also train in Spain, while Fulham They are heading to Portugal for a week.
Are there more matches scheduled?
In addition to warm weather training, Liverpool He will play with Lyon and Milan in a friendly tournament called the Dubai Super Cup.
Arsenal He will also compete in the tournament with two matches at Al Maktoum Stadium against the same French and Italian opponents. The two English giants will not face each other.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said of the friendlies: “It’s an easy journey because one of our biggest sponsors in Emirates is part of it, plus we’ve been there and know the facilities and it’s a really good environment to work in.
“The weather’s great and then the World Cup is really close, so for any players out there it’s very easy to get them back right away. I think it ticks all the boxes we need it to be.”
“It’s really no different than in any summer when there’s European competition or a World Cup. You start pre-season and in the first three weeks there are six or seven players sometimes 10 who don’t play because they’ve played competitions with their country teams, and here it’s going to be the same thing after the cup.” The world to the first competitive match, this transformation is really short.”
Manchester United They will play two friendlies – away to Cadiz on December 7, and then Real Betis on December 10 in Seville.
everton They play two matches in the Sydney Cup – they face Celtic on Sunday, then Western Sydney Wanderers next Wednesday.
back to the UK, Crystal Palace Brazil will host Botafogo at Selhurst Park on December 3. The match will be the first time the club will play a top-flight Brazilian team.
Aston Villa They committed to play in a friendly in Cardiff on 30 November, a tribute match to the late Peter Whittingham, who played for both clubs. They’ve also announced one game at Villa Park against Villarreal – old club of new manager Unai Emery – on December 15.
Leeds They face Real Sociedad at Elland Road on December 16, after which there will be another at home in the middle of the following week against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent.
Also on December 16, Nottingham Forest We have a friendly match against Valencia at the city ground. BBC Sport understands that they will face Olympiacos, the other club owned by Evangelos Marinakis, at some point during the break.
Newcastle Rayo Vallecano will play on December 17, while competing in the English Premier League Fulham And the West Ham United team They will meet at Craven Cottage that same day.
West HamAfter returning to training on December 1, he will also play two more friendlies – League One side Cambridge United, and then an as-yet-unconfirmed, likely away European opponent.
Other clubs will not play friendlies in the run-up to the resumption of domestic action. BBC Sport understands Brighton They were planning a pre-season friendly at home before the restart, but the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match against Charlton on 20 December saw those plans postponed.
What is going on behind the scenes?
Premier League football clubs are much larger operations than just playing on the field of play. None of the clubs BBC Sport spoke to were closed for any part of the break.
Some use the downtime to promote their women’s teams. Arsenal played Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on November 19 in the Women’s Premier League, and Chelsea faced London rivals Tottenham at Stamford Bridge the next day.
Fulham Ladies played at Craven Cottage for the first time, when they faced AFC Wimbledon, and Newcastle Ladies played a match at St James’ Park on 22 November.
For other teams, it’s a useful opportunity to work on matters off the field of play. Brighton is updating its Amex branding and signage, while work begins on a new hospitality area near the tunnel with seating behind the dugouts, as well as new dining and entertainment areas around the stadium.
Meanwhile, Brentford Stadium is still in use during the break, as it is the home of the London Irish rugby union team.
The Premier League may be on pause – but its clubs certainly aren’t.
BBC Sport have also contacted Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur for comment.
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