Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Sun 25 March 2007

Brainstorm: Football problems solved

In our new series, we at SPAOTP will attempt to take some of the bigger problems and issues of the modern game and solve them on behalf of those most affected.

It may take a lot of time and no small amount of 'thinking outside the box' to find the answer, but we think it’ll be worth it as we strive to make football a better game for everyone.

Today’s problem was highlighted by Mr Chris Coleman, manager of Premiership football club Fulham. He’s frustrated because his team have only played two games in the last four weeks and thinks the fixture list is a “nonsense”. He says:

"The fixtures amaze me because at the start of the season you play three games in the first week, then towards the end of the season when the players are fighting fit, you have a two-week break and we've got just two games in a month."

So let’s see: there’s only a couple of months left of the Premiership season, and Chris Coleman’s team are finding they’ve got a lot of time on their hands. Why would that be?

Well we at SPAOTP have sat down to brainstorm the situation, and we think we have the answer.

The clue is in the word ‘March’. You see back in September, Fulham played their first game of the 2006/07 League Cup against Wycombe Wanderers and lost 2-1, thereby eliminating them from the competition. Then just five weeks ago in February, Fulham crashed out in the fifth round of this season’s FA Cup after a 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

All of which means that Chris Coleman’s side now find themselves in March 2007 with only Premiership fixtures left to play, and even some of those are at risk of postponement as their more successful opponents are still involved in the FA Cup or European competition.

Our answer to the problem for Mr Coleman, is this then: Manage your team so they play better and reach the latter stages of cup competitions. This will in turn provide a steady supply of fixtures right the way through to the end of May.

Next time on Brainstorm: Glenn Roeder asks why his Newcastle United side have so many games to play at this time of the season. Until next time, goodbye…

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