Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Eriksson repeats winter break call

Sven-Goran Eriksson led England from 2001 to 2006

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has repeated his call for the Barclays Premier League to introduce a winter break in order to improve the national team's prospects at major championships.

The possibility of a mid-season hiatus is one of the topics for debate for the commission set up last month by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke to investigate the decline in the number of English players featuring in the Premier League.

And Eriksson, who led the Three Lions from 2001 to 2006, believes the long wait for a first major trophy since 1966 will continue until its introduction.

"The Premier League must take a winter break if they want to win the World Cup," the Swede said on BBC Radio Five.

"It's going to be easy if they do it. It's not that difficult. Take one weekend in January without football. Give the players before that weekend seven days off. Then you take them in to prepare for the game after that.

"England has to find a way to do it, because all the other countries in the world are doing it."

Eriksson tried to get the break implemented during his five-year stint at the national helm and was left frustrated by his failure to do so.

"Everyone agreed with me - everyone I talked to," he recalled. "We presented a lot of things - everybody said 'yes, yes, yes'. In the end, the Premier League didn't accept it.

"It made me very disappointed because I think everybody agrees that if you take a break it will be very good for England as a national team.

"It's not that difficult to do - maybe the easiest thing. I know the players would love it and they would feel better the rest of the season."

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