England players ‘dying’ from fixtures


Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says a congested fixture list is behind England’s failures at international tournaments.


His comments came a day before City are due to play Arsenal in tonight's Carling Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium.


This comes just two days after Mancini took his side to Anfield for a hotly-contested Barclays Premier League clash against Livepool, which ended in a 1-1 draw.


"On Monday we go to London and we'll change all the team because this is an incredible situation,” said the City boss.


"Arsenal played on Saturday, we play Sunday evening. On Monday we travel to London and play Tuesday night. Incredible.”


The former Inter manager then claimed that people should not be surprised at England’s poor showing at International tournaments after playing so many fixtures in a season.


"This is the reason why the national team arrive for European Championship finals and World Cups and they are dying,” he added.

"The players don't have time to recover. To play again in two days like this, so soon after the Champions League is incredible.


"I don't know who to blame. The Premier League should have said something about this. It's important to play but it's also important to recover. You need three days between one game and another."


Mancini flirted with controversy by suggesting the game at Emirates Stadium would be an opportunity to send out a youth team in protest.


There was further criticism from the Italian over the Christmas and New Year fixture list – traditionally a busy time with the Premier League and FA Cup.


"It's a quarter-final,” he said. “We should play with 11 young players. Maybe 14 or 15 years old.


"To make a statement? Yes, because it's not correct. Not so much for us but for the players. It's not right. We'll have the same at the start of January when we play Sunderland then Liverpool in two days.


"Liverpool play three days before us. Is this correct? I don't think so."

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