Premier League must be sacrificed for Qatar World Cup success, say boffins

ONLY mad dogs and English football teams go out in the midday sun – domestic football needs a shake-up if England are to compete at the Qatar World Cup, say researchers.
The 2022 season will have to be cut short, and England will need to travel to Qatar at least a month in advance, if they are to stand any chance of success at the World Cup, according to sports science experts at the University of Bedfordshire.
The results of testing in simulated conditions close to a Qatari summer show that England need to head out to the country as soon as possible, as well as adjust their playing style to a slower game.
Former FA employees and member of England’s Italia ’90 backroom staff, Professor John Brewer, who now heads the department, said: “Physical performance and decision-making will be impaired in hot conditions.
“The research we have done in our environmental chamber has involved simulating the demands of football matches in environments that come close to replicating conditions in Qatar.
“The results are unsurprising; but we’ve also found that players’ bodies could adapt to the extreme conditions if the squad arrives in Qatar early enough.
“In order for this to happen, the FA would need to look at the fixture calendar, in conjunction with the Premier League, to ensure players can finish the domestic season in very good time. England then need to meet up as a team and travel to Qatar at least four weeks in advance to acclimatise to the temperature and play some preparation games.”
He added: “The high-tempo game we see in the Premier League on a regular basis may not be the type of football that can be sustained for 90 minutes or extra-time and penalties in a World Cup.
“If you like to see a style of play that sees the ball being passed around at a lower-tempo, then I think that’s what we’ll see in Qatar.
“England will need to modify their tactics as countries used to playing at a low-tempo in hot conditions will hold an advantage.”

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FPL Squad Selections – TBD

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WITH the player lists now out, Fantasy Football fanatics are already readying their squads for the forthcoming season.
To help out with some pointers, I’m enlisting FPL players to offer some insight into their squad selections over the coming days.
First up is James Priest, manager of a team named TBD, a veteran of five Fantasy Football seasons. He said: “First and foremost, I meticulously study the upcoming fixtures and make the majority of my choices based on those fixtures. This appeals to my mathematically-inclined brain, and I enjoy ensuring that the fixtures of the players in my squad dovetail well, so that on any given gameweek the majority of my starting XI will have ‘easy’ fixtures, preferably at home.
“In previous seasons this has worked well, most noticeably in the 2009/2010 season, yet in more recent years picking the form players seems to have been the more successful tactic, rather than going on fixtures.”
• If you’d like to post your thoughts on squad selection, e-mail Goaltastic at Isaac_Ashe@MRN.co.uk or comment below.

Fixture fury sees Italian owner scoot off

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NAPOLI owner Aurelio De Laurentiis made a swift exit after storming out of Serie A’s televised fixture draw – on a passer-by’s mobility scooter.
De Laurentiis was furious about his team’s draw for the forthcoming season – screaming: “I am ashamed to be Italian! I’m going back to cinema. It’s all been mapped out against us! I want to change citizenship!”
He then hitched a ride on a stranger’s electric scooter and trundled away from the scene.