Mon 16 Oct 2023, 11:38 · Ash Harrison

‘Do me a favour’: Alan Shearer reacts to Van Dijk’s claim footballers are playing too many games

‘Do me a favour’: Alan Shearer reacts to Van Dijk’s claim footballers are playing too many games
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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has hit back at claims made by Virgil Van Dijk that too much is being asked of modern-day players.

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has been crying into his millions of pounds about how much football modern-day players are asked to play these days.

As reported in The Mirror, Van Dijk has said:

“In England we believe the schedules are too busy. The players are getting paid well but it should never come at the cost of our health. We keep having to play more and more games.

"We as players should start saying something about it, contribute to a solution. No, I am not prepared to give up 10 percent [of his salary]. I don’t think that should depend on my salary.

"You are now trying to get me to say something nice. The Nations League that comes with it, for example, does not go to my salary. We get bonuses, but that is not a guarantee.”

So, Van Dijk is essentially saying here that footballers should continue to be paid the same extortionate amounts of money for doing less work.

Sorry, mate, but that's the price of success. If you want to be the best, you have to play more games, you can't win a knock-out tournament in the first round.

Newcastle hero Alan Shearer wasn't having any of it on The Rest Is Football podcast, firing back at Van Dijk.

"Nonsense. Nonsense. Players are playing too much football? What? I mean come on.
"I know you should never mention the money, but you've got bigger squads than ever, more substitutes than ever, getting paid more money than ever, you've got the best physios, the best technology, the best of everything. Do me a favour, playing too much football? F***ing hell.
"Didn't he say it was England that play too much football? International football I get and understand. We all know why they're doing it, they're doing it for financial reasons. But here in England, you can tell I don't really agree with that."

Unsurprisingly I'm siding with Shearer on this. The condition that players are in nowadays, they should be able to play every other day and still be fine. As Shearer says, squads are bigger these days and there are more substitutions allowed. The players are well looked after.

There are definitely too many internationals these days, but I would still expect those weeks filled in with Premier League matches anyway, so the players still wouldn't get a week off.

Us paupers who do a traditional 9-5, earning half as much aa year as they earn in a week absolutely cannot relate and comments like this just show the detachment between footballers and reality.