Aki calls for winter break

Last updated : 21 December 2004 By Nik Taylor

Aki Riihilahti has joined the list of pros calling for a mid-season break to the Premiership season.

The Palace side looked tired in the latter stages of the second half at Old Trafford on Saturday, eventually succumbing to a 5-2 defeat.

And Aki believes that unless players get some more rest, fans will see standards drop lower.

"No human is a machine that can entertain with top physical performance every second day," Riihilahti wrote in his The Times column.

"I’ve witnessed for many years how the fixtures are tearing many footballers and the game apart.

"Many games in a short period played often on dodgy pitches and in poor weather invite injuries and bad quality. Every year the standard of games seems to drop for the Christmas period.

"Everyone would win if there wasn’t such a Christmas rush and there was a short winter break, for example in January.

"Teams and players could reinvent and rebuild themselves, which would increase the standard and intensity of the games."