Could the Five Subs rule benefit Football?
Starting this season, clubs will be able to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time. A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.
Given the catastrophic economic damage caused over the last couple of years, coupled with the energy crisis which has been a few decades in the making, everyone is looking at what mechanisms to implement that can ease the financial pressure.
The 5 subs rule could offer a solution within the world of football. Spending on transfers has gone down, and I do feel clubs on the whole will also start taking more financial responsibility in regards to transfers, wages etc. Obviously not PSG, CIty, etc!
With a forced decrease in spending, clubs may look more at what they can work with internally from their youth systems. As fans, nothing pleases us more than a young player coming through the ranks and making it as a first team player. Just look at the love for Saka right now.
The issue with youngsters struggling to break through, mainly at the top clubs, is because there is so much riding on almost every game. Huge pressure! So naturally a manager wants experience on the bench should he need to make changes.
Now we have 9 players available on the bench, with a maximum of 5 being used, youth will get a far better chance of getting game time whilst at their club, or on loan. With youth having the opportunity to get more experience at the top level, top clubs can start better developing their own superstars, instead of continuously spending huge amounts on signing talent, thus blocking the pathway from the academy to the first team.
Whilst the benefits of the 5 sub rule for youth is clear to see, this rule also creates better entertainment as well. Fixture pile-ups happen every season, and you don’t see the best performances from a team that has 3 fixtures in a week.
Having more players available to rotate and freshen things up from the bench, allows teams to better maintain their high performance levels. E.g. Liverpool press very aggressively, but looked jaded towards the end of the season given the amount of games they played. Fresher legs throughout the season, and they may have done the treble or even the quad!
More rotation should also mean less chances of injury. As Arsenal fans, more subs is a blessing given our horrendous injury record. Being able to make early subs for the likes of Tierney, and Partey, and still have an additional 3 subs available is great news for us!
Football is ultimately a form of entertainment, and having the best players available, and fresher, will only mean better quality entertainment.
Finally, this could ease a little pressure on manager’s. Their toughest job is keeping everyone happy, which is an impossible task as every player thinks they should be playing. Now, players will have more opportunities to play, and a manager will only create his own problems by not taking advantage of the 5 sub rule.
The only real negative I can see from a manager’s perspective, is that too many changes in a game can sometimes disrupt a team’s performance/rhythm. Something we see very clearly within friendly games. Players’ expectations of getting on the pitch will now be increased with the 5 subs, and the 9 on the bench, which inturn, adds some extra pressure on a manager to use all of those subs. Something that is difficult to do in tight games.
Overall, I see better: youth opportunities; entertainment; less injuries; less pressure on managers; less of a need to keep spending crazy monies. These could be some of the benefits from the 5 sub rule.
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