Premier League Problems | Reading Comprehension

The English football Premier league is having some problems at the moment. Some of the managers are saying there should be some serious changes to the organisation of the matches. If you’re interested in football and improving your English, read this article and try the quizzes attached too!

VAR

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is a recent addition to many of the big football leagues. It has been introduced in many of the big European leagues and it was introduced in the Premier League last year. It is fair to say it has stoked some controversy since its introduction. The technological system involves a separate referee checking decisions by using video technology, and alerting the on-pitch referee if he has made a clear and obvious mistake. When the VAR is not sure themselves about the decision, the referee is asked to go to a screen by the side of the pitch to look himself. Then, hopefully he can make the correct decision. The main problem that fans, players and managers have with the new system is that there have been many decisions made against attacking teams, when one of the attackers is deemed offside. Some of these decision have been very tight. Usually when a player is level with the defender when the ball is played, he is onside. But with VAR, if the player is level and even just one part of his body is past the defender, for instance his arm, then the goal is disallowed. These very close decisions have infuriated managers up and down the league, with Jose Mourinho, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, recently saying “I miss my old football”.

Scheduling

Some of the top teams in the Premier League have to play a lot of games. Some teams are involved in up to four competitions at the same time with the two domestic cups, the league and a European competition all to play for. This means the schedule for a team can become very tight, with lots of fixtures in a short space of each other. For example, this week Manchester United played on Wednesday evening in the Champions League and then had to play at 12.30 in the afternoon on Saturday, a space of only two full days to rest. This infuriated manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was frothing at the mouth in his post-match interview. The interview was after his side’s 3-0 victory over Everton that day. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had the same opinion and told reporters that the scheduling of the Premier League had caused some of his players to get injured. He said “If you want good football, give the guys a few more days rest!”.

Five substitutions

Many of the big European football leagues recently introduced a new rule giving teams the option of five substitutions and a bigger bench. This was also introduced in the Premier League after the quarantine, but since the restart of the new season, the decision was made to only allow teams to have three substitutions. During this weekend, managers also expressed their displeasure at the decision, partly because having the option of five substitutes would allow the teams playing lots of games a chance to give their players a rest. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said “I was talking with Jurgen Klopp about this and I think we’re going to fight it [the decision to not allow five substitutions]”. The decision was reached during the summer after all of the Premier League’s twenty clubs voted on the issue. Many of the smaller teams voted against the idea of letting teams have five substitutions. This is because many of them are not involved in a lot of different competitions and they felt this would give an advantage to the bigger teams. Perhaps it is not surprising then that it is two of the league’s biggest clubs that are so sour about the issue!

We hope you enjoyed the reading! Try the quizzes below to test your knowledge on the vocabulary and the content.

Premier League Problems | Definitions Quiz

Match the words to the correct definitions

Premier League Problems | True or False

Choose if the statement is true or false