Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has expressed his thoughts on the high number of injuries in the Premier League this season. The Italian manager revealed that he currently has 10 players who are unable to start in their upcoming match against Tottenham, with wingers Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra ruled out for at least a month. Solly March, Ansu Fati, Julio Enciso, and Tariq Lamptey are among the other long-term absentees.
De Zerbi believes that the relentless schedule is a major contributing factor to the injury crisis faced by many Premier League clubs. He pointed out that the fast and physically demanding nature of football in 2023 takes a toll on the players, who are, after all, human. The Brighton manager also criticized the top football authorities, stating that they lack an understanding of the game as they have never played it themselves.
The fixture congestion has limited the time available for teams to prepare adequately for matches. De Zerbi cited an example from earlier this month when his team faced Arsenal. After playing against Marseille on a Thursday evening, they had a day off on Friday to recover. They only had a short video session on Saturday evening and another one on Sunday morning to prepare for the tough game against Arsenal. Despite these challenges, De Zerbi expressed his pride in how his team has coped with the adversity this season.
Brighton’s participation in the Europa League has added to their workload, but they currently sit in a respectable ninth position in the Premier League table, just three points off the final European qualification spot. De Zerbi believes that this season has been even more impressive than the last, despite the injuries. He acknowledged that their first eleven last season may have been stronger, but the team has performed admirably considering the number of injuries they have had to contend with.
The manager also expressed optimism about the potential of their young players, such as Billy Gilmour and Joao Gilmour, who he believes can reach the same level or even surpass it in the future.