This is a novelty born of the Covid-19 but which should continue after the pandemic. For the resumption of the Bundesliga on May 16, Fifa modified “temporarily”, via the International Board, guarantor of the rules, its law 3 by authorizing five replacements for field players (six in case of extension) .
Since 1992, coaches can only use three substitutes per game. The idea is therefore to protect players’ organisms after weeks of confinement. The English championship, which will resume on June 17, has decided to adopt this new rule. In Germany, it is almost in the mores: during the previous day of the German championship, out of 18 teams, 13 brought in 5 players. And 3 used 4.
“The guys on the bench feel concerned”
Josuha Guilavogui, the French international medium from Wolfsburg, is convinced that the experience will last. “Frankly, for the notion of group, it’s very important,” he explains. Before, with three replacements, you could quickly tell yourself that you would not play in certain games. Given the physiognomy of the meetings, we suspected that, sometimes, the tactical changes would not concern us. With five possibilities, the guys on the bench feel concerned longer. It is very good. “
Guilavogui recognizes that this rule can favor the membership of the wealthiest clubs. “You face Bayern Munich and after seventy-five minutes of suffering against Kingsley Coman, you find yourself with Ivan Perisic, it’s hard! he smiles. But on the other hand, knowing that you can be replaced if you are too tired allows you to give your all without managing his efforts. Now that this rule is there, no one will be able to remove it. Guilavogui also sees it as an advantage for young players: “There are sometimes a little chilly coaches who hesitated to throw young people in the middle of a match. There, the risk is less. “
In France, the coaches seem unanimous to demand this rule of five. Last December, Thomas Tuchel, the coach of PSG already called this change. He even wanted six changes. “I have been saying this for several years, I think we should have more possibilities for change,” he urged then. It is absolutely necessary, to better manage the minutes, to chain the matches, and allow the players to be in the best possible intensity. “
Stéphane Moulin, his Angers counterpart, sees this as a strengthening of the coach’s influence. “It’s mechanical,” he analyzes. With five possibilities, we have more ways to influence the course of the match. For my team management, it’s really an asset that I want to experience. But I would like to know if we could also line up more than 18 players on the scoresheet. From a human point of view, it’s also good because there will be fewer players disappointed to have remained seated on the bench throughout the match. “
“The guarantee of a game necessarily faster”
Pascal Dupraz, the coach of Caen, says “100% for this rule in France. For me, there are only winners: coaches who have more cards in hand to perform rotations. The players who will necessarily be more concentrated and who will take less harm the fact of being a substitute at kick-off. And also the spectators who will have the guarantee of a necessarily faster game since there will be fewer players who will dispute the ninety minutes. “
Olivier Dall’Oglio (Brest) is also included in the supporters’ camp, even if he wants to wait a little longer in order to judge the German experience. “I really want to try it,” he says. Everyone has an interest. The big clubs that will manage their stars more easily. Intermediate clubs that qualify for the Europa League without necessarily having the means to play on both tables. And all the others, especially on the three-match weeks. It is often a headache. There, it would be simpler. “
In Dijon, Stéphane Jobard is “generally for. ” “It increases the range of possibilities but it is something to handle with caution, tempers the coach. Changing almost half of a team can destabilize the game. I like the idea of preserving the health of the players when the championship resumes. Then, you will have to learn not to abuse this rule. “