It appears England will finally catch up with the rest of Europe and build in a winter break into the schedule. Player exhaustion in the Premier League has been attributed time and again to the gruelling holiday schedule, and has often resulted in injuries as well, so this is a good move for the future.
As reported by The Times -
The FA, Premier League and Football League (EFL) are understood to have reached agreement for an annual two-week break in early February, beginning the season after next, before the resumption of European fixtures.
The whole break is predicated on the historic decision by the Football Association to move the entire FA Cup Fifth Round to midweek and eliminating replays at that round as well.
This will allow the Premier League to stagger their ten games on one weekend into two sets of five fixtures, allowing every club a two week break in between their games. It’ll be similar to the break that teams who are knocked out before the Fifth Round of the FA Cup get, like Everton just did when they went off to Dubai for some warm weather training.
While there has been talk that some clubs might utilize the break for more commercial ventures like playing friendlies abroad, it seems unlikely at this point (from NBC Sports) -
There is a lingering notion that clubs may well use the 13-day break to travel overseas, potentially to the USA, China and the Middle East, to play in lucrative friendly games during training camps, but there seems to be a genuine acceptance from everyone involved that a winter break in the PL is a good idea.
Everton came out of their winter break absolutely flat and looked horrendous at Watford last weekend, so right now the fans are more in the mood for adding whips and chains for the players than giving them a long break, but looking at the bigger picture this does make more sense.