ROY HODGSON believes both players and supporters would benefit if the Premier League introduced a winter break.
Liverpool are set to embark on a gruelling run of five games in the space of 15 days starting with the Boxing Day showdown at Blackpool.
Home games with Wolves and Bolton are followed by a trip to Blackburn before the crunch FA Cup clash at Manchester United on January 9.
In contrast the Spanish, Italian and German leagues have shut down for the festive period.
La Liga teams don’t play again until January 3, Serie A has stopped until January 6 and the Bundesliga doesn’t restart until January 14.
Hodgson, who has also managed in Scandinavia and Italy, insists it’s time England followed suit and gave players the chance to recover at the midway point of the season.
“I don’t understand the opposition to the winter break,” said the Reds boss.
“I was brought up with the tradition of having games over Christmas but football has changed enormously in terms of commercial value.
“The days people looked forward to the Boxing Day fixture so they could fill their ground are gone.
“People come to Liverpool, Manchester and Arsenal these days in their droves even to watch meaningless matches in the Carling Cup or Liverpool v Utrecht when we had 40,000 for a game when it didn’t matter what the score was. I don’t think we need it in that respect.
“I am a fan of a winter break because I think people need a break from the intensity that English football brings.
“I know it is difficult to say when that break should be because you can get good weather in January and bad weather in February or December, but you don’t get that many games called off because of unfit pitches any more.
“The beauty of the winter break is that you have this nice flow to your season where you have a shorter pre-season and you get into the season.
“But then when players are just beginning to get a little bit tired and everything is beginning to weigh down on them you get a month to free your head.
“That month may only be two weeks away from football and two weeks doing preparation, but I think that way you go into the second half of the season so much more refreshed and I think that can only be of benefit to the players and the quality of football.”
Hodgson would be in favour of extending the Premier League campaign into June to accommodate the break over the festive period.
“The insistence everyone plays all of their football month after month without a break and then spend over three months without a game I don’t understand any more,” he added.
“For me it would make sense to divide the calendar up so you play a certain number of matches, have a break and then play some more matches.
“Then the break you have between the end of one season and the start of the new one would not stretch from the middle of May to the middle of August. The fans don’t lose anything because it means the games they would be watching in unpleasant weather conditions in January they are watching in May or the early part of June.”