Trent Alexander-Arnold reveals how he believes the demands on players are “not physically possible”.
In normal circumstances, Alexander-Arnold would be slotting into the Liverpool back four as the champions face Brighton.
Instead, he has found himself paying a heavy price.
He is out with a calf injury, while team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are also missing with long-term knee injuries.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has sounded off about the number of games, not having five substitutes in the Premier League and TV times putting players at risk.
And England star Alexander-Arnold paints a worrying picture for players as he warns that ultimately the Premier League will suffer.
“We get paid to play football, so we can’t complain about having to play games,” said Alexander-Arnold.
“But we have to give a thought to our bodies.
“It’s not right to put a human body through so much intensity.
“You look at marathon runners, people who do triathlons and cyclists on the Tour de France. They train for so long to compete in such quick succession.
“You have to train for those sort of distances – and our bodies aren’t trained to do that. We have 90 minute hits, we have to recover from that.
“But when you’re asked to do that so quickly, it’s not fair and the human body cannot cope with that.”
Liverpool go to Brighton at lunchtime on Saturday, an early kick-off which Klopp is not happy about having had an 8pm Champions League match on Wednesday night.
And next month, just three days days after facing title rivals Spurs at home, Liverpool have another lunchtime Saturday start away at Crystal Palace.
It comes after the pandemic forced football to stop between March and June.
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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Alexander-Arnold said: “You’ve got to think that of the three month lockdown, we had to try and stay as fit as possible.
“We were doing four or five sessions a week, not knowing when we were going to come back.
“We had to stay relatively match fit in case it came back on quickly.
“Going straight back into games. It hurt a lot of players without much of a build-up.”
Last season’s Premier League ended on July 26 but by August 29 Liverpool were back at Wembley facing Arsenal in the Community Shield.
Alexander-Arnold limped off with his calf injury three weeks ago away at Manchester City.
Van Dijk suffered his cruciate ligament injury at Everton after Jordan Pickford’s X-rated challenge while Gomez’s knee injury happened with no player near him during England training.
Alexander-Arnold is convinced that even serious knee or impact injuries may ultimately be as a result of the shocking knock-on effect of bad preparation.
He said: “I think it’s proven by now that the main source of knee, ankle and joint injuries is from fatigue.
“It’s because you are tired and when you land, you are not really putting your leg in the right position, you don’t have the energy to absorb the jump or the landing.
“I think I had maybe three or four training sessions before I played 80 minutes and, from there, I was straight into the season.”
Alexander-Arnold works hard at his fitness levels and has become a brand ambassador for sports nutrition brand Kinetica.
“A lot of people think you just turn up and play. But it’s 24/7. I’m always questioning everything,” he said.
“What I eat, how many hours of sleep I need, I have to question whether it’s going to be beneficial or hinder me. If it’s going to hinder me, then I have to say no.
“The fitness levels we need as a team need to be up there with the highest in the league, if not the highest in Europe as well.”
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