How Premier League clubs are using their winter break this month

Arsenal (13 days)

A week off, and a four-day Dubai training camp. Mikel Arteta: “These last few months have been tough for these players. They’ve really been through a lot.” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started his recovery by posting a private jet champagne shot en route to Abu Dhabi.

Aston Villa (14 days)

Eight days off. Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings shared beach photos – overlaying an image of a tubby man in pants on one of them, with injured teammate John McGinn’s face photoshopped on top. Villa coach John Terry clicked the like button, then posted laughing emojis.

Jack Grealish

And…. chill @OfficialTM_3??‍♂️ nice to see @jmcginn7 join us and looking in good shape whilst his injured ?

February 4, 2020

Bournemouth (12 days)

After Sheffield United, a careful blend of days off and training, as Eddie Howe aims to lift the mood. “It’s been the most difficult period in our Premier League history. But these players really care.”

Brighton (13 days)

Plans for a Dubai training camp were shelved last month after instability in the region. Graham Potter plans to use the time instead to focus on building team spirit. “We’ll fight. We’ll show character.”

Burnley (12 days)

Sean Dyche dropped his plan for an overseas camp due to the risk of a possible FA Cup replay ruining it. Instead he’s offering his players “just a few days off … It’s entirely up to them what they do with it”.

Chelsea (16 days)

“We’re not travelling abroad as a group,” says Frank Lampard. “The players can go back to their countries or do whatever they want to do, it’s their choice.” Tammy Abraham chose a Dubai mini-break, Jorginho’s been back in Brazil.

Crystal Palace (13 days)

Also no grand plans. “I’d just like the players to be able to get away from football, to be with their families,” says Roy Hodgson. “It’ll give people that breather to get a second wind for the second part of the season.”

Everton (14 days)

“They can have maybe four, five days off. Then we train again,” says Carlo Ancelotti. “I want to stay here in Finch Farm. We don’t need to move around the world. We stay here.”

Leicester (13 days)

Feeling more upbeat about it all: third-in-the-table Brendan Rodgers. “I just see this as a great chance for the players to not train, a chance for them to recover mentally.” A chance also for James Maddison to show off his Dubai infinity pool.

Liverpool (10 days)

First-teamers spent the Shrewsbury replay holidaying in the Maldives, Miami, LA, Dubai, and, in James Milner’s case, Liverpool. “It’s about welfare, they need rest,” says Jürgen Klopp. “A mental, physical rest.”

Manchester City (12 days)

Pep Guardiola says he considered a warm-weather get-together, but then thought better of it. “In the end I just wanted the guys to be with their families. We’ll have a few days off, then we’ll train here again.”

Manchester United (16 days)

Fred’s been on a waterslide in the Maldives, Marcus Rashford was at the Super Bowl with Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Hart. The squad will be meeting up again for some shuttle runs in Marbella. “We’ll have a good camp together,” says Ole Gunnar Solskjær. “We’ll get our energy back.”

Newcastle (11 days)

“We’re not going away as a group, I’ve had enough of them,” says Steve Bruce. “And they’ve had enough of me, by the way. So let them go. Some of them are going to see their family. Some are going to find the sun.”

Norwich (14 days)

Also keeping it low-key, Daniel Farke says he’s just focused on using the time to plan for Liverpool’s visit on the 15th. “We want to give ourselves the chance to win. We are greedy for wins. We don’t play just to avoid losing.”

Sheffield United (12 days)

United are pressing ahead with their Dubai trip. Chris Wilder says it’ll be serious work, with no time for basking in success. “The key now is not to pat yourself on the back.”

Southampton (9 days)

After their Cup replay defeat at Spurs, it’s best not to ask Ralph Hasenhüttl about winter breaks. “Next year football must rethink this winter break. You ask me about a winter break? For us there is no winter break.”

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Tottenham (10 days)

See also José Mourinho. “My players will have some days off … but I don’t like this break. For me, the break doesn’t make any sense the way it is. But I don’t complain. It is what it is.”

Watford (14 days)

A few days off, but Nigel Pearson isn’t in a holiday mood. “We all have to reflect [on defeat to Everton]. It’s never an easy journey.”

West Ham (14 days)

Last time David Moyes was in charge West Ham wintered in Miami. No such plans this time. Their tense break starts after they play Manchester City, and ends with a trip to Liverpool.

Wolves (12 days)

Warm-weather training in Marbella. Conor Coady insists it’s serious stuff. “We train and we do things every day, it’s not just switching off and doing nothing. We’re grown men. It’s all about being professional.”


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