Frank Lampard believes his Premier League rivals ‘dropped the ball’ by rejecting the use of up to five substitutes in games this season.
The measure was introduced after Project Restart to help prevent a rash of injuries among players as they adapted to playing in the hotter summer months and in anticipation of a truncated close season.
A majority of Premier League clubs voted against the proposal to extend the five subs option, believing it would disproportionately favour the bigger clubs and their deeper squads.
But Lampard supported Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s comments that success this season will depend on how each clubs fare with injuries, and said there have been more muscle problems than ever before at this stage of a season.
“I think the ball was firmly dropped when clubs turned away from having five subs,” he said.
“We’re clearly in the most unprecedented times. The demands on players are huge, every club, and I think that was the thing that I completely agree with Pep.
“I’m not just talking about my club, I’m talking about every football player who is asked to play day after day putting themselves at injury risk.
“It’s changed the landscape so we’ll try and manage it as well as we can.
“We’re fortunate in the way that we have a big squad here, but at the same time, we want to do the best, the pressure is on the players who want to get the right results.
“And it could certainly have a big effect this year more than any other year.”