The Premier League is the most-watched football league in the world. The footballers in this league are skillful and extremely well-paid athletes. Every week they entertain billions in a ninety-minute extravaganza with a fifteen-minute break. During that break, supporters at the stadiums rush from their seats to purchase their favourite pie or brew, and those watching at home take a quick bathroom break, retrieves the beverage of their choice, and settles in for the remainder of the match.
What do premier league players do at halftime? The break is only fifteen minutes long, and there is not much time to perform a variety of various activities during this period. However, they will listen to the manager talk and get any medical attention.
We take a look at what goes on in the dressing room during half time and whether there are significant differences on what you expect to happen.
Quiet Time and Medical Attention
Players go to their locker room and spend some quiet time alone with themselves. A goalkeeper or a defender that has made an elementary mistake during the first 45 minutes that has cost his team a goal, might want to just have a minute of quiet time to reflect and gather his thoughts ahead of the second half. If any of the players feel that they need medical treatment after the first half, the club’s medical staff will be on hand to examine the player and provide them with the medical attention that they require.
Managers team talk
As soon as the players have finished their few minutes of personal time, the manager enters their locker room to encourage them and provide them with tactical changes for the second half of the game. Managers time is very limited during the halftime break and therefore they have to be succinct in their tactics talk but still ensuring that the players understand the changes he wants to implement. They attempt to only highlight the most significant observations they have made regarding the first half of the game in their brief remarks.
Typically, a Premier League manager will evaluate the tactics that their opponents were using throughout the first half of the game, and provide some value adds of their own. Sometimes, if a player was performing particularly poorly during the first half, some choice words would be directed to that player. Manchester United great, Sir Alex Ferguson, was particularly famous for doing that and letting the player know in no uncertain terms that it was an unacceptable performance.
Players may swap out their equipment if necessary
The Premier League is not for the faint-hearted. Many a match is played in the middle of winter, in the freezing cold, and the players’ kit could get particularly dirty as they slip and slid around the field. The players may opt to change their tops or shin guards at halftime. Sometimes it is so cold that the players will even have a quick shower to warm themselves before braving the sleet and rain in the second half.
In addition, players have a quick snack at halftime. Soccer is a physically demanding sport that requires lots of running, tracking back by especially midfielders, and quick thinking, especially for the goalscorers. These snacks are mostly advised by the squads’ medical team, which may help them increase their energy levels to compensate for the energy they have lost during the first half of the game. Normally a variety of food is available as soon as they arrive in their dressing room.
Keeping warm on those freezing winter nights
If you have ever participated in any kind of physical activity, you are probably aware of the significance of keeping your body warm in between sessions of physical activity that you are engaged in. The same is true for soccer players who are on the field at halftime of any game. It is important for the players not to allow their body temperature to drop too much during the second half of the game, or else their performance may suffer at this period.
Here once again we see some players jump into the five-minute shower to ensure that their body does not lose unnecessary heat as they enjoy their fifteen-minute halftime break. All Premier League dressing rooms have state-of-the-art air conditioners installed and as such the players will remain warm and their body temperatures will remain at the optimum level during their break.
Results of your closest opponents matches – Quick check
There are also a variety of situations in which soccer players, as well as the team’s managers, may want to take a few minutes to check the results of other matches during the halftime interval of their game. They may be interested in knowing the outcomes of soccer matches played by teams who are in the same group stage as they are in Europe, or matches that determine who will be their opponent in the next stage of the cup competitions.
Also, if you have been following the Premier League over many seasons, it is quite usual to see several matches taking place at the same time. The outcomes of these other matches that are taking place at the same time may sometimes have an impact on the teams who are participating in these matches and this becomes much more prevalent as the season comes to an end. It is now that teams’ are fighting for the Premier League top positions and Champions League spots. Also teams in the bottom half are desperately trying to avoid relegation from the league and the massive cash incentives that being in the elite league brings to those clubs.
Win the match
During halftime, the players will first get a few minutes to recover their breath and reflect on the game, after which they will receive instructions from their manager/assistant manager on what they should do in the second half. Players then get the opportunity to change their equipment if required and may have some snacks to refuel for the second half of the game. Then they are expected to go back onto the pitch, perform at their collective optimum for another 45 minutes and try to win the match.