Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips blogs on a footballer's life at Christmas

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 23rd December 2013 view comments

Christmas is a busy period for everyone - and that includes Premier League footballers.

This time of year is one of the most important in the football calendar because, with the games coming thick and fast, the league can change very quickly in a space of a few days.

Christmas: Festive action is great for fans and crucial for clubs, says Phillips

Christmas: Festive action is great for fans and crucial for clubs, says Phillips

With trips to Aston Villa, Man City and a home match with Norwich on New Year's Day, at Crystal Palace we know we can gain some vital points but it's a testing time for the players fitness-wise, too, with two games in the space of three days from Boxing Day.

We all look forward to this point of the season, as well. Attendances are always high over Christmas and New Year and there's always a special buzz in the stadium. These are great games to play in.

One of the worst things for a footballer is when you're holed up in a hotel trying to go to sleep on New Year's Eve and all you can hear is the 'boom, boom, boom' of the disco going on downstairs.

Kevin Phillips
Quotes of the week

However, it is tough not being able to spend as much time with your family as you'd like.

I love Christmas and with four kids it's a hectic but fantastic time of year at home. Fortunately, in the last four or five years, whichever club I've been at, we've had Christmas Day morning off and then travelled in the evening, if we've had an away match.

That's the case again this year so Christmas, for me, will involve spending the morning at home, opening presents with the kids - who'll be running around manically - before heading up to Birmingham in the afternoon ahead of our Boxing Day game with Aston Villa.

Of course, we can't enjoy Christmas dinner as much as your average person, either!

I may have the odd glass of champagne but other than that I won't be drinking - and there will be no second helpings of turkey.

We've been given a sheet from the club telling us how to enjoy Christmas sensibly but, to be honest, players nowadays are sensible enough to know there are important games coming up and they can't let themselves go.

Tradition

New Year's Eve, on the other hand, is a celebration you miss out on entirely as a player. In my 20 years in football I don't think I've ever celebrated New Year's Eve because I've always had a New Year's Day game.

One of the worst things for a footballer is when you're holed up in a hotel trying to go to sleep on New Year's Eve and all you can hear is the 'boom, boom, boom' of the disco going on downstairs in the bar when you're trying to get to sleep at 10 'o' clock! It can be quite hard but you get used to it.

Those are the challenges of this time of year for footballers but, although 99% of players would like to have this time off with their family, it is a special time to be on the pitch.

This run of fixtures is a tradition in this country and you have to accept that. Whilst you do have to miss out on some aspects of Christmas, the games at this time of year can shape your season, bring great revenue into the clubs and, with attendances up, are actually great games to play in.

Have a good Christmas and enjoy watching the festive football - I'm looking forward to doing just that next year when I've hung up my boots!

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Late Aguero strikes save City

Sergio Aguero's last-gasp heroics earned Manchester City a thrilling 3-2 win over 10-man Bayern Munich at the Etihad.

Chelsea cruise into last 16

Chelsea cruised into the knockout phase of the Champions League on Tuesday night with a convincing 5-0 win over Schalke.

Messi breaks record in Barca win

Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick and became the record Champions League goalscorer as Barcelona beat APOEL Nicosia 4-0.

City duo hail Aguero

Manuel Pellegrini and Frank Lampard hailed Sergio Aguero after his treble in Manchester City's win over Bayern Munich.

Live transfer updates

Papers claim Hull City preparing Aaron Lennon bid while Darren Bent is reportedly joining Brighton on loan from Villa.

Features

Champions League: Chelsea’s five-star show at Schalke suggests they could be unstoppable at home and in Europe

Champions League: Chelsea’s five-star show at Schalke suggests they could be unstoppable at home and in Europe

They were trying to whip up an atmosphere in the Veltins Arena. The crowd were lively and the team were making the right noises. Roberto di Matteo spoke of showing no sentiment but the thought of the former coach putting one over on his old club offered a tempting narrative.

Tony Bellew travelling to Wolfsburg to cheer on Everton days after defeating Nathan Cleverly

Tony Bellew travelling to Wolfsburg to cheer on Everton days after defeating Nathan Cleverly

Tony Bellew is off to see Everton play away in Europe for the very first time.