The Premier League’s Project Restart was initially met with relief and gratitude from fans craving a distraction from a global pandemic. But the furious format and circumstances surrounding this peculiar time have now conspired to produce a product on the pitch many will consider alien to what they would usually associate with the English top flight.

The lack of fans in the stands and artificial noise blasting into living rooms up and down the country have provided a distraction from a series of mostly cumbersome games, where first-half goals have been scarce.

Crucially we now have two drinks breaks per game, one in each half, and two additional substitutes – nudging the total available to each manager up to five. These adjustments should not be underestimated, as both changes have further limited the element of surprise or necessity to take risks at key moments in games.

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