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The Gordon Hill column: Do we ask too much from our body?

I would first like to say that my heart goes out to Fabrice Muamba, and hope he gets well and makes a full recovery.

Our thoughts are with you Fabrice. However, after the weekend's events, we must look at players and ask if we are doing enough for them, and also if we are asking too much of them.

This is not the first time a player has collapsed in a game.

Too much body pressure 

All the training in the world, with all the new equipment, can't prepare you for what your most important muscle in your body is going to do, and that is your heart.

I know that when I played a game, my heart felt like it was going to explode many times, not only in games but also in training as well.

As a player, you don't want to sit out, you're under pressure to be fit all the time. You try to stay away from injuries so that you don't want to lose your place in the team as it's hard to get it back.

There is always a player wanting your position. As players you put so much stress on your body, that I'm surprised more players have not keeled over. What can be done?

A winter break to help players to recuperate

Is there a solution? Players already prepare properly. They eat the right food and are monitored around the clock. I think it's time to look at the length of the season and games they play.

We could have a winter break.

Should we give them more rest to recuperate? We push our bodies for a minimum of ten years. We cram in our football life and then we stop and ask our heart to beat as a normal person.

You are asked to give everything for a period of time and then retire.

I have been finished playing for some time and look back and say to myself could I have trained harder? The answer to that is no. Could I have run any faster? The anwser to that is no. When your body is tired it tells you. But I can tell you my body is tired now at 57.

The interesting question for me is if we can find a way and a solution to help players. If not, will we have more casualties?

I remember when Asa Hartford (Manchester City), one of the best midfielders in the world, had a problem with his heart, it stopped him moving to a big club. But it did not stop him playing.

What a mystery. Yes we have come a long way with medicine and science. Let us hope it does not take too long to help.

Just a thought for Bolton: I know you have had a bad experience, but what would Fabrice want you to do? Go and 'play your hearts out' - as they say - in the FA Cup for him.

The Elite Legends Cup 2012

I want to tell you about the fantastic Elite Legends Cup which I am looking to take part in.

Yes I did say 'take part in'. I have dusted the boots down and may even be buying some polish. I am trying to see how my schedule is.

A good friend of mine and a true Legend for Spurs, Glenn Hoddle and his company 20/20 Football is putting this together, and QPR and 20/20 Football have extended a warm welcome to the media and photographers for the launch of the Elite Legends Cup.

Now boys, if you are planning on playing, please make sure you get checked out first. We are not spring chickens any more.

For more information about the Elite Legends Cup, go to www.20-20football.com.

By Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill was capped six times for England in the 1970s and made 132 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 51 goals. He scored both United goals in their 1976 FA Cup semi-final win against Derby and played in the Red Devils' 2-1 FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool in 1977.

He has played for Millwall, Derby, QPR and FC Twente, and managed Chester City and Hyde. He has also played in Finland, the USA and Canada where he managed the Novia Scotia Clippers in the Canadian Soccer League.

As a media commentator, Hill has worked with Sky Sports, BBC, ITV and Talk Radio. He lives with his wife Claire in McKinney, Texas, where he owns and runs Texas-based club United FC


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