Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has reiterated the point that the football calendar puts crazy demands on his players, who are facing matches every three days.
West Ham visit the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, before City travel to Aston Villa on Wednesday afternoon, then have another away trip to Watford the following Saturday.
"With this crazy calendar, they [the players] don't have time to rest," Guardiola told the press.
"The English guys got to the European final, they had two or three weeks, came back again, and then the Community Shield. You cannot imagine how difficult it is for the players every three days. It is so demanding.
"So, you have to come back to the basics. Sometimes you help the team with the defensive work and step by step you come back. When one player doesn't play good, I don't doubt they have the skills. Do the basics and step by step you will come back."
Despite those concerns, Guardiola is happy with the start to the season made by Manchester City, with the team through to the Champions League knockout stages, and well in the hunt for the Premier League title.
"We are incredibly happy and delighted to be in the last 16 of the Champions League and at this part of the season to be not far from the top of the Premier League," Guardiola said.
"It's difficult to get through the group stage and now it allows us to focus on the league. Last season at home was the game we deserved not to win, [in] that game [West Ham] were much better, they were better than us.
"We know how difficult it will be it's a new challenge we can be consistent in our performance and we are going to try."