How Does The International Break Affect Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea And Others?

Posted: September 3, 2016 in Arsenal, Chelsea, England, International Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


(With Sam Allardyce as England boss, many players will now dread international breaks as much as most fans do)

Like an ad break just at the most exciting moment of your favourite TV show, it’s here again! Yes folks, just three games into the new season and everything stops for the internationals. It isn’t a long break, just an annoying one when your favourite new series had just begun a new run.

Wayne Rooney, recently given the nod to carry on as England captain because there is nobody else, can stroll around the pitch thinking about what he is going to do when he retires from international football, whilst many wish he would retire from club football in order to prolong his international career. It just goes to show how much people love the national team when they couldn’t care less whether or not their captain is any good.

Big Sam has picked a team very reminiscent of the teams Mr. Roy used to pick. Unless Sam has some magic formula unknown to England managers for the last 50 years, the results will surely follow the same trend as always.

Then again, England may win, which will immediately make them favourites for the next World Cup.

So, thankfully, we only have to suffer the loss of Premier League football for one weekend. Having just spent the last two months eating cold turkey, the last thing the great viewing public needed was to be deprived of their beloved drug so soon after rehab ended.

The sense or nonsense of this decision to halt the Premier League after a mere three weeks has been discussed at length over time and doesn’t need discussing again. It never makes any difference anyway. If any body wishes to see a previous article just look here and here. (Please bear in mind these articles were written about friendly games not competitive matches)

More importantly how will this break impact on the clubs. As per usual the managers will sit on their prayer mat and watch the games, fingers crossed around tightly clasped lucky charms. They will be hoping none of their players gets injured.

What would happen in Manchester, for example, if someone such as Henrikh Mihkitaryan was injured playing for Armenia, meaning that he would miss the Manchester derby? Would this really even out the fact that Sergio Agüero will miss the game through suspension?

How about Kevin De Bruyne suffering injury while not trying very hard for Belgium against Spain? More likely would be David Silva picking up something nasty as he did try hard and scored the two goals which beat Bobby Martinez’s new team of soon-to-be no-hopers. Obviously, the Thierry Henry presence was about as effective as his appearances on Sky Sports. Nobody really cares what he has to say so they don’t listen!

Seriously though, there can be nothing more annoying than training a team through all the pre-season routines and friendly games, getting the squad up to match fitness, winning the first three games and then having to watch your players play for their national teams putting at risk everything you have built up previously.

An injury to a key player could, ultimately, cost a manager his job. Of course this would be bad management if it happened as no team should ever be reliant upon one player but, nowadays, the top teams will have ten or more players at a time away on international duty. The risks are very high, the rewards to a club, non-existent.

On the flip side, there are clubs to which the pause in proceedings is very welcome. The ones who have made a bad start to the season can take stock, regroup and work out where it is going wrong. If very few players are called up then the break is exactly that, a break. The time can be used constructively trying to gain an advantage over the poor suckers who have had to send nearly all their players around the world for a week of travelling and training and a few minutes of playing football.

To the top three, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte, the break could only have come at a worse time had it arrived just as the matches that decide the title winner were about to be played, whenever that may be.

These three, at present, stand to lose the most if any of their players are injured. Yes, they have the biggest and best squads but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a preferred eleven and it is members of this eleven over whom they will fret the most during international games.

After this weekend’s break international football will be put back in the cupboard along with the Christmas decorations until the next time.

The problem, however, is that we are entering a World Cup qualifying campaign, meaning that international football will be taken out of the cupboard again in October, then again in November and so on and so forth. In fact, at present, it is hardly worth putting it away at all!

England will probably qualify as group winners which will add a little interest to the tournament for a short while until they are eliminated at the group stage, as usual.

Once this happens the cycle can begin again. The futility of international football can be debated yet again and everyone can deny being one of the ones who said that England would win the World Cup.

  1. Bernard says:

    Completely agree with your comments Iain. Nothing more frustrating than having the domestic season interrupted three weeks in with the utterly waste of time internationals. We all know the eventual outcome from the England perspective at least. Anyway, best to quit this conversation before I really get going.

    Liked by 1 person

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.