Two words that many football fans hate with a passion: international break. Just when it seems your favorite team is gelling and finding their rhythm, here it comes.
Suddenly, players are flung around the world where they must acclimate to a completely different team, with a totally different goal. It’s a period of time not popular with Premier League fans or coaches.
But, are international breaks really ruining the Premier League or is it a lot of tantrums for nothing?
International Breaks as Problematic
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, recently expressed concerns about having so many star players gone for the break. He feared they would come back with injuries and exhaustion. Just ask Real Madrid, who lost midfielder Sami Khedira to an injury when Germany faced Italy in mid-November.
The club will be receiving nearly three and a half million dollars in compensation, but what good does that do on the field? Teams that succeed need healthy star players. The more important a player is tactically, the greater the risk that an international break can throw them off their rhythm or make them too tired to contribute.
Having players competing for multiple teams within a similar time period just seems like stretching it too far.
International Breaks as Necessary
International breaks exist to allow for qualifications for major international competitions, namely, the World Cup and Euro Cup. As much as fans grumble about international breaks during the season, it is often the existence of these “off-season” competitions that keep football lovers from chewing a leg off during the summer months after the Premiere League has ended.
It gives individuals a chance to come together under the umbrella of national pride and cheer for their country’s national team. And should England manage to hold up the World Cup trophy in Brazil? You wouldn’t hear a peep out of anyone in England about the “unnecessary international breaks”.
The reality is that the months between seasons are often reserved for players to rest and then preparing them to get back into the swing of things by playing through friendlies. The same concept often applies for international breaks. But, with domestic competitions and Champion’s League football on the line, there’s not enough time during the off-season to bring national team players together.
There is really no practical alternative. It is as one fan said, “a necessary evil”.
Impact on International Breaks
As hard a pill as it is to swallow, there is nothing about international breaks that can be considered detrimental to the functioning and survival of the English Premiere League. The league has thrived since its creation in the early nineties off the success of legendary players and coaches, not to mention loyal fans.
Even if international breaks were to be eliminated, there is still going to be the reality of bad calls by referees, tired players due to tough schedules and injuries. These are all part and parcel of life in football. Not all of it is wonderful, but they don’t take away from the parts that are.
In the end, a lot of the fuss is over feeling deprived of a sport you love and having to find something else to do to pass the time for two weeks. Read a book, get a buffing and polishing machine for your nails, go to the beach and hit the pub. Find some quality time for something other than football.
Even if the breaks are annoying, you’ve lived through them until now. Just think of them as something that makes you appreciate your team a little more.
Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.
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