EPL Fans and indeed club fans all over the world dread the international break with all their hearts. It almost always comes around at the wrong time and provides an opportunity for country managers to damage some star players by over training/ overplaying them.
At club level, players have regimes suited to their specific fitness and dietary needs. At international level, due to lack time with their players, there is no time for all the fancy bits and individual attention. Usually, also, country managers tend to be on the wrong side of the age divide and employ primitive training methods that inevitably end in injuries. How many a time have we seen a player be injury free for long periods only to be crocked on international duty, a lot of the times not even in an actual game ? Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool in the recent past, Adam Lallana the most recent player succumbing to injury just as he was reaching boss levels for Liverpool. Crucial players getting injured at crucial times usually decide the fate of the champions, those who will make the top 4, and indeed those that will survive or die in the relegation battles.
There is no doubt that players love playing for their countries, and they should! Yes, it is a real honor and a players club form can some time hinge on his hopes of representing his nation. For many players, national teams win the Club vs Country debate but club football is of course their bread and butter. It’s a real tightrope of emotions and one that many players have managed to balance seamlessly.
But this huge gap between the details of care taken at club level & sometimes blatant disregard by national team setups needs to be closed, and fast.
Every time Phil Coutinho and Roberto Firmino head off to South America, Liverpool fans all over await anxiously for their return. Arsenal fans also, await news that Alexis Sanchez remained unscathed in his south American trip. News emerging wont please Arsenal Fans, with reports suggesting that he has returned injured, and Arsene Wenger will be left fuming at the loss of his star man. Diego Costa missed the England vs Spain game at Wembley and reports suggest that he, like Lallana, has a groin problem. Dusan Tadic of Southampton has a broken Nose, his colleague Ryan Bertrand out as well. Christian Eriksen missed his country’s game against the Czech Republic, his club teammate Dembele has soft tissue damage and could miss out on the weekend, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane look likely to be out this weekend in the clash against the Saints, while Wayne Rooney has a broken ego and has not played England. Wait, the latter is a victim of the international break not as a result of it. That shouldn’t even be in here!
Jokes aside, there goes another crop of EPL victims to the evil international break. The list is not endless, but indeed worrying.
Is it realistic to say that the international break will be a huge factor in deciding who will eventually lift the EPL Trophy? I definitely think it will.