The International Break is referred to as that time of the season when players are called up by their national teams to represent their country. However for football fans and fantasy lovers, the International break is a journey of ’14 days through hell’ where the only solution is to keep calm and pray for the time to pass.
There are three types of fans when it comes to the International Break. The moderate amount of fans who hate the International break, the majority who really hate the International break and finally the minority amount of fans who seem to enjoy watching the International matches. The difference in opinion is not just down to fans, even the managers have split opinions regarding the Int. break. For some managers the international break is a life-saver while the others remain pissed off during the break. So, why is there a vast difference in the opinions of people when it comes to the International Break? In this article, we take a look at the positives and negatives and the impact it has on players, manager and even the clubs. So, let’s get started.
• A chance to regroup
A lifeline for the club managers who are not able to deliver the results expected from the board. Nowadays we all know how competitive football has become, if you’re not performing well under a given amount of time then you’re already under the threat of losing your job and there is no shortage of replacement candidates. For a team who are not in a good run of form, the next 14 days are to review their previous games, learn from their mistakes and improve.
• Time to learn
The International Break is a great opportunity for fringe players who are in quest of some precious minutes on the pitch, to train with and impress the manager. Not only the reserve team players, due to the lack of players the manager also includes some youth players in training which is a great chance for the young guns to move a step closer to the first team. As for the manager, he too has the chance to work with the rest of the squad to improve them because the squad players who are out on international duty will arrived tired and exhausted will obviously find it hard to match the intensity of rival teams which will therefore impact the balance of the team. Hence, the manager can make good use of the fringe players by going through the drills, implementing his philosophy, positions, movements on & off the ball and so on.
Getting injured is frustrating but getting injured in the International break is infuriating. The club, the manager, the player and the fans all are left fuming when a player is injured during International duty. This is because, the Int. break adds even more stress to an already tough schedule for the players. Where playing twice or thrice a week is already tiring, the International break adds insult to injury by allowing to play two games in four days which is insane. For a manager, if his star player is injured it will surely hurt his chances of competing in the league or winning any silverware. For the club, it is a big setback when one of their players in injured. The club pay a lot of money to the players and getting injured while in International duty is the last thing they would hope for. While most players make it through, some players get injured while on International duty which ranges from a slight knock to long-term injuries which can take weeks or months to recover depending on the severity, most common being hamstring or ligament injuries.
• Breaks Momentum
No one likes to stop when they’re winning but don’t worry the International break is here to hurt you again. The International Break hurts the momentum of the teams who are in good form interrupting their fixtures. A lot of key players are also called up for national duty, who return tired and exhausted and it only makes things worse. To prevent disasters, a lot of rotation is needed among the squad which has a negative impact on results and the team is not able to get back their winning form.
What one thing the International break does is soaking up every last inch of energy of the players mid-season with a bunch of fixtures left to play in the season. The players are not in their best of form after going through so many games in such a short period of time and this leads to a decline in form which ultimately results in them losing their place to someone else. We have seen star players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi withdraw themselves from International duty sometimes, not because they fear losing their place but to avoid fatigue and focus on club football. Fatigue also leads to injuries, hamstring injuries are common during this period of time.
• Low intensity matches
The energy of International matches is not even close to that of club football even if we see many star player link-up together. For example, in the Belgium national team we see Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku all play in the same team but somehow they’re not able to get in the rhythm, this is not because of the players not putting in the effort or the manager not good with his tactics but due to the lack of training with each other. The players arrive just a couple of days before the match and no matter how hard you train you can’t get in the same page with each other in just 2-3 days and at last it comes down to one’s individual abilities to win it for his team.
The International break is frustrating for us fans just because it ruins our schedules and of course fantasy football. Life becomes boring when there’s no football in the weekends and we have to settle either for a 3-hour movie or just scroll through the Twitter feed. So, this concludes our article on the positives and negatives of the International Break. So are you a International Break ‘yay’ or ‘nay’? Let us know in the comments below.