Using the International friendlies as a Winter Break? | Vital Football

Using the International friendlies as a Winter Break?


Alert Team
In his post match press conference after the Leicester game Pep Guardiola made a rather terse reference to the fact that John Stones played 90 minutes in each of the ‘friendlies’ (his emphasis) after playing in every City game. He spoke about the pressure on players these days with the frequency of games and was clearly disappointed with Southgate’s decision not to provide Stones (or other players) with some respite.

Now there are many reasons why international friendlies are played and these are not a
always obvious, for example I believe that some teams e.g. Brazil are required by sponsors to play certain friendly matches around the globe almost as exhibition games. So they clearly want the best players involved so that would have to be dealt with.

But here’s a suggestion......given the regular/annual discussion of the fact that there is no ‘winter break’ in English football how about using this international break to fill that gap? How about any national team not involved in a qualification play off being required to pick only players who have not made X (pick a number) appearances for their club? Players under immense pressure due to the busy domestic schedule would avoid having to travel the globe for ‘meangingless’ friendlies and they could recuperate and allow minor niggling injuries to heal. They would be able to freshen up.

In other words using the international weeks to provide regular first pick players at clubs two weeks off and allowing international managers to truly ‘experiment’ with the next generation of players that they struggle to give minutes to during the pressure of the qualification campaigns?

In effect the withdrawals from the England squad recently forced Southgate to give opportunities to several youngsters including Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez. Both drew praise for their performances and the enthusiasum and interest in the England games was higher than during the WC qualifiers.

Just an idea :032:


Alert Team
Don't be ridiculous, Skoorb. Yours is a well-thought-out, sensible solution to the problem and therefore there's not a cat's chance in hell of anyone at the top level thinking of it, let alone acting upon it.