International breaks during the football season often cause a lot of disruption among the top clubs in the top leagues, particularly around Europe.
The English Premier League had more players represented at the 2014 World Cup than any other country. Most clubs have the majority of their first team flying off somewhere around the world during these breaks to represent their country once, twice, or simply travel and train with their fellow countrymen.
Travel and Recovery
It can be even more painstaking for the Premier League sides who have their stars playing in continents far away, such as South America, coming back jetlagged or fatigued before an important match a day or so later.
Alexis Sanchez of Chile and Arsenal has been a hot topic this season as being fatigued for representing Chile at the Copa America over the summer and not getting any extended leave for the Gunners after being brought on as a substitute in their surprise opening game defeat to West Ham.
Defending Premier League champions Chelsea often see Oscar and Willian off with Brazil. The record World Champions saw their game in Argentina delayed 24 hours on Friday morning and will host Peru on Thursday morning UK time. Two days later Chelsea are in action with Bournemouth in the Premier League. The Cherries have only one player on international duty this week.
For Bournemouth it’s training as usual this week and a great opportunity for them to get lots of practice in on tactics and strategies they wish to deploy versus Jose Mourinho’s side.
As for Mourinho, with most of his team around the world it’s very difficult for him to prepare his players for the weekend’s game as most of them won’t be back long before the game. On top of that, he wont have a great idea of who is fresh, and before the game’s are played there’s no guarantee his players won’t avoid injury abroad.
Sports Nutrition in Football
With such tough schedules and shortened recovery times, players often rely on supplementation to help them meet their nutritional targets and to improve muscle recovery and their immune systems. Sports supplementation is often monitored and prescribed by the club’s medical team, although during the off-season players (or their employed staff) will handle their supplementation needs themselves in a bid to stay in good shape even when on holiday.
For football fans and amateur footballers, there are surprisingly inexpensive methods to cover 90% of your sports nutrition needs through a quality whey protein powder – you can purchase Gold Standard Whey at Supps R Us online or find the equivalent at your local store.
Recovering from Injuries
For some teams it’s a good opportunity for players to get back to health when they have not been selected. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is using this weekend to return to full training and as a result could be in contention to face Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday 21 November.
Of course, the England international won’t have a lot of first team players to train with whilst they’re away and his chances of starting versus the Premier League leaders is therefore unlikely as he has yet to play under new manager Jurgen Klopp.
The international break can certainly cause havoc for some teams, but others can use it as an opportunity to gain advantage over their weekend’s opponents who have many more internationals. This weekend’s game between Chelsea and Bournemouth has been made more interesting because of that – the Blues will be the heavy favourites but we’ll see on the day how their travelling has affected them…