Premier League Highlights: What I Hate About the International Break

Premier League Highlights: What I Hate About the International Break

I truly hate the international breaks. I know, they are pretty much inevitable and unavoidable, but still, they get in the way.

The Premier League was just getting under way, just starting to pick up some steam, then… BAM!!! World Cup Qualifiers hit like a brick wall.

Three matches were played and everything looked like it was starting to fall into place, but now… now I have to endure almost 2 weeks of news pertaining to how World Cup qualifiers are going, or how the Premier League players are doing with their national team. This is just not good enough for me.

I’m really not a huge fan of international soccer as it is and even less so when matches are played in the middle of the Premier League season.

I would much rather watch club football with all that it entails. These are teams made up of professionals that train with each other week in and week out.

Here are some of my complaints about the international break:

  • It disrupts the flow of training for English Premier League clubs. Clubs were just starting to really get going together, especially with new signings coming in. The training sessions at this stage of the season are so important to get the teams playing well together. Managers can start implementing their plans following what they’ve seen over the first 3 matches.

Add to this the fact that players are thrown together with a group of players coming from other clubs using several different systems of play and tactics. They must learn the new plans and strategies of their national team , train together for a few days, play a couple matches then go back to their respective clubs (rival clubs many times).

  • Injuries to players can create even more difficulties. Take a look at Chelsea, or even Manchester City. Chelsea will now be without Ashley Cole after he managed to get himself injured and John Terry might try to play while coming off of an injury. Smart idea? I don’t think so.

Manchester City has a similar problem with Sergio Aguero’s injury. Now they have to beg and plead with Argentina to ask them not to have him play for them (even if he won’t play, it’s just the idea that is ridiculous).

Teams shouldn’t have to worry about losing their players (star players many times) due to playing silly matches for their national team.

  • These matches are nothing compared to the English Premier League. I know there are plenty of people out there that enjoy watching international football. I am not one of them. Sure, I could try to get more involved in an international team, but I have little investment or reason to invest. I support Germany due to my heritage and the United States due to my nationality, but the U.S. is still several years away from making the semi-finals and Germany is so far away that it is hard to follow, so I have a hard time truly caring.


  • The international break gets in the way. I like being able to spend my weekends watching soccer all day. I like having a cup match during the week to watch. I like being able to read up on all the latest news in the league. This hated international break just stops all that from happening.

I am very invested in my club team. They play 38 Premier League matches plus the additional cup matches that they are participating in. That’s a lot of soccer to keep me busy, so I really don’t need international soccer during the season. I especially don’t need these breaks that can interrupt a team’s momentum.

  • The interruption of a team’s momentum. On top of missing out on crucial training sessions as a team, having training ideas further interfered with by another coaches philosophy, and the possibility of injuries a manager also has to worry about having his team’s momentum ruined. There have been some great starts by teams like Chelsea and Swansea. Now they need to hope that when their players return they will be able to pick up right back where they were to start.

My biggest gripe continues to be the fact that it really interferes with everything. It intrudes on my routines of watching and following news. It disrupts the club team’s ability to train together and learn the system. It breaks up the flow of the season.

Yes, the World Cup is the greatest sporting event in history. It is an amazing spectacle, but why does it have to interrupt the best soccer league in the world? For me, that league is the English Premier League and, in my opinion, they should not have international matches during the season.

If they must have them, then they need to start working on developing something that is much more cohesive for the players and teams involved. The way it is now, just doesn’t work for me and I don’t think it works for the players and teams either.

What is the answer? I suppose they could hold off starting the season and just wait till after the break (even move the break back into August). This would be helpful too in that it would mean that teams would be able to make their transfers before the start of the season. Transfers are another story (for another day) in terms of disrupting the flow of the season.

What are your feelings on international breaks?