Monday, September 6, 2010
I know some people will complain about the break this week, but I don't agree with them. There are international tournaments, and qualifying matches have to be played for them. Those matches need to be scheduled at times when it is possible, weather-wise, to play all around the world. Sometimes you have to accept the reality of the situation.
That said, I like the new game days for the internationals. Having the matches on Fridays and Tuesdays gives the players enough time to return to their clubs and prepare for the next weekend's matches. This is especially important for countries in places such as Asia and South America, as well as big clubs in Europe. These competing interests are never going to see eye-to-eye, but anything FIFA can do to make the relationship less antagonistic is a positive development.
In the past there were very few clubs and countries who cared about international break issues. A club like Real Madrid or Manchester United had players from around the club, and a country like Brazil or Argentina had to worry about their players making a long journey in time for international qualifiers. These days, every club and country have to worry about these logistical nightmares.
Keisuke Honda is Japan's best player, and possibly CSKA Moscow's best player as well. Everyone knows that Park Ji-sung plays for Manchester United, but his South korean teammate Lee Chung-yong is also in Lancashire, playing for Bolton Wanderers. Australians are scattered all over Europe, and South America now has footballers across the globe, and clubs from the US and Europe as well as Asia field these players.
It truly is the global game, and I for one enjoy it in all of its iterations. So if you are whining about there being no club matches this week, go right ahead, I am busy watching Belarus beat France.