England’s Roy Hodgson: Clubs shouldn’t exploit international breaks
England manager Roy Hodgson says international fixtures should not be used as mid-season breaks by clubs and players
England manager Roy Hodgson has warned clubs and players that they should not use international fixtures as an excuse to undertake mid-season breaks.
Last month, Rio Ferdinand shunned a return to the Three Lions fold on account of his fitness schedule yet flew to Qatar to be a pundit on Al Jazeera for his country’s 8-0 hammering of San Marino.
And speaking at SoccerEx’s European forum in Manchester, Hodgson insists the window for national side fixtures should not be abused.
He said: “One thing that bothers me slightly when you’re a club manager, even at West Brom or Fulham, you still lose players on international breaks.
“Club football needs international football. It’s a great pity that we’re suggesting that international football should be relegated to lesser stage because clubs have championships or Champions League.
“These breaks are being seen as the 10-day break you don’t always get during the season. It concerns me that we are guilty of accepting it’s the international break so we can give the player 10 days off or go to Dubai.
“I would still like to see the international break being a time when players go to play for their international teams. Uefa are going to put an end to the friendly debate by making sure they’re played within these international dates.
“If you’re a club manager now you’ve got no excuse. You can quite easily plan your time around these blocks. If your players need a rest, it’s not obligatory that it has to be during the international break. It can be done during the other 40-odd weeks of the year.”
Hodgson also lamented the inconvenience of post-season friendlies will bring to the international schedule.
Manchester City and Chelsea this week announced their plans to face each other in back-to-back matches in the United States at the end of May, which will hamper preparations for the Three Lions’ own friendlies.
The Football Association had brought forward their games with the Republic of Ireland and Brazil in a bid to provide earlier rest periods players ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky because we decided the official dates when we get access to players is not until the middle of June and that wouldn’t suit clubs very well so we decided to put in friendlies as soon as possible,” he added.
“We didn’t factor in that some clubs had planned post-season tours, which are quite a new thing.”