Burning The Candle At Both Ends.
It’s no secret that I’m not that interested in international football. There are a number of reasons for it,but if I’m honest,the main ones are that both Scotland and the Republic are gash! If I wanted to support a diddy team,I’d go and watch Swindon Town.
Anyway,as far as I’m concerned,every international break-and let’s face it,there’s plenty of them!-is just a conspiracy to stop me enjoying my football. But the draw for the next round of the cup made me think. We will play Hibs at Easter Road,a few days after playing Hearts at Tynecastle. And if we manage to defeat Valencia,we will play the next round of the Europa League straight afterwards,the following two midweeks.
So that will be midweek/weekend until the middle of March,continuing the pattern since we returned from our winter break,a total of thirteen matches in 42 days,or seventeen in 56 days should we beat Valencia.
This is a shocking amount of football to expect footballers to play,the human body can only take so much. Football nowadays,at the top level,is played with such pace and intensity that it must be mentally exhausting as well as physically debilitating to go to the well as often as we expect our players to do. Yet we often hear that the squad is too big,what’s the point of all those players,we can only strip eighteen of them at any given time,etc ad nauseam.
It gets worse,of course. Looking back to just before the winter break,we were all exhausted just watching our heroes turn out twice a week throughout December. And in fact,with the exception of those much-maligned international breaks,our players have been on parade twice a week every week since the Rosenborg match.
That’s the one on August 1st,btw. All season,twice a week. Our cup tie against Hibs on 2 March will be our 51st competitive game of the season!
So are we in danger of burning the candle at both ends? I’d suggest that these stats I’ve just mentioned,the amount of games,the lack of down time,of rest periods between matches,are as likely to be the cause of our mysterious list of injuries as the many theories put forward about training methods,training surfaces,witch doctors! In fact,it’s quite likely that the amount of fitness work done during the season by Celtic players is kept to a minimum in favour of coaching and recovery time.
We are going to need our “bloated” squad to see us through to the end of the season,that much is for sure. The loanees will earn their medals,if any,the same as the full-time Celts. And although we will no doubt have to begin our qualifying campaign in mid-July,that’s about eight weeks after the Scottish Cup Final,should we get there. That’s a lot longer than we have become used to!
You just never know-some of our players might just manage a bit of a summer holiday this year. The ones that missed out on one last season are definitely in need of one!
I think the number of games players are now being asked for is burning them out,and UEFA/FIFA need to reconsider the whole qualifying process. It’s ridiculous to think that a player can play more matches in a season than the winner of The Open will take strokes in his final round.
Above article by BMCUWP. You can contribute your own opinions to the site by mailing us on