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Burnt out or moaning minnies?

by Matt Slater (U1647490) 01 November 2007
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Steven Gerrard

Trying to elicit public sympathy for the travails of our blinged-up, Baby Bentley-driving sports stars seems like the sales equivalent of off-loading ice on the eskimos.

It is one thing for nurses, teachers or BBC journalists to bemoan the burdens placed on them for such meagre rewards, but those cries don't sound quite right coming from the lips of a 22-year-old who owns a 3m mock Tudor mansion in Cheshire.

But it doesn't necessarily make those cries any less valid, particularly when you look at it from the comfort of your armchair.

We have spoken to players' union bosses, coaches and the players themselves from our three major team sports - cricket, football and rugby union - and they have all said the same thing: too much sport is hurting our chances of international success.

It is also shortening players' careers, and it is our very best players whose careers are being shortened most of all.

And that is why all of us who follow sport and want British success should perhaps listen when our heroes tell us they're hurting.

Don't be fooled by England's recent rugby heroics. That was the clearest case of (some) success being despite something as opposed to because of something.

The schedules we expect our potential sporting world-beaters to keep are simply unsustainable. Fatigue, injury and ignominy are the inevitable end products.

Isn't it time we sorted out our interminable club v country rows?

Isn't it time we reduced the amount of domestic football our top stars play?

Isn't it time we gave our very best some time to rest and prepare properly for those events that we care most about?

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posted Nov 3, 2007

most of the comments made so far are completely ignorant. These people who think players are "moaning" over nothing obviously no nothing about the physiology of the body and are missing the point completely. First of all, since when did the amount someone earns affect the capacity of how the body works? Quite simply, it doesn't. Anybody can play football at anytime, twice a day if they want. But nobody, absolutely nobody, can constantly play at their very highest level each time without the adequate amount of recovery. How long would a marathon runner, sprinter, etc perform at their highest level while competing 3 times a week for 10 months of every year?? And that's what it comes down to, participating is one thing, competing consistently at the highest level is another. Comments such as "they should try a 14 hour shift at industrial teeside" are nothing but sheer ignorance.

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posted Nov 3, 2007

zero sympathy for footballers. The rest of the working world gets a fraction of the time off footballers get, eg doctors get 24 days a year, if they are lucky. The top footballers in this country are paid stupid amounts of money, and we deserve to see them working over christmas like the rest of us!

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posted Nov 3, 2007

I totally agree with you, The Mightster - there is no sport on earth which demands so much time away from home as cricket. They are playing endless pointless tournaments such as the Champions' Trophy in India last November when they should be preparing for really important games (such as the Ashes). It is no wonder that players like Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss amongst several others are saying they are mentally worn out. And the career of a fast bowler is becoming vanishingly short.

I think it's disgraceful that the only rest some of these players get is when they are badly injured. It's time the powers that be stopped thinking just of the money and the television rights and started being genuinely concerned about their players. Sometimes less is more!!!! Giles Clarke and co. take note!

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posted Nov 3, 2007

I am really worried for those people who think that footballers deserve rest. For God's sake have you ever though about the soldiers and police officers who keep us safe? These players wouldn't last a day in a normal working situation and I totally agree with some members who say that these players shouldn't get a rest as none of us get any rest, even on weekends.

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posted Nov 3, 2007

Football is what they are paid for. People are paid less for harder work. It's called a job. It's called reality. I don't get a break from my job doing a sports facilities and i dont get paid in a year half of what they get in a week. Get over it!!

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posted Nov 4, 2007

most prem clubs have squads of between 25 & 35 players who are pampered beyond belief, surely the responsibillity falls to the coaches,physio,s, doctors& managers to recognize the signs and rest players accordingly, also a winter break would only make it even harder for the smaller clubs to compete, because lets face it a fully fit and refreshed man utd would always beat a fully fit wigan.

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posted Nov 4, 2007

Just how many players do complain?
Its generally something that you hear managers saying as an excuse for poor underpar performances from their overpaid, underworked players.
In which case surely the onus is on the management teams to rest and train players accordingly. There is more than enough money in the game now for each individual to have personalised training programs taking into account the amount of rest a player may need.

As for poor displays on the international stage, if having 90 000 people behind you and pulling on the three lions is not enough of an incentive to play the best football of your life, then surely they are not fit to wear the shirt!!!!! Its no strange coincidence, i believe, that the players that do complain about being tired and also complain about the supporters getting on their backs are the players who earn the most and play in a "top 4" side. One word in my eyes describes these poor little boys, pathetic!!!
No matter what job you do, in all walks of life, you get tired. Simple fact! If these little lambs are tired and are struggling to raise their games when it matters they obviously need a rest,so let them have one.
As far as i'm aware there are no rules of international football that state that your international team has to be made up of "top4" players who have egos as over inflated as their wages.
In fact arguably the best player during Englands recent games is a so called fringe player who has been so frequently overlooked. Maybe Gareth Barry is the casing point. Why try to pick 11 players all playing in the champions league? The CL clearly allows players to develop and expand their games, but at what cost?
How many South Koreans play in the CL? How many Greeks in the Euro winning side were big money household names? Both so called lesser sides compared to our national team of "world beaters" have recently achieved far more than the mighty England!
Whilst on the subject of internationals "burning out" (haha,poor little flowers). They really dont do themselves any favours, do they? Pre match build up usually entails the long suffering public having to endure overpayed underworked stars telling us how good they are and how they are going to sweep away all before them. How refreshing then to see Scotland and N. Ireland saying they know they're not the best teams in the world but they will go out and give it their best, promptly followed by preformances to show exactly that.
Time to wake up Team England!!!!!
You're not as good as you think you are, so dont believe the hype. You do deserve to be booed when you play like you so frequently do!! People who live in the real world and earn "normal wages" pay extortionate prices to ensure you have a life of luxury, therefore just once it would be nice to see you show us all just how good you are!!! Ahh thats the problem you usually do!!
Nobody can deny top players will get tired with the ever incresing fixture list especially successful cup sides. It is therefore upto the people who run the game to pick the correct players for games. If players turn up to international duty looking tired or jaded, send them home! Have some balls and pick your so called fringe players who given the opportunity and right management will perform as a team just as well as your poor little tired boys from the CL. It would also show just which players are cut out for international football!!!
Clubs dont need a winter break, they have an obligation to justify the silly prices and silly wages. Footballers are no longer just sportsmen, they are now payed very generously for what they do, thats provide entertainment and generate money.
English football needs to adapt and evolve from top to bottom!!!

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comment by rafael (U6470354)

posted Nov 4, 2007

Surly the 95% of the football world crying out for a break cant all be wrong...

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posted Nov 5, 2007

This is just the latest excuse for failure. Before the World Cup, the FA Cup Final was put forward to give the players a chance to rest. That didn't change anything. A winter break wouldn't have meant that we would have won that penalty shootout.

If the players don't like it, they can ask their clubs to drop them for a couple of games. Or get the FA to stop these stupid friendlies. Or they can quit their highly paid jobs, go and work in an office and find a Sunday League with a winter break.

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