Holiday over and back to work

日期:2024-03-20 12:28:37  作者:狄曼安

Holiday over and back to work

Marcus Rashford scored for Manchester United against Burnley in the League Cup. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

There's nothing worse than that first morning back at work after a nice vacation. Memories of lying on a sun-kissed beach listening to light waves gently caressing the shore quickly fade once you walk into work on a Monday morning.

I guess, in a way, that’s how some footballers who represented their national teams at the World Cup in Qatar are feeling this week.

Holiday over and back to work

Marcus Rashford for instance, who just a week or so ago was desperately trying to take England to the semi-finals of the biggest football tournament in the world. On Wednesday, he played for Manchester United in the League Cup against Burnley. Fair play to him, he did score.

Neco Williams, the young Welsh fullback, represented his country in the group stages in Qatar. He too was playing in the League Cup last night, for Nottingham Forrest against Blackburn.

As the tournament was held in winter, it will feel strange for many of the players to get back into the swing of things in their domestic leagues, but get back they need to, and fast.

In England in particular, where games were rightly put on hold for a few weeks following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, there’s going to be a lot of matches to fit in between now and the end of the season.

By the time you are reading this column, Liverpool will have won or lost against Manchester City in the above mentioned domestic cup competition.

That was the first of seven games they will play in the next four weeks.

City manager Pep Guardiola had a pop at the powers that be this week complaining of the tight schedule ahead.

In typical Pep fashion, the Spaniard said, rather sarcastically: “We have four or five (senior) players,” he said.

“We'll have to see how they're coming back. We don't have players but the big brains of football, with their thoughts, made this schedule so we'll play.”

I love Pep but find myself having little sympathy for him considering the amount of money City have spent assembling an incredibly strong squad.

Holiday over and back to work

Plus, it’s the same for every team, so I’m afraid you’ve got to like it or lump it.

Jurgen Klopp has, in the past, bemoaned the fact that unlike other leagues in Europe, the Premier League doesn’t have a winter break.

And while the past month hasn’t exactly been a vacation for those involved in the World Cup, there were plenty of big names not there who were given the chance to recharge their batteries in warmer places.

Liverpool’s Moha妹妹ed Salah and City’s Erling Haaland, two of the world’s best, both missed out on playing for Egypt and Norway respectively as both failed to qualify.

So I think this is a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. There’ll be plenty of matches packed into a tight schedule over the next two months but players, fans and managers have no choice but to just grin and bear it.