Xavi & Arsene Wenger
Xavi & Arsene Wenger Propose Reforming National Team Football

Recently, Xavi proposed a comprehensive reform of the football calendar. According to it, all footballers should play continuously for 8-9 months in their clubs, then join their national teams for another 2-3 months, and finally have a month of rest. Arsene Wenger had previously made similar proposals. But how reasonable are they?

Calendar Reform - a Top Priority

The main issue with the current calendar is the vast number of meaningless breaks and flights. For example, players from the American region must endure a flight of over 12 hours and severe jet lag during every international break to play 2 matches and then go through it all over again. And this happens several times a year! Of course, this leads to many injuries, affects the physical and mental form of national teams and their clubs, and impacts results. Besides, it takes up a lot of time.

Suppose the club season is completed first, followed by international duty. In that case, the number of flights is halved while maintaining the same number of matches (since national team players don't need to return). Footballers won't lose their match fitness or suffer as many injuries, and national team coaches will finally have the opportunity to work with their teams properly. And with the freed-up time, players will finally get a month of well-deserved rest.

Calendar Reform - a Flop

Such a serious restructuring of the calendar would change the familiar annual cycle of footballers and could lead to additional injuries. Even years already have a month for major tournaments — where would another one come from for qualifiers and the Nations League?

Plus, regular breaks for national team matches are beneficial for clubs. It's the best time to change coaches, develop new tactical strategies, and extend contracts. This is also beneficial for most players, as there are far more non-national team players than national team players. They get to spend time with their families, rest, and continue the season with renewed energy.

An intense schedule even tires out the fans - they start missing club football during international breaks.

Published by Patrick Jane