It is now less than a week until the Premier League makes it return and I cannot wait. The World Cup was entertaining as a spectacle and the final was truly one for the ages. A truly wonderful game of football that saw possibly the greatest player ever to play the game finally secure the biggest in all of football. But I have missed domestic, club football so very much during this enforced break in the season. It’s an unusual thing in the British football calendar to have a break around winter time. Many other European leagues do have a two week break in the season around Christmas time. In England meanwhile, Christmas and New Year is one of the busiest periods of the season, with teams playing four games in an incredibly short period of time. That is going to be exacerbated this year, as the scheduling of the World Cup to be in the winter months has congested the season either side of the tournament. With many players at the top sides having played a fair way into the World Cup as well, injuries just due to overworking their bodies to the point that they just break down from fatigue repitive .
I think it is going to take a little bit of time for the players to get back into the rhythm of playing with each other. I went to the Newcastle vs Bournemouth cup game on Tuesday and the one thing that struck was that both sides looked very disjointed. I think that is purely down to not playing competitive football together for six weeks. You can train as much as you want, but the best way to become cohesive as a team and achieve your objectives is to play matches. And it usually takes a decent load of playing time to get there. So, we could see some surprising results over the next few weeks as the domestic season gets back up and running. It is going to be a challenge for teams to get right back into the swing of things straight away. The break came at the worst possible time for the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle United. They were really flying. They may just find it difficult to get back into their rhythm straight away. Whereas for teams like Chelsea and Wolves, the break may well have been just what they needed. Neither were in good form before the league broke up for the World Cup and both have managers who are either entirely new in the job or only recently appointed. The season doesn’t ‘start’ here for either team, mainly because they would be on level points with everyone if it was. But the break came at a time when both sides were in poor form and the time away will have allowed the managers, coaching staff and everyone else around the clubs to go away and assess what was going wrong and what they can change.
It’s going to be fascinating to watch how the teams react to playing domestic football again. And it will just feel right to have football back where it should be, at the weekend. I said, in a piece I wrote just before the World Cup started that I was not excited for the tournament. I can absolutely say though, that it was a good, entertaining tournament to watch. There were exciting games, great goals, stunning saves and brilliant individual performances. But this is where my footballing heart lies. In the domestic game; week in, week out getting behind my boys hoping to God that they win. I’m so happy the Premier League is back.