Tottenham Fan: The International Break - The Worst Two Weeks Of My Life
The past weekend was solely a football one. Chelsea destroyed Norwich City, Arsenal overcame West Ham United with relative ease and QPR succumbed to yet another defeat, and that was just the Saturday. Sunday saw Liverpool struggle at home to Stoke City, Spurs win their fourth successive game under Andre Villas-Boas, while Manchester United’s win over Newcastle set the tone for the evening's events. El Clasico, the Classique and the Derby della Madonnina were all available to the watching world. Throw in Atletico Madrid – Malaga and it’s the perfect finale to a weekend.
Then it all ended. The referee blew for full-time in the La Liga fixture between the Spanish giants and it all came crashing back down to earth. While it’s nice when there is another round of fixtures to look forward to, this time it brought upon the dreaded international break.
Don’t get me wrong; I love international football when it’s a major tournament, be it the World Cup, European Championship or the Copa America to fill in the gap during the long summer. But when it’s a two week break away from domestic or European duties, I become completely uninterested with the game.
The staunchest of patriots will tell me that I should support my country, whether they’re playing Spain, Chile, San Marino or someone similar, but the fact of the matter is, as the years have gone by; I become increasingly bored with the furore surrounding England.
Don’t get me wrong; I love international football when it’s a major tournament
I know I shouldn’t but it’s just...I really don’t care as much about the national side as much as I used to. The whole Twitter saga involving Chelsea's Ashley Cole is appealing from a club level perspective, but should he play on Friday? It’s of no interest to me.
Rio Ferdinand being recalled? I would rather see him in a Manchester United shirt. Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey being called up? I simply don’t care. All that matters to me is counting day the days until the Premiership resumes a week on Saturday at 12.45 pm.
As I mentioned, there was a time when I loved watching the national team. I still have fond memories of my first trip to Wembley back at Euro 96, when Kubilay Turkyilmaz netted that last gasp penalty to condemn England to an opening Group A draw.
Back then, at the tender age of 8, I was psyched to see England play. The iconic towers as you walk up Wembley Way filled me with a sense of excitement, while the enthusiasm of crowd left butterflies in my stomach.
All that matters to me is counting day the days until the Premiership resumes a week on Saturday at 12.45 pm
Maybe it was because I was so young, and the intimidating atmosphere left me close to shitting my pants, but now whenever I see England play, be it live and on TV, I just don’t feel the same buzz. Perhaps, as I grew older and football became more money orientated, the enthusiasm dwindled, but then I still look forward to Saturday afternoon to watching the football on the box or in person.
But when I know the international break is upcoming; I dread it. I can’t explain why, but it’s something that bothers me more and more each and every time. My weekends are lost as a result of the lack of domestic action.
The last thing I want to do is head across to Wembley to watch England take on San Marino, a team that have lost 107 of their 113 international encounters, garnering a goal difference of -448, and watch the national side, in every essence of the word, ‘spank’ the European minnows.
It could be a goal-fest, which statistics suggest it probably will be, and I wouldn’t be of the slightest bit interested. Why? Because it’s international football. Nothing that can be said will alter my perception on this aspect of football.
My weekends are lost as a result of the lack of domestic action
I regularly approach these two weeks with caution, simply because it is of no interest to me, which can be considered a bad thing as I love the game itself. But this fortnight...this long, drawn out 14 days centred primarily on who England will start in the heart of the defence following the international retirement of John Terry is of no interest to me.
It may appeal to others, those that follow the national team over land and sea. Those that went to South Africa, Poland and Ukraine in 2010 and 2012, respectively, may share a differing view on international football, and if that is you then fair enough, but the fact of the matter is I will never be that person.
My sense of dread doesn’t stem from the fact Roy Hodgson is in charge. Heck, Pep Guardiola could be manager and have England playing football mirroring his Barcelona side from the past four years, but it wouldn’t sway me.
The fact of the matter is; my love for international football will continue to dwindle, at least until the 2014 World Cup rolls around. Until then, as ludicrous as it sounds, I will clock watch until domestic duties resume a week Saturday, wasting my life away simply because of my hatred for the international break because as far as I’m concerned; the sooner real football is back, the better.
More great football articles
Click here for more stories on Football and Sport
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook