A Welcome International Break?

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Hands up who enjoys the international break?

I’ll take an estimated guess that the majority of you kept your hands firmly by your sides (or refused to play along and want to see where I’m going with this) as so many times an international break halts the progress being made in a league campaign.

Qualifiers for a World Cup or a European Championships can just about be excused, it’s not their fault after all, but friendly games need a lot to answer for when they put a one, sometimes two, week gap in the life of a supporter.

Even though you don’t want to give these games the satisfaction of your attention you feel you have to tune in to make sure our star players stay injury free, as obviously you watching the game is better than any medical treatment they could receive from their national team.

Having said all that, and potentially started a campaign to ban international football altogether, this mini international break may not be the worst thing at this present time.

Second in the league, on a nine-game unbeaten run domestically and you’re saying a break in momentum is a good thing? I know I’m contradicting myself beyond belief, but hear me out.

For most international managers this is their last opportunity during the season to take a look at players who are trying to edge their names onto a guest list for Brazil 2014. If many are like Roy Hodgson then they will have named a larger squad than normal to maximise their opportunities of seeing if a player can hack it at international level, even if it may seem harsh to judge them on a forty-five minute run out in a slow tempo friendly.

This means that the likes of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel for example, who are all regulars for their countries, may well be given a rest for one game only, or at least feature sparingly throughout the ninety-minutes.

For players such as Joe Allen and Glen Johnson, two players who require more game time to improve their levels of match sharpness, it could be a good thing for Brendan Rodgers that he sees those players get another cap. The more players that Rodgers has at his disposal that are fully fit going into the remaining ten games of the season puts his squad at an optimum level to give themselves a chance of unrivalled glory come May.

Even for those players that have featured heavily this season, calling Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling out for this example, the chance to impress another manager and continue to score goals must be a welcomed opportunity and enhances the confidence they harbour within themselves.

If this international break goes to plan (or my plan at least) then Liverpool could have an even more rejuvenated squad to tackle the business end of the season with.

Get any injuries, however, and I will begin writing up that campaign to ban international football.

By Michael Williams (@mikewilliams_05)

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