How Premier League clubs will face the World Cup off-season
These Qatari players will now be closely monitored by their clubs who will seek regular updates, either directly or through the national medical teams. Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s choice of Dubai for warm-weather training is partly so that Liverpool staff will only be an hour away from any player’s tournament.
The impossibility of any sort of tailor-made preparation for the World Cup has been of particular concern. In past international tournaments, there would have been time for extra conditioning sessions for players short on game minutes, like Gareth Bale with Wales, or a needed break for someone like Harry Kane who has already started 23 games since August.
With teams also training in the 30C heat of Qatar, that means there is as much fear of injury for players who miss games as there are for those who have played too many games.
Detailed planning for the post-World Cup period is then complicated by not knowing whether the players will be finished when the first group is finished on November 29 or three weeks later after the final.
Jonas Baer-Hoffman, the general secretary of Fifpro, believes it will be “essential” for clubs to recognize the psychological impact of career-defining matches at such an unfamiliar stage of a season.
“There’s always a downturn after a peak — an end goal — that you’re working towards,” he says. “If you don’t reach it, there is a degree of depression. If you reach it, you realize that the world around me is the same and you are also not getting the ultimate positive experience you might have expected.
“The medical and sports staff of the federations during the tournament will do everything to win and, once back, we start again immediately in a busy program. It will require a lot of adjustments from the clubs.
Burgess says clubs should put in place a “very close supervision program” for his returning players which prioritizes sleep, time at home away from the training ground and then squad rotation” if you’re lucky enough to have a progressive manager”.
He believes the prospect of less than 15 days between a final World Cup game and a Premier League match is “absolutely not enough time” to mentally process the experience. New research also shows a clear correlation between psychological fatigue and injury risk.
One big noticeable difference with England is how competitions like Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A have scheduled extra mid-season breaks even after the World Cup and won’t resume until January 20 and January 4 respectively. January.
This will mean nearly 10 weeks off for some players and, while there are concerns about the longevity of those players stuck on the football treadmill, a short-term advantage is expected at the start of the tournament. “I think the unique set of circumstances, the low lead time…would definitely give an advantage to teams that have more players playing regularly,” Burgess says.
Many club managers and agents will also focus on Qatar, where much discussion will take place ahead of the January transfer window and the inevitable post-tournament rotation of international managers.