Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Vacation or no vacation? Which is better?
Wall Street Journal, December 27th, 2011 12:09AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  england

MOST COMMENTED

English soccer is in the spotlight during the year-end holidays -- just where it likes it, writes Gabriele Marcotti. He examines the year-end traditions across Europe, where leagues break for the holidays for two or three weeks or longer, but leagues in England and Scotland actually play more with games on Dec. 26 -- Boxing Day, a national holiday -- and either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, depending on the calendar.

Seen as a way to get men out of the house and off the booze on the day after Christmas or on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, the British tradition of soccer during the holidays is now driven by something else. Big crowds over the holidays mean big money, and the EPL has the international market all to itself for television viewers around the world.

That explains why the EPL continues to play its crowded schedule with as many as four games in nine days despite concerns that it hurts the national team. England has not won a major tournament since 1966 while Germany with the longest winter break of Europe's major soccer-playing nations continues to overachieve.

Of the 109 players who appeared in the World Cup or European Championship final since 2004, just 15 had spent the season in the Premier League. But as Marcotti suggests, there's a flipside: "The lack of a winter break doesn't seem to harm English clubs in European competitions like the Champions League or Europa League, which continue well into May. In fact, English clubs have been among the most successful in those tournaments. Unless you believe a player is fine in May but succumbs to fatigue a month later, it's hard to blame the winter break."

Read the original story...


1 comment
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: December 28, 2011 at 11:17 p.m.
    The lack of a winter break causes mental fatigue come July, and that's where the english fall down during WC years. But it's not english players, it's the league. Robin van persie has been lighting up the league this fall. Arsenal have few options, and are one injury away from plummeting down the table because every PL board of directors want to believe the injuries will happen to some other team and they won't have to spend to secure their place at the table. Wrong. I usually agree with GM but this time I take exception.Remember has well Rooney was playing until the spring of 2010? He totally shut down, and did little at the WC. He was spent, and hasn't hit that same form since.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Arrests Mar Roma's UCL Win     
Police arrested three fans prior to AS Roma's UEFA Champions League opener against Russian side CSKA ...
Roma Players Warn City, Bayern Following Rout     
AS Roma's players said they are full of confidence following their 5-1 hammering of CSKA Moscow ...
Di Maria: "I Needed to Change My Life"    
In an interview with Perform, Manchester United forward Angel Di Maria says that he left Real ...
Drogba: "I'm Like a Diesel, I Need Time"    
Didier Drogba admits that he needs time to regain his fitness and confidence after squandering chances ...
Ajax Earns Draw with PSG    
Danish international Lassa Schone scored in the 74th-minute from a free kick to spoil Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ...
Barca Uninspiring in Narrow UCL Opener     
It was an uninspiring debut for Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in the UEFA Champions League on ...
Mourinho: Costa's Hamstring Injury a Concern     
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho reiterated his concerns over striker Diego Costa's hamstring following the Blues' 1-1 ...
Report: NYCFC Eyes Queens Stadium    
New York City FC is considering building its stadium near the Acqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Capital ...
Ronaldo on Track to Break European Scoring Records    
If he remains injury-free this season, Cristiano Ronaldo should become the all-time leading scorer in both ...
Jardim: Monaco "Superior" in UCL Opener    
Leanardo Jardim hailed AS Monaco's "superior" display in Tuesday's 1-0 win against Bundesliga giant Bayer Leverkusen ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives