Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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

TAGS:  england


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



Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Youth soccer fights back against 49ers    
Northern California youth soccer advocates, including Santa Clara Youth Soccer League President Tino Silva, have launched ...
Cal South TOPSoccer Program Turns 25    
"We're all soccer players, special needs or not," says Sandy Castillo, chair of the Cal South ...
How Neymar Played in Childhood     
Neyrmar: "I used to pick up the ball, set up the furniture and go around dribbling ...
Roma Partnering with U.S. Youth Clubs    
Italian Serie A club Roma, which has American ownership, aims to forge partnerships with seven U.S. ...
LVG: Falcao "Has to Prove Himself"    
Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has responded to criticism over dropping Radamel Falcao by claiming ...
Report: Adidas to Assist Messi Move?    
According to Spanish sports daily AS, Lionel Messi's sponsor Adidas could be the key to the ...
Toure Admits Man City Future in Doubt     
Speaking ahead of the opening games of the African Nations' Cup in Equatorial Guinea this weekend, ...
Ronaldo Blasts 'Defensive' Atleti Tactics    
Cristiano Ronaldo blasted Atletico Madrid for its unattractive style after the Rojiblancos ousted Real Madrid from ...
Fabian Johnson's 'Spat' with 'Gladbach Coach Favre    
According to Bild, USA defender Fabian Johnson is in a "spat" with Borussia Monchengladbach coach Lucien ...
Serie A to Introduce Goal-Line Technology     
Serie A will introduce goal-line technology next season after the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) gave its ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives