Ok, this may seem like a badly calculated and almost wild stab at a solution to the ever greater congestion in the English fixture list.
But why can’t England just play all their games at the end of the season?
It’s becoming ever more clear that, while the Christmas fixture list is wonderful fun for the fans, it is having a big and negative impact on the form of English teams in The Champions League. The current best performers in Europe, Spain and Germany, have them. Indeed, Germany breaks up for a whole month to recharge the batteries in the festive season.
And these regular England international breaks – there have been 6 this season – simply make the fixture list even harder to cope with for teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.
We all know that, while Manchester City are still learning, Chelsea are one of the best and most canny teams in The Champions League. But they looked like a pale imitation of themselves in the knockout stages this year and that has to be something to do with fatigue.
If England played all of their games, friendlies and qualifiers, at the end of the season, it would have at least threefold benefits:
Something to look forward to – a two or three week mini tournament of internationals every summer.
Momentum for England – they would be able to train for two weeks together at the end of May and then play together for 4-6 back to back fixtures, giving them more understanding as a team – a perennial problem hitherto.
A Christmas break – England internationals have stopped club football for at least 8 weeks this season. Put it all at the end of the club campaign and a two week break would be no problem to schedule around Christmas.
Soon would argue that the players would be knackered by he end of the season and the quality of England’s performances would suffer. But the mid-winter break would compensate for this.
Obviously every country would have to follow suit for this international calendar to work. But it would eventually be adopted and loved by he fans. A festival of international footie in the sun every summer. And the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal would surely benefit hugely from their mid-winter break.