MARCUS RASHFORD JOINS LIST OF INJURY PLAGUED PLAYERS ABSENT FOR START OF SEASON- HOW MUCH FOOTBALL IS TOO MUCH?
Marcus Rashford, one of the unfortunate scapegoats of England’s final defeat to Italy in Euro 2020, has decided to get operated on an injury that will prevent him from participating in the first two months of the Premier League. While Rashford’s injury added him to the long list of absentees, the world poured in with questions about the long list of injuries to European footballers.
Marcus Rashford is facing the prospect of up to 12 weeks out, after deciding to go ahead with surgery on a long-term shoulder problem.
Gutting for him.
✍️ via The Telegraph pic.twitter.com/IuE1MxbZOV
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) July 14, 2021
No one has ever truly polled the individuals on this, at least not to the extent that their misgivings appear to be making a difference. The problems are clear and the federations are working without finding solutions to the player’s discomfort. With so much soccer, can athletes function at their greatest? Bruno Fernandes was inspirational for the Red Devils but he faltered with Portugal. Was it because of the jam-packed summer with constant criticism of Bruno if the Portuguese failed to deliver? We at FootTheBall dig deep to find out how the pandemic and jam-packed season has added to the catalogue of injuries to European footballers.
THE COVID-19TH SEASON
While Covid-19 surprised the world with its mass destruction, the unfortunate pandemic forced the world to hide inside their shelters to prevent themselves from being on the unfortunate casualty list. The world came to a standstill, economies touched the floor, people were without food and money, and amidst all this, the sporting world froze.
Many European leagues halted as the world prepared to battle the pandemic rather than battle on the football pitch. But after hands were removed from the pause button, the federations and footballing communities forgot about the players.
Man Utd 1-2 Leicester FT:
Leicester earn an important three points in the race for Champions League football. pic.twitter.com/8F5IkvuXo2
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 11, 2021
Rosters were forced to compete in contests more than once a week, teams were juggling between different European competitions, while the list of injuries rocketed. Manchester United was once forced to play three matches in a week with the Europa League final being the last one of them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played an inexperienced outfit against the Foxes and Brendan Rodgers’ troops brushed aside the Red Devils, pushing Liverpool out of a Champions League spot.
Although none of that mattered as Leicester’s final day defeat against Spurs enabled the Reds to sneak into the top-4, the Premier League table could have witnessed a shocker due to United’s jam-packed schedule.
I NEED A BREAK
While Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez did enjoy a glorious summer holiday in Europe, their respective teammates were battling it out to conquer the European or South American crown. Although a handful of players were rested after the domestic season, the much-deserved ones were still playing for their national outfits’.
Kevin De Bruyne was leading Belgium’s charge after guiding Manchester City to the Premier League throne. Romelu Lukaku stood beside his colleague even after conquering Italy. Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho were incessantly trolled after a failed penalty shootout in Wembley’s showdown. But no one noticed how the three youngsters came on the back of a tiring Premier League and Bundesliga campaign, taking a toll on their physical, and perhaps more importantly, mental health.
Liverpool have lost 14 players to injuries or positive COVID-19 tests.
They’re only 13 games into this season. pic.twitter.com/91N2NquBJE
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 13, 2020
While the financial chests of clubs are drained, they have been using the players as commodities making the veterans a vulnerable asset. The mounting injuries in Liverpool’s squad last season came on the back of a jam-packed summer with Klopp opting for constant squad rotation.
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONS ALSO JOIN THE GANG
While the Premier League federation’s monetary priority became clear, the international associations weren’t falling far behind. After Covid-19 affected the international summer of Copa America and Euros, the international bodies decided to host the two tournaments in a short window after the domestic season. Usually, at these times players are holidaying in different parts of the world, are spending time with their loved ones but even talismanic captains like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were leading their countries’ dreams.
The governing bodies kept packing the schedule with all the backlog of matches and tournaments to earn back money after covid-19 had impacted their finances. It’s acceptable to find income and make use of the opportunity but all that at the expense of the players is a questionable decision. The Tokyo Olympics start next week, adding to the calendar of footballing events. While most football players will still get relieved from their duties, youngsters like Pedri will still be on international duty. Barcelona’s revelation of the summer earned himself a spot in Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 roadmap and will be weaving his magic in Tokyo also. His exquisite performances would see him starting for the Catalans once again giving him just tiny to take a break, not ideal for an 18-year-old.
Injured Leonardo Spinazzola traveled to London with Italy to support his teammates in the final 🇮🇹❤️ pic.twitter.com/RWZxg9ed87
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 10, 2021
The 2022/23 campaign will also have the Winter World Cup added to the never-ending grind of sporting events and campaigns. The idea is that great players will be accessible on request amidst a deadly epidemic and then be motivated to function at an equal level afterwards. While the weak ones will bow out due to injuries. The question remains- How much football is too much football? And at what cost? The governing bodies would soon need to answer this question asked by the creaking bodies of elite footballers.