In Defense of the International Break

I know, I know. Here comes two weeks of sad, idle, listlessness here at Monchi’s Men and (more importantly) at the RSP. No one likes the international break, but I submit that international breaks are actually really nice, and this break in particular is actually pretty great. Here’s why:

  • The INTERNATIONAL break. I suppose it’s stating the obvious, but when we have international breaks, we get international games. And this stage of World Cup qualifying will bring some fantastic matchups and high-stakes games. France – Ukraine. Sweden – Portugal. Senegal – Ivory Coast. Mexico – New Zealand. Most of those would be at least pretty good games even if someone wasn’t going to be eliminated from the World Cup. But these games all have entire nations’ dreams hanging on them–for some of these players this is as close they’ll ever get to the biggest stage and brightest lights in the game. It can be tragic or triumphant. It can be heart-breaking or heart-warming. It can be beautiful. Plus, you know, maybe Mexico will continue to struggle! Hey, a guy can dream.
  • Needed rest. Maybe you’ve heard–Sevilla has some injury problems. Marin, who should be back soon, probably won’t be back in time for the Betis match, but this weekend is one more game he didn’t miss as he recovers from his muscle injury. Ditto Cheryshev, who’s probably out for too long to play in his first Andalucían derby but again, isn’t out injured for a Sevilla game this weekend. The extent of Pareja’s injury from the Espanyol match isn’t known yet, but an extra week of recovery sure won’t hurt! And of course there’s a bunch of players (Fazio, Iborra, and Rakitic to name a few), who are recently back or recovering from injuries but not necessarily in top form or health yet. They, too, benefit from a weekend off to continue their return to best fitness. Sure, some of our guys will be off to their national teams, but in general fewer players will be gone because there are fewer games this break. And let’s face it, the worst fatigue Bacca will deal with will be jet lag or butt tiredness from sitting on the bench.
  • Extra pre-Betis time. This is a game to savor. This is a hatred to be sipped, not gulped. Take your time. Enjoy the sniping in the press. Revel in the awesome things Pepe Mel will say. Relish the hilarious responses from our newly arrived players, trying on the morbo like a new suit for a fitting at the tailor. Wonder at the awesome tifo I imagine the Biris will be able cook up with an extra week at their disposal. In a contest like Sevilla – Betis, the action on the field is only one part of the story. This break gives us more of the other part of the story, and you’ll want to cherish every last bit.
  • Extra good vibes time. Did you guys notice we won an away match last weekend? As Rene noted in the comments, the team has had an entire year of frustrating and frustrated trips home from Every. Single. Away. Game. An entire year! With no immediate game to prepare for at midweek or on the weekend, I hope they consumed a lot of champagne on the trip home from Catalunya. I hope more was consumed when they got home. It’s just a league win, but it’s also as important as the team wants to make it. With an extra week, they can afford to make it pretty damn monumental, and then enjoy it as they prepare to build on it. This is a team in need of good stories and good vibes, and they finally gave themselves some just at the moment when they get an extra week to benefit from it.

So, fine. Hate all on the international break all you want, but I’m pretty excited. It’s going to be great, and then it’ll get even better by finally ending. Vamos.