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What if the International Break Was Something Else?

If the international break was something else, what could it be?

Ray Wilkins is the new coach of Jordan. Bet you didn't know that naysayers.
Ray Wilkins is the new coach of Jordan. Bet you didn't know that naysayers.
Salah Malkawi

How dare you? This period of the football calendar mean a lot to many people across the world who are proud of their respective nations. Do you even know the significance of such a time for international managers and fans? To achieve qualification for tournaments, build cohesion in a squad, bring through the next generation of national heroes, and continue a storied tradition all feature highly. There is also the overlooked element of youth internationals that expose young players to different football styles, countries, and peers. This is a global game, and we are all part of it.

This is what anticipated criticism could look like, which is completely fine. It's just that the international break gets in the way of what we were just doing. Sure, we were miserable and looked for some intangible tonic for tangible answers, but we wanted to continue what we were doing. We just got it back and it's gone. Again. Only to return and inevitably leave once again before returning. And this is the way it was, is, and shall be. However, what if this international footballing charade was something else?

If regular breaks to the domestic season are going to happen anyway, what could clubs do to fill the void? Offer open training sessions to watch the poor souls that are left behind? That might not be as attractive as usually the best players are selected for international duty. Who could resist watching an injured superstar doing hula hoops in the corner while his team mates engage in more strenuous activities? In this world, the international break is still the international break, but we now have something else to possibly visit or watch online. More to pick and pore over related to what we're actually interested in.

What about gatherings of former players during each international break at various destinations around the world? One break they're in the America, the next they're in South East Asia, and so on. For a week or two, they'll tour around and be available for photo opportunities. They'll even share tales of that story you weren't fully told by that twitter user who used to know Kenny Dalglish's substitute dog walker from the 1980s and is currently in cahoots with Jason McAteer since they've been following each other since the days of Roy Hodgson. Think of all the rumours that can finally be given true life or a satisfactory death. Also, pictures, words, and experiences. This could be every other international break if schedules and satisfactory remuneration aren't quite up to the standard these former professionals expect.

These two ideas may not be the most revolutionary but don't forget that we live in a world where Michael Owen is a high-profile football commentator, Craig Burley is a purported football expert, James Richardson isn't the highest paid football presenter around, and Roy Keane can no longer terrorise Adrian Chiles just by sitting in close proximity. There are a lot of worse ideas in football and justice does not reign as it should. Replace the international break entirely? That wouldn't work as it would need to exist. Talk of sending it away to football's irrelevant naughty corner for a block of the season that's convenient for clubs could be an option, but we all know that will never happen. Ever. Interestingly, there hasn't been a mention of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, something lukewarm about Brendan Rodgers, and Liverpool's recent rotten results.

There's one week to go before we all get back to doing what we set out to do when the season began: watch Liverpool make us look silly for bragging too much when we've only had one good season in the past five years. One day international break, one day you'll get what you deserve.

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