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For Those Of Us Outside Of Football Management
For those of us outside of football management, it is difficult to comprehend the stresses and strains put on by it.

For those of us outside of football management, it is difficult to comprehend the stresses and strains put on by it. In Gordon Strachan’s autobiography, he describes in graphic detail the sacrifices and sometimes negative consequences of achieving success at the highest level in football management.
During a typical season there come the weekends when the pressure on the manager is decreased; there is respite and time to re-group and reflect which should be welcomed. This is known as the international break. There can be problems caused by these periods however when players have to jet away far and wide to join up with their national teams. Injuries can occur. Indeed current first team coach John Kennedy’s promising career in the Hoops was cut short while on international duty during a time when Scotland players who played across the city would mysteriously come down with injuries coming up to the international breaks, only to be fine come their next club game.

Momentum can be greatly interrupted and in the coming season, Celtic’s first game after the first international break will come against The Rangers F.C, a side that won’t be having the same exodus during the international break as Celtic. Not even their high profile signing, the self confessed Celtic fan and IRA supporter Joey Barton, will be joining up with his national team. He has only ever won one international cap yet he will run his mouth like he has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt on all stages of football.

When you look back in history, those that enjoy the odd punt on football at the weekend would avoid games where players had been away on international duty as results get skewed by the strains put on by the teams who have so many players jetting off to far-flung locations. On the first weekend in September, Celtic’s players do just that. There are those who were at the Euros, for example Mikael Lustig who scored Celtic’s first competitive goal at home under Rodgers. He will be one of many leaving Scotland to be competing in the first round of qualification for the World Cup 2018 finals in Russia. Upon returning, the manager usually only has a couple of days with players to prepare for the next game. There may be knocks that need treated, there could be fatique also.

The coming Glasgow derby will be hyped-up by the media thirsty to give relevance to this new club joining the SPFL for the first time. They will want to stir up the same rivalry and hatred that existed back when Rangers 1872 did. For Celtic, it will be another important game towards maintaining their dominance on the Scottish scene, with hopefully those special European nights on the horizon. We do not know if they will be the main title contenders this season or if it will be Aberdeen who once again finishes second, or will another team step up to challenge? It is quite coincidental that this first game will come off the back of a break for the visiting team and their players. They will have a chance to stay focused on the job in hand, to prepare for the next game and to get their gameplan ready for the coming fight.

It is also of interest that if we look at the history of this fixture the matches have always been in recent history, 12.30 pm Sunday kick-offs. This time it will be a Saturday at 12.30pm so less time to rest, regroup and prepare. Coincidence? Well that’s why we’re paranoid.

Pints McLaughlin,
Randalstown Hoops.

Posted by voc1967 on Sunday 24 July 2016 - 14:25:56 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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