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Why are international breaks so boring?

Laptop Sleep - Matthew Bowden

In case you hadn’t noticed ladies and gentlemen, the world of football has become so boring in the last week that the only thing to discuss now is how boring it is.

The bad news is, there is still another whole week of boring international break left – it’s going to get much worse before it gets any better at all. The good news is, it will end.

The main reason international breaks are so excruciatingly mind-numbingly tedious is because there is no football. Not proper football, anyway. The competitions we love to watch; the league football, the cup ties, the European nights. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

There are international games but they are so few and far between that when they do come along it’s akin to walking through the desert for days on end and then finding a tiny dirty puddle of vaguely drinkable water but it’s not really water, it’s mostly mud, contaminated with all kinds of stuff you find unpalatable ordinarily but, due to the lack of an alternative, you must drink it even though it tastes really horrible and unsatisfying.

The paradox of international football that isn’t a World Cup or a proper tournament is that, if you support a club, a team, there are players you do like that play for your team but there are also, naturally, players you don’t like who play for other teams that you don’t like and, all of a sudden, because of some random chance of nationality, you’re expected to like players you don’t like and dislike ones you do like. It’s very confusing. It’s like a post-code lottery.

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But, there is no football all summer long either and yet I don’t feel the same urge to rediscover my passion for line dancing, pottery, paper mache and badminton as a means of occupying my time without football in the same manner during the summer months.

That’s because there are transfers to keep me entertained – clubs I don’t like losing their best players, clubs I do like buying them, clubs I’ve never heard of stating that their player is not for sale, players I’ve never heard of stating they would love to play for clubs that aren’t theirs. There’s stuff happening and it’s funny and it’s exciting even if I don’t really care.

The main reason international breaks are so sleep inducing is that there is no news – as a result of there being no football and no transfers – there is nothing genuinely new to report or analyse or start rumours about.

Therefore, the only ‘news’ is something really stupid a 21-year-old boy said in an interview, or where some player buys his fish and chips from, or where some player’s wife wants to go on holiday, or how bad some player is at burping the Sopranos theme tune in karaoke. It’s not really news. It’s filler. Just like this.

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