Opinion

A Positive Break in the Action

I can’t stand international breaks.

I understand their importance in the game and it is a World Cup year after all.

But I can’t remember the last time as an Aston Villa supporter that an international break was coming and I thought: “Damn, we really needed this break!”

Well, fellow Villans… damn, did we ever need this break.

Coming off of back-to-back losses after walloping Wolverhampton 4-1 could not have been foreseen, even by the most seasoned football fanatic. It took a lot of people by surprise all over the football community. I will be honest, however…I don’t think anyone took it as badly as Steve Bruce did. If you go and check out the gaffers post-match comments after the woeful 1-0 result of the Bolton Wanderers game, it’s written all over his face. He looked genuinely shocked, tired, exhausted, petrified. It’s been a up and down month for Steve Bruce, but I’ve been pretty elated by the support the Villa faithful have showed him during some tough personal times.

He looked like a man who didn’t expect to lose, which is a great quality to have in a manager. A proper manager goes into every encounter as if there is something to be had from the contest. That’s a very admirable quality to have, especially at a club like Aston Villa. In those pre-match comments, Bruce said that his team did not ‘do enough’.

We saw it too, Brucey.

And hopefully Aston Villa players on international duty can stay fit, injury-free and maybe even relax a little bit. Although international friendlies are a very big deal for most footballers, it is also a time to get away from your club for a short span of time. Every one needs time away now and again and contrary to popular belief, footballers are human beings too. It’s a big ask and a bigger wish, but it would mean a world of a difference to see the Villa players on international duty reinvigorated when they return.

After a decent run of form, Irishman Scott Hogan is now second-fiddle to Lewis Grabban as of late but will attempt to use the time away from Villa to work on his game. Conor Hourihane will look to build on his first three caps for The Republic Of Ireland. Neil Taylor, who had to withdraw from Ryan Giggs Wales side due to his groin injury, will have some meaningful time to heal and hopefully be back in time for the Hull City clash after the break is over. Fellow Welshman James Chester will also benefit from the international games as Wales travel to China to to take place in the 2nd annual China Cup, meaning Chester will maintain form and fitness whille on duty.  The reclusive Birkir Bjarnason will undoubtedly gain a bit from seeing some of his Iceland mates in America, as well. Young Lion Keinan Davis scored for England U21’s, which will definitely raise his spirits.

See… there are positives to the international break for Aston Villa this time around. The break isn’t coming as The Claret And Blue are hitting form, in the middle of a winless streak, or starting to turn things around. Although no one in a sane frame of mind welcomes the friendlies of an international break, it seems that more good than harm can come out of it this time for Aston Villa.

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