This summer we have been treated to the Euros and the Olympics – well if you’re British or more specifically English, ‘treated’ isn’t exactly the right world when it comes to discussing international tournaments, but that aside there has been plenty of action to keep us entertained.
What this has also done is keep the players busy, and for those who have flourished during said tournaments, such as new Chelsea signing Oscar, the player should enter the start of the season on a massive high and be full to bursting of confidence.
The reason I say this however, is not through the expectation that certain players will build on said success, but through concern over the ones who have simply been awful for their country, and the wondering if this will have an impact on their club form.
Take Karim Benzema – everything the Frenchman struck turned to gold in the season gone by at Real Madrid, yet for France he was so poor that chanting ‘are you Torres in disguise’ would have been a detriment to the Spaniard – who in actual fact had a very good tournament. Pre-season for Chelsea not so much but then that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
For players who are very much confidence based, like Benzema, a bad international tournament has the very real possibility of derailing the start to the new season, and during the tour of the USA, the striker looks a shadow of his former self, and the sooner he gets a goal and forgets the summer, the better.
A poor international tournament can also make you seem somewhat less desirable to potential suitors, can’t it RVP, and the clubs that once looked so keen after a prolific season tend to fade away ever so slightly, again having a massive impact on the player for the up and coming season – especially if like RVP you are stuck with fans who adored you, a pittance of a contract of around a hundred or so thousand a week and a tiny stadium to play in next to the awful signings of Podolski and Cazorla. How my heart bleeds for the want away Dutchman.
There are some players who clearly can separate their club football from their country, time and time again certain English players have been found wanting for their country, yet been off the chart for their clubs – Frank Lampard I am looking at you.
Obviously players are human beings, and all react differently to set backs and poor displays – Ronaldo will obsess and obsess over something until he can get it right – should there be a penalty shoot-out this season, you can pretty much guarantee he won’t be waiting until 5th to step up.
Some clearly have no issue putting it to one side at all, even being better for their club because they have that extra something to prove, yet the real worry is for those players – especially forwards where confidence is so key – who have a shoddy tournament and cannot get it out of their heads, and are in real danger of letting it derail their season before it has even started.