We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and understandably, there’s a great deal of excitement in the air. Thirty-two different teams will soon descend on Russia for a month of drama, heartbreak and ecstasy, and when the dust settles, one nation will be declared world champions.
Of course, while the spotlight is set to be on international football from now until mid-July, we can’t help but look ahead to the start of the domestic season in August. Obviously, the World Cup is an incredibly exciting time for most football fans, but when you’re the manager of an actual club, it can be quite a stressful time – especially when it comes to new Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
The Spaniard will be watching anxiously to see if any of his players pick up notable injuries over the course of the tournament, and while hundreds of managers will be doing the same thing, it’s a little bit different for Emery. He’s trying to figure out what kind of squad he’s got to work with, and while a good portion of his players won’t be attending the World Cup, nobody knows who exactly he’s going to want to feature into his plans.
So the question is, and this goes for all managers and clubs: is it better for your players to go out early and come home to prepare for the domestic season, or have them go all the way in order to gain some much-needed confidence?
Simply put, it feels like the first option is the obvious answer. While there are obvious benefits to having successful World Cup stars in your squad, there are big risks that come with that too. Bigger clubs are always going to be interested following a successful tournament, there’s a greater risk of injury, and they may take longer to embed themselves back into club football.
It’s an interesting debate, which is why we’ve decided to bring it up. You could argue that there’s no definitive answer one way or another, but we’re interested to hear what you guys think given that the tournament is right around the corner.
Which side are you on?