Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Rest Is History for Burnt-Out Stars; Clubs Will Pay Price for Meaningless Games

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Rest Is History for Burnt-Out Stars; Clubs Will Pay Price for Meaningless Games

Article excerpt

Byline: Mick QUINN

IS this football season ever going to end? Just when I thought it had eventually concluded, and the final useless friendly match had been played, the hugely important, ahem, Confederations Cup begins in Brazil.

What is that all about? FIFA in their infinite wisdom have decided the best players in the world shouldn't be allowed a break.

International friendlies, World Cups, ridiculous tournaments that mean nothing.

Yeah, bring them on. Why would you want to give professional footballers a proper rest in between seasons? Not when there is a few quid to make.

We are now in mid-June and, in a year with no World Cup or European Championship, there are guys who are being run into the ground when they should be lying on a beach.

Exhausted players' seasons are extended by more than a month. It is a disgrace.

Take Yohan Cabaye as a perfect example.

He has played non-stop for almost two years. He really felt not getting a rest last summer, because of Euro 2012, and that affected him all of last season, both physically and mentally.

The Frenchman was brave to admit that it got to him, that he couldn't handle all the extra games. He suffered from depression and a loss of form.

Newcastle United suffered because one of their best men was badly out of sorts.

The last thing Cabaye needed was to be flown halfway around the world to South America with the French squad when he should have been taking it easy.

People laugh when they hear about footballers burning out. Because your average Premier League stars don't have to worry about bills, jobs and money, which really burns out people.

But all athletes need to take a break.

Even those incredible triathlon runners go away for a month when their season ends, and at best they just tick over.

Football players, at least those at the top of the game, need to get away and switch off.

They are not being allowed to do so and that's a disgrace.

Football has changed since my day. That is undeniable.

But one thing that has stayed the same is that after a long, hard season, which lasts over 10 months when you take in pre-season training, you need to go on holiday. …

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