Some greeted this past weekend’s international break, which saw England brutalize Bulgaria but wiggle past Wales, as an unwelcome intrusion on the new Premier League season. We’ve often read about the tension players feel in prioritizing club or country duty, but, as evidenced by the longing for domestic action to resume, it’s evident that we feel a similar tension in rooting for club or country.
Sure, this past weekend didn’t feature many scintillating matches, but most were crucial for Euro 2012 qualifying. While all Englishmen may dream of the Three Lions lifting the World Cup again or becoming European champions for the first time, sometimes it feels as if some don’t want to watch the matches it takes to reach those summertime tournaments.
It’s not as if every match in Manchester United’s march to their 19th league title last season was a glamour tie against one of their Big Four (or Big Six if you believe Sir Alex) brethren. So it goes that England must sometimes play mirthless matches in the far reaches of Europe on their path to the real fun next summer. It’s all part of the journey.
At one time, international play took precedence over league play for players and punters alike. These days, it’s not quite as clear.
Do you find the international breaks to be unwelcome interruptions in the Premier League season? And, bigger picture, would you rather see England win Euro 2012 or see your club win the Premier League? (Voting unavailable for Manchester United supporters who have seen the club win every gong imaginable).