In the current day and age, international breaks are universally despised by football fans and clubs alike.
The supporter loathes it because it deprives him from watching his favorite club for two weeks. Instead, he’s left with a less exciting brand of football – Whether it’s qualification matches, useless friendlies or some newly-invented tournament that makes less sense than the application of VAR (Yes, that’s the UEFA Nations League).
As for the clubs, few would fault them for hating the whole concept. After all, their squads rarely escape unscathed, with players often returning from international duty either carrying knocks or simply exhausted.
However, the international break can hardly damage a club that has already hit rock bottom.
So for Juventus, whatever harm caused by these international fixtures to Max Allegri’s squad would pale in comparison to the damage inflected by the team upon itself.
So maybe – just maybe – this break could somehow leave a positive impact on the Bianconeri’s fortunes.
In recent weeks, the atmosphere within the club’s walls has become poisonous. Disastrous results, horrific performances, tensions between the players and the fans, confusion in the management… a perfect storm, to say the least.
Therefore, breaking away from this ambience should serve the players’ morale. For instance, Leonardo Bonucci endured a horrific week on a personal level following his actions in the post-match against Monza which prompted a massive backlash from the Ultras.
But on Friday, the veteran defender was at his finest level, producing a wonderful display at the back for Italy against England.
Moreover, the likes of Juan Cuadrado, Leandro Paredes and Dusan Vlahovic could also receive a major morale boost while on international duty.
So let’s hope that these players return to Continassa in different spirits and shake off the negativity that has been hunting this place for last month or so – even if salvaging the campaign requires more severe measures than a two-week trip.