Round-up: The International Break and Your Club
Yes! Football is back! No, sorry, it never left…
Here is a round up of all the winners and the losers of the just concluded international break. How your favourite players fared and how it benefits your club:
Diogo Dalot: Winner
Although Portugal failed when it mattered the most, losing out on the final four of the Nation’s league even though they needed just a draw to qualify, Dalot was the most stand out performer in the first game against Czech, bagging a brace and a clean sheet in their 4:0 victory, albeit sitting out the 1:0 loss against Spain.
A truly passionate story has peaked in the case of the midfield maestro, scoring a worldie in Denmark’s 2:1 defeat against Croatia, and putting in a “man of the match” performance in a 2:0 win over the world Champions, France.
Adding salt to injury, Harry Maguire returned from a devastating time with The Three Lions with a short-term injury ruling him out the Manchester Derby. Having ghosted in his side’s abysmal showing in the defeat to Italy, He went on to start against fan’s fury and produced his worst performance in an English jersey Being directly responsible for two goals and doing close to nothing else as his side drew 3:3 against a Germany side who were below par on the Night.
Manchester United would appreciate the turn out of the international break, having seen the spine of the team not affected by any major injuries and morale boosting performances for essential players in the team.
Kai Havertz: Winner
Coming of the bench in the shock loss to Hungary, Havertz couldn’t do much to influence proceedings, but the 23-year-old contributed 2 goals, one of which rivals would applaud in Germany’s 3:3 draw versus England, let’s not mention Maguire. Havertz has done himself a lot of good, as Graham Potter would be watching his choices for a starting berth as his reign begins proper.
Reece James: Winner
Starting both games for Gareth Southgate and showing his consistency and reliability at RWB. Potter heard his message loud and clear, especially keeping Trent and Trippier out of the first team and adding an assist in the second game.
Christian Pulisic: Loser
Arguably the worst player on the pitch in the USMNT game vs Saudi Arabia. A game that ended in a dour 0:0 draw, after sitting out the first game against Japan. Captain America has a long way to go to make good on his place on the Chelsea bench before he can think of being an avenger.
Graham Potter would be satisfied from what he has seen from his boys, with other players like Jorginho, Connor Gallagher and Levi Colwill doing well in their respective National teams.
With 2 goals and 2 assists across two games, Raphinha has established himself as the starting LWF for the Seleção, sending Antony to the bench for both games and probably the World Cup.
This performance would only help him in his race to secure a starting berth at his club.
Kounde, Christensen, Araujo: Losers
All three center backs were injured during the international break at France, Denmark and Spain respectively, leaving Barcelona extremely light at the back. With Araujo having undergone a surgery, the earliest return date for any of them is
Memphis Depay: Loser.
The Dutchman got injured in the Netherlands’ first game and his return date is uncertain. Adding to a growing list of injuries at Barcelona.
La Blaugrana are the hardest hit of all Elite clubs from the international break, Suffering 6 injuries to the first team members.
The gunners had an outstanding international break with Key men either not being invited, being benched and those that played did well.
The only notable story from the Reds camp is Trent Alexander-Arnold being out of the English team for both games, not that this has much effect on his place in the team or his quality.
All in all, the team had a satisfactory break.
The next international break is at QATAR, between now and November 13, Club football will peak, the teasing phase is over, the business heats up!