ROBERTO Martinez has called for “common sense” to be applied to future international breaks – and for the wishes of club managers to be taken into account as well as national coaches.
Martinez has just bid farewell to several of his players, and will spend the next week or so keeping his fingers crossed all come back unscathed in time to resume Premier League duty on Saturday week.
As well as a couple of high-stakes World Cup qualifying matches, Martinez’s men will also be clocking up the air miles – with destinations as varied as Cuba and Kazakhstan.
That means preparing for Wigan’s next match –the small matter of a clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford – is somewhat problematic.
And the Spaniard accepts the current situation is far from ideal.
“I appreciate it’s very difficult to balance the demands of club managers and international managers,” Martinez acknowledged.
“And I’m not someone who, because I’m a club manager, only looks at it from one point of view.
“Of course, I can see it is a real advantage to have your players representing their national teams on the world stage.
“I just feel that a little bit of common sense could be applied to the situation.
“Anyone can see that when a played only arrives back at their club on a Friday night, there is no way that he can then play for his club on a Saturday at 3pm.
“Unfortunately, that is an issue that rears its head every time we have an international break. Even when the games are played on Tuesday, in some time zones that is already Wednesday, it’s such a long journey that they only arrive back on a Friday night.
“Then they have not trained with the group, they have jet lag, and it’s impossible to expect them to perform to the best of their ability.”
Possible solutions to the problem have been short in supply, although Martinez believes there could be merit in switching the whole round of fixtures following an international break to the following Sunday or even Monday night. “It is a difficult situation, because I understand national managers need time with their players before games, and in qualification for big tournaments you can’t leave anything to chance,” he added.
“I just think it should be something where every team is treated exactly the same.
“We must find a way of making sure that there is at least three days between a player arriving back and his next game for his club.
“There needs to be a little bit of flexibility in ensuring the players have more recovery time.”