Date: 2nd May 2018 at 11:27am
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Football – The Easy Life?

The season is almost over and it’s nearly time for the players to think about re-energising. Or is it? Most of our major players are Internationals and will be involved in the World Cup. They won’t get time to re-energise before that starts. When the World Cup ends it will be time to prepare for the next season. They won’t get time to re-energise before that starts either. Without a period of quiet reflection and relaxation it is difficult to see how players can recuperate from an arduous season and motivate themselves for a new campaign.

How much football can a body take without a partial or complete breakdown, or a loss of form? It’s probably at times like this that the obscene amount of money that the top players receive for plying their trade actually makes sense.

Football is just a part of the players’ lives. They have family, friends, and a social life, albeit restricted by the demands of being a professional footballer. The secret to a contented life is to strike the right balance between all of the things that matter to us. This is what safe-guards our mental health and promotes a sense of well-being which, in turn, allows us to do what we do, as well as we can. It’s the same for all of us.

Our International players have families and friends. How do the demands of football affect these relationships when they are unable to devote enough time to enjoy and sustain them. How many of us with more ‘normal’ lives could tolerate such ‘work’ demands at the expense of our personal needs?

The reality is that, despite coming to the end of an extremely demanding season, they will not enjoy any kind of break for another twelve months …. at least. No matter how much a person enjoys playing football that must seem to be a very daunting prospect …. and one that is almost impossible to manage!

Perhaps, whilst we get irate and become overly critical of a miss-placed pass, missed goal opportunity, or down a player for two or three poor games in a row, we should remember the complex demands on their lives and that they are simply trying to do the best they can … and entertain US!


23 Replies to “The Complex Demands Of A Footballers’ Life. No Time For Spurs Players To Relax.”

  • I do hope that you are not suggesting that Harry Kane and all, are human too GS?

  • Eriksen:

    “You have to learn how to cope physically and mentally, but I can handle the pressure and the demands because I live seven days a week for my job.

    “That is very tough for my girlfriend. Of course I would like to go out in the city with her and friends, but it just doesn’t fit in with playing in England.

    “Every three or four days I have to perform at the highest level and I have big ambitions and dreams to be a success here.”


    “Footballers cannot complain, we don’t have to travel that much, and our work days do not last that long,” the defender, currently out on international duty, told Belgium publication DH. “Usually we have to be at the club around 9am and we’re back home for 3pm. It’s a good life.

    “The negative point is that we rarely have several days off in a row.

  • HT …. I’m sure Harry’s not human. He’s a robot, programmed to score goals. Isn’t modern day technology awesome?

  • Geofspurs, great well written article, I agree with your thoughts, and if asked would I swap 15-17 years earning vast sums of money for 50 years of working and a reasonably great life, I would answer wholeheartedly YES! as I think many others would, doing something you took up as a hobby because you love it, then given the chance to earn so much money that it will affect/secure you and your families future, again I would say YES!

    Some would say its a chance/risk, but as I am a person who advises take any chances on offer because one day in the future you might regret it and say if only, if it fails at least you can say I tried.

    That all might sound complete gobbledegook but hey! that’s me. COYS

  • Agree with everything in the article. We sometimes forget players are humans too, and the lifestyle of their profession requires sacrifices. I’m not going to feel too sorry for them either, because a) they chose that life, b) they get to earn money to live their passion (and very few people actually get to earn money to do something they love) , c) they’re super well paid, and d) they only have to put up with that life for 10 or so years, after which they can just relax knowing that they’ll never have to work again, but I’m sure that in the middle of it and without the benefit of perspective, it can get tiring. Hang in there lads, you’ll be thankful for the sacrifices when you’re 35 or so.

  • Play for a top team and get very well paid indeed. Early 30s retire as a multimillionaire. Easy street for the next few decades. From that perspective it’s hard to feel to badly for these lads who don’t get much of a holiday this year with the WC and all. On the other side, however, is the extremely narrow focus for those few years when one is playing. Not much of a preparation for the rest of life, except financially. Little time in the present to reflect on life outside of footie, but decades afterwards when one doesn’t have to worry about paying the bills, if one invests well when the career continues.

  • Maybe it’s harder for the families of the players (partners, children) than the players themselves.

    There’s a huge difference between PL players and Division four (Notice how I just slipped in some history?) players …. in terms of rewards. And PL players have much greater demands and expectations on them to perform.

  • Funnily enough Geof, I think it might be harder for the League One players. They have to put up with roughly the same demanding schedule, and the same sacrifices in terms of social life (most League One footballers are professional footballers, just slightly less talented ones), but the get neither the fame nor the money.

  • BS … I agree; they don’t have the same expectations to achieve, but still have the work to do. It’s the love of the game, I guess. I’d do it! And now I’ve retired I’d have plenty of time to train. lol

  • Whilst I get the huge demands on the footballers, I once again bring this back to the governing bodies of football. It’s greed by the money men that dictate that the top leagues have 20 teams. It’s stupidity by the authorities that dictate that there isn’t a winter shutdown where players, managers and everyone involved at the club get much needed decompression time. It’s also stupid to have a mid-season transfer window open for 31 days when 7-10 days would suffice.

    I regularly see a League 2 manager at the gym on a Tuesday. We always have a chat and a laugh about what happened for his club on the weekend before. Tuesday has always been the football clubs day off but nowadays with so many games on different days (including now Sat evenings) the players must be all over the place with their family lives. That is another by product of the money men and also a huge burden on home and away fans.

    I also know a golf pro who teaches one of the highest profile English internationals who has had one of those indoor golf systems installed in his house. That’s the point Vertonghen is making. This player can finish training at 3pm and still have time to virtually play a few holes at Augusta. He can tell his swing speed, whether he fades or draws the ball and work with a pro to become a great golfer whilst having fun at the same time. That’s the high life he can lead.

    Also hearing today that FIFA are thinking of building some kind of 8 team mini World Cup called Super 8 in the odd years which includes a 24 team qualification period starting Oct / Nov. They have serious investors willing to fund 25 billion. That means for clubs like Spurs we will always have players away every summer plus of course the Jan / Feb ACON for other parts of some seasons.

    All in all, I believe the pressure on players will continue to grow in the coming years. As long as the money men get rich that’s all that seems to matter. It’s not about what is logical for either the fans or the players / staff at football clubs. That’s the lowest priority.

  • Nice to see vitalspurs back -where did it go i wonder? Anyhow,could I drive a lamborghini,have a silly haircut plus tatoos,kick a little ball around occasionally;then retire at the age of 32 to live in luxury & idleness for the rest of my life? Answers on a postcard please.

  • muttley …. Yes, good point, the game is completely dominated by ‘money grabbers’.

  • greavesaboveall please don’t give your address, I think you might be inundated. COYS

  • I wrote this because I started thinking that now the season is almost over the lads will be able to relax a bit. Then I remembered the World Cup. It’s going to be a long time between rests for most of our squad.

  • Geoff – true, but also think about the amount of the academy players we’re going to see in pre-season. That’s always exciting for some of us. Hopefully, we’ll have players like Winks and Wanyama getting fully fit plus others like Lamela, Moura and Aurier having a full pre-season with Poch.

    I reckon the following will be at the World Cup – Lloris, Trippier, Dier, Toby, Jan, Sanchez, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son and Kane. Not a bad team 🙂

    Not sure Rose, Winks, Moura or Sissoko will get the nod even though their countries are in Russia.

  • Rubbish article , try slogging your guts out for peanuts 6 days a week, these pampered panseys should try working for a living

  • Yes the players do need to have a physical and mental toughness to cope with the demands of a top football playing life. In return they get paid 5 lifetimes (or more!) of money that an ordinary working man gets in one lifetime. So while I do understand this point, players still need to get on with it, not complain, as they have the ability of skill to do this chosen line of work.

  • I have slogged my guts out for many, many years. (Not so much now). 25 years of which was over a 24/7 period, including bank holidays and Christmas. All for peanuts!

    But I don’t begrudge footballers their income or their lifestyle.

    I’d rather be poor and anonymous than have my every waking minute scrutinised and judged by know-it-all idiots like me, 24/7.

    Money, doesn’t give you freedom as a footballer, anymore than peanuts does, working in a factory. It doesn’t lesson the pressure either. It more than likely increases it.

    This is part of what Geof is alluding to, I believe.

    The money doesn’t make you a great player. That’s where hard work and dedication comes in and the unnerring ability to focus as young boys and young men, in the glare of the worlds spotlight.

    This is not the case for the majority of players (at pro clubs) from 16 years old, on. Most of them don’t make it. Often, in spite of their talents.

    The pressure to succeed is often too much for them. And. the normal distractions of youth are somewhat increased for some. Not diminished.

    This is not about feeling sorry for the ones that do make it. I don’t. I’ve no reason to. But I do know that regardless of money, the pressure on them is enormous. And this is always relative to the world we all operate in. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Dustman, Sportsman.

    Poor or wealthy, humans can still be vulnerable. Still breakdown, get depressed and feel lonely or whatever. On the other hand, I’m poor but I’m good. I’m doing all right.

    If I had my every move followed and criticised at work and in my free time. If I couldn’t just go for a walk without the attention of a crowd, I’d be miserable…… And along with this, vast wealth, notoriety and celebrity, etc., it can trap you, not free you. Money alone can do this, even without the fame.

    Of course some will relish it whilst others do not. They just wanna play football…

    Swings and roundabouts… And, money never did buy me love.

    But I would still dig a mansion in the country man, nevertheless!

  • Of course most of what Geof is saying was simply that being a top footballer at the top or your game, really is not as easy as many seem to think it is..

    … Likewise with winning the PL, trophies, Golden Boots, etc.

  • A footballers’ life is a very limited period, too. Only a very few can remain in the sport and move into the areas of training and management when they stop kicking balls around, the rest have to start to build another life with few skills to call on. That, I should imagine, is tough.

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