Less than 4 months remain before the first matches for the World Cup in Qatar are held. At 13:00 of Nov 21 Senegal face the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium, England takes on Iran at 16:00 at Khalifa International, the official curtain will be drawn at 19:00 when the hosts Qatar go against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium, while the U.S.A. and Wales will fight it out at 22:00 at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium. This is the schedule for the first day.
The extra ordinary circumstances that surround this edition of the greatest competition in football, have already caused a number of problems. For the bettors this is actually a good thing, as it opens up a whole new set of possibilities for the world cup odds offered by the top brands of the industry. There are too many unpredictable parameters to account for and that ejects the level of excitement through the roof.
Problem #1: The Clubs:
It is no secret that the footballers are considered as assets for the clubs. Great amounts of money have been invested to include them in their rosters. The possibility of losing such players to injury during the tournament, according to the owners of the teams, is a damage that cannot be covered through the compensations paid by the organizers. If they could, they would not allow their investments to be risked. It’s the players themselves that want to participate and it is them that need to prepare as best they can. Their concern is two-fold: to build up their name and their value to the transfer market.
Problem #2: The Coaches:
Those that will have the chance to show up at the pitches in Qatar, must be at their best. Which means that the headache for the managers is how to balance the needs of the footballers and their national teams, to be in shape in November, while avoiding the chance of an injury before the tournament begins. The practice followed on this, is to have them play 50-to-60-minute matches. Supposedly, it keeps them fresh while reducing the chance of an unfortunate incident. Which begs the question if it indeed is enough to do the job.
The second problem for the trainers is the inability to form game plans. Each team is supposed to lay down a master game style during the preparation stage at the beginning of each season. A style that is heavily dependent on the players in the roster. When any number of critical footballers are not there to support it, then the options get severely limited.
Problem #3: The players themselves:
As most of the local leagues have not yet begun, many footballers seek to sign even smaller contracts at lesser teams, as long as they can have adequate playing time under the belt, to properly prepare themselves for the World Cup. The consideration is that the 2 months that will have passed between the time that a local league gets under way and the gathering of the national teams for the preparation for the tournament, will not be enough for them to get in shape. It is a logical doubt if the fact that for many players it takes more than 3 to 4 months to get in full form for a local league, as well as the fact that the training is organized in such a way that the teams can perform at the fullest towards the end of the season, where it will make a difference.
Considering that the period for transfers is not yet over and there are pending signups to be made, it would seem that the time available is cut even shorter. It is a well-known fact that poorly prepared athletes do not just run the risk of not performing to the best of their abilities. They also endanger themselves for muscle injuries. Yet another peculiar circumstance to be attached to a tournament that has already been the result of a number of controversies.