Arsenal in a world cup for club teams?

by Walter Broeckx

I’m not a big fan of international football. Well, maybe that’s an understatement as I think it cost us the title this season with the injury from Robin Van Persie. When I was watching the world cup today I was wondering:  if the world cup would be played with club teams  would it make a big difference? And I think it could bring some benefit for football.

The only thing that we would miss is maybe the fact that there would be no national anthems before the games but for those who like national anthems this could be fixed as the teams that would play would represent the league of their country and thus if Arsenal would play they could perform the English anthem as Arsenal would represent England and the EPL. So no problem for this.

But how would we select the teams? I would suggest that each continent would send out the teams which would have the best score in their respective champions league over the last 4 years. And this would make the champions league games even more important and would also mean that all the teams in the champions league would have to try harder to win their games and not speculate on a draw and park the bus in front of goal. Because a draw that looks a good thing at first could mean that at the end of the 4 year they would miss the world cup. So I think this could encourage all teams to go all out in an attacking mind and bring more spectacular football. So a first advantage would be that teams should come out to win their games.

Because the players will not have to play for their national teams any more this would mean that they can play fewer games in a season.  I think for most of the big team players it would mean some 5 up to 10 goals less. And as we have seen so many times it also would mean less injuries for those players.  So a second advantage would be that players would get less injuries and could stay fitter.

The season would become less long. The dates that are now kept free for international football could be filled with the normal league games and this would mean that players get more rest in the season (see advantage 2) and they also would get more rest after the season.

At present we have at least 3 breaks in a season for international games in which most of the players play 2 games for their country in a week. If we wouldn’t have those breaks,  I think  we could end the season around the first weekend in may, or even the last weekend of april and then play the cup final and the champions league final and so from about half way through May the players would have a good rest before they restart the season around half July. This would be completely different for the players and would give them more rest. Advantage number 3 is a good summer holiday for all the players.

Now when the season stops the national teams come out and they start preparing a world cup/European championship/confederations cup. And this preparation takes about a month, then the world cup takes another month and when this is finished players have to start the preparation of the new season. But if the club teams played you wouldn’t need any extra preparation time because the players know each other and don’t have to get used to each other like they now do with the national team. So we could start the world cup immediately after the season around half may and this would mean that the world cup could end half June and the players would have at least a month free even in a world cup year. So my advantage number 4 would be that even in world cup year the players would get time to recover and again this would have as a result that there would be less injuries.

It would also mean that when a player gets an injury the manager of the team would be in charge and look after the health of the player. Now it can happen that a player who is only half fit is put on the field by the coach of his national team. He could get more seriously injured and this could mean trouble for the club that has to pay his wages. But when he gets an injury when playing for his own club team it is part of the job and the manager doesn’t have to sit in front of his TV and fear the worst for his players and his team. He will stay in control and will not get his player back injured by having played for another coach and team.

It also could mean that the national leagues benefit from this. The teams that would participate and represent the league they play in, earn money for their FA. Just as the national federations get money from their national team. So money-wise they would not lose money but it should be made clear that the money they receive should be invested in youth development.

The money should not be invested in big projects or a new headquarter where the big guys from the national federations would sit in wealth but new training grounds should be installed where the youth can practice and play games. This should be controlled by Fifa and if they break those rules the teams of that country should be banned. So the money that could be won should not go to the club directly but it should become an advantage for the whole football world in that country. In fact it should be that the clubs and the players play for the honour and not for the money. I know a very old fashioned word so I just repeat it : honor. Are there be any players out there who know this word?

And another advantage would be that it brings the world more together than it does now. Now if a country wins the world cup there is a party in one country. And the rest of the world would look in anger/disbelief/envy/or whatever emotion you can think of.

But any club team that would win the world cup would bring a worldwide outburst of joy. Let us take Arsenal it would mean that there would be joy in England, Spain, Holland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Russia, Cameroon, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Morocco and who knows which other country and then we forget that there are many fans in other countries who have no player in the team for the moment but who will celebrate just the same. I can take almost any other club team in the world and it would mean there would be joy in many countries.

And by doing this, football could bring more joy all over the world with a world cup instead of just joy in one country.  Football could bring the world together instead of dividing it.

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17 Replies to “Arsenal in a world cup for club teams?”

  1. I really should stop writing articles late in the evening so I wont make mistakes like this:
    “I think for most of the big team players it would mean some 5 up to 10 goals less.”

    Please read in this sentence the word “goals” as “games”. So it should be 5 or 10 games less in a season. What a mistake to make. 😉

  2. It’s a terrific idea. I’m not a big fan of international football myself. But we both know it ain’t gonna happen…….atleast not anytime in the near future….

  3. I dont agree. World cup is the apex of football. Its the place where legends are created. We already hav too many club competitions. And I love the fact that the world cup comes once is 4 years. It increases its value. And for any player winning the world cup is more important than winning the champions league.

  4. Dark Prince I really, really disagree. Most players would prefer to win the Champions League rather than the World Cup. It’s much harder to win and they play for their clubs every week and are looked after as opposed to the National team where they play rarely.

  5. Siddhant, yes because it reduces the power of the national federations and brings more power to the clubs.
    Therefore I included the financial bit where the national federations would benefit (indirect) from the money.

    But I know it would need a massive change of mind in the heads of most people. But for the players and the clubs this would be a thing that they would benefit from.

  6. Dark prince, if the world cup would be played with club teams and not with country teams it still would be the world cup. So I think for players it would be the same.

    It just demands a massive change of mind. But look at the biggest cycling event the Tour de France. In the old days it used to be a race and the teams were formed by country. But then they have changed it and now they do it in the team they work for the rest of the year. And I can tell you that winning the Tour de France is much more valued than winnen the world title.

    And in the race for the world champion you always get troubles with people who serv their sponsor and help someone from another country. But that is something specific in cycling.

  7. I don’t think they will ever give up the gravy train associated with International football, no matter how appealing a World Cup of club teams could be…. However how about a mini league from each Nation structured like this.
    Manager of winning team in each league gets to pick one player from each of the teams in the league. Plays against other like formed teams in an European (who’s the strongest league) competition.
    Funds raised to go to grass roots Football or a charity for the victims of Kaka headbuts?
    Oh and for all you world cup wingers out there, sometimes playing in the shirt of your country brings out performances above your humble abilities….c’mon the All Whites…!!!
    Oh and introduce a rule that a 0-0 draw gets Nil points…. in every league, so if you don’t score you effectively lose…

  8. I have said the last bit a few times myself, kiwigooner. I think this would the answer to a lot of crap football.

    I must say that I realise that there always be a world cup but we could change the way it is played and by doing this we sould bring benefit to the players who will have more rest than they have now. And I think all medical experts agree that the more games you play, the more you risk an injury and that giving rest to the players is almost as important as good practicing.

  9. Andy – I disagree with you. Ask any player what is the most important achievement for a footballer? And it would be to win the world cup for their country. In world cup you play with national pride. You play with players that are born in your country rather than bought from different clubs. Thats why its harder to win the world cup. That is what seperates brazil from a club like chelsea. You cannot buy your way into world cup. And players value that. Thats why you can see how much disappointed players are when they miss out on their national squad for a world cup.

  10. Walter – if clubs start playin for country then the meaning of world cup would entirely change . Then no player will play for a club of different country because of national pride. Thats why we have champions league. You cannot play club for country.

  11. Here’s my idea, a massive rethink of domestic leagues and int’l football:

    Cut 1st division leagues to about 14 teams, to increase quality and cut back on boring games. Add another european club tournament for teams that finish 7-10 or so, to replace the revenue for the lost matches. That’d give the 11-14 teams a bit of an advantage in staying up though, since they’d have fewer games. Tweak the Champions league to reduce the terrible group stage. I’d even like to see a club tournament for the top 2nd division teams, to close the revenue gap with the top division, and to fully prepare those teams for the top league.

    In summary: add a european club tournament, but tweak it so that the games are more competitive. reduce the overall number of games, especially in the champs league.

    With fewer games, there’d be room on the schedule for a club world cup in the summer. The quadrennial summer schedule would look something like:

    year 1: World cup
    year 2: euros + asian int’l champ tourney
    year 3: club world cup
    year 4: Afrian cup of Nations, copa americas

    qualification for the club wc would be automatic for any continental champs league winner. The rest would be made up by some complicated formula which would probably insure that the usual suspects all make it.

    tweak as necessary to make the revenue numbers satisfy all the main interests to some degree.

    anyway, fun to think about.

  12. I think it should read thats how the world club championship should be played perhaps.

  13. I don’t get to many away games, but I try and keep my away credits balance at around five in case we get to a cup final by schlepping up north to places like Stoke and Wigan. Frankly, the notion that this team can get anywhere near Wembley, let alone the host city of the Champions League final, is laughable on the evidence of Sunday’s debacle. I felt embarrassed and even ashamed to be an Arsenal fan yesterday, such was the craven capitulation that we witnessed at the DW stadium. The end of this season is becoming nightmarish – the humiliation in the Nou Camp, the loss at Tottenham, the amount of players going down with season ending injuries and now the real prospect of being overtaken by Tottenham and possibly even Manchester City. (Can you see where the next win is coming from? I can’t).
    I never, ever want to see Lukasz Fabianski wear an Arsenal shirt again. I understand that Almunia had a wrist injury yesterday, which we have to take at face value. If he is still out come Saturday then we need to see Vito Mannone in goal, as Fabianski looks like a nervous breakdown in a goalkeeper’s jersey. Quite what Arsène ever saw in him is beyond me – they’re aren’t many goalkeepers out there nowadays who are under six foot tall and can’t catch a football. I suspect that the lad himself would prefer to move on somewhere where he’ll be out of the spotlight and that’s fine with me.
    It’s not in my nature to criticise the team, the manager and the club, but shipping three goals in the final ten minutes against a team who looked there for the taking is not acceptable, not at Arsenal Football Club. As Kevin says, the club have historically had a reputation for being resilient, tenacious and stoic in times of adversity – think back to the 1971 Double team and more recently George Graham’s sides. What we saw yesterday was a bunch effete show ponies proving themselves incapable of closing out a game against a poor side who were losing by two goals. It’s not on. For all Sol’s hard work and character we have two gormless fullbacks who flatter to deceive, as well as another centre half who is well past it. Vermaelen may have made a difference yesterday, but not even the Belgian could have prevented Abou Diaby from giving up as he did not their first goal. Poor Craig Eastmond looked out of his depth, but he’s a young a lad playing his first few games for the club and there are other players far more culpable. The manager is ranting and raving now, but why no Robin Van Persie? The best player currently available for selection was introduced in injury time. A truly baffling decision. Wenger has never been, nor will he ever be, a master tactician and I cannot recall him ever making a tactical substitution with more than 30 minutes remaining.
    I’m sick of losing games at soulless identikit stadia on the edge of retail parks somewhere in the godforsaken north. I’m sick of gurning locals leering at me after the game as we head back to London. I’m sick of seeing Coco the bleedin’ clown wear the same jersey as legendary names like Bob Wilson, Pat Jennings, David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. I’m sick of this team ruining my weekend and making me so wound up I have difficulty sleeping. And I’m sick of forking out £1,300 a year to watch this collection of overpaid ingrates ruin the traditions of a club that my family have supported for four generations.
    On the way back down the motorway I was listening to 5Live and the execrable Spoony’s 606 phone-in. One bloke was calling for Wenger to be sacked: I don’t think that will help. But if he is to be offered a new contract he needs to invest some money in a new goalkeeper, two new centre halves, (three if Gallas leaves), another striker to compliment Van Persie and Bendtner and ideally a new right back. If the money the club consistently say is available to spend is not used this Summer then I don’t think Arsène Wenger should be offered a new deal and we’ll have to think about rebuilding the team, even if that means saying goodbye to Cesc and Robin Van Persie. To borrow a phrase from the general election campaigning, we can’t go on like this

  14. I can assure you, if Arsenal win, atleast 100 000 Indians would rejoice, me included.

  15. I think someone should notice summitgunner that he has been in some kind of coma for a few months.
    Would he now the world cup is almost halfway ? 😉

  16. Perhaps it is time for you to stand for election and guarantee that you will ban for all time any top club and/or official engaged in match fixing, including telling its players in national teams not to try at the World Cup?

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