The notion of a post-World Cup hangover isn’t exactly new. After such a high pressure and emotional experience representing their respective countries, it seems understandable that those involved in major tournaments would go through a bit of a mental drop off.
Usually when players return to their clubs, they would have a month or two to regather themselves and edge themselves back into competitive action before the Premier League action gets underway once more. The class of 2022 won’t be given that privilege, though, and as they return from Qatar, they will be expected to leave the tournament in the rear view mirror and jump straight back into domestic action.
That will be the challenge facing Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen, who have all now returned to Thorp Arch following their World Cup efforts. The trio were given time away from Yorkshire to partially recuperate and their workloads will be managed appropriately over the next week or so.
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That means Marsch is unlikely to call on the trio for the friendly game against Real Sociedad on Friday and it remains to be seen whether they’ll have a role to play against AS Monaco on Wednesday night. However, the head coach will be doing all he can to make sure they’re ready for the restart on December 28 against Manchester City, with the exception of Adams, who is suspended for the contest.
This winter’s challenges have been unique and Marsch recognises that, but he’s also relishing the opportunity to provide mental support and guidance to all three as they bid to settle themselves back into the swing of the Premier League.
“The standard throughout the teams and leagues I’ve worked with is that three weeks after the international break in the summer is the required time for players to have a good mental and physical recharge time,” Marsch told NBC Sports. “We’re not giving three weeks to our guys, we’re giving 10 days.
“It’s obviously a very different World Cup with what the demands are and everything else, but we are aware of the fact that not just the last weeks, the last months, it required a big commitment from these players to mentally prepare for the biggest moments in their careers. I think Tyler Adams performed incredibly well in the tournament, I think Brenden Aaronson did well and Rasmus Kristensen.
“We’re a little bit lucky that we only had three players. We play Manchester City coming out of the break and they had all but three players, so it will be a little bit different preparation for Leeds United than it will for Man City. When I was at Leipzig one year it was after the Euros and there was a little bit of a hangover from that, but for all of these high level players to commit 100 per cent to their clubs and they’re often playing at big clubs, and then 100 per cent to their national teams where the expectations are high at different moments, it’s a big demand for a 24 or 25-year-old player.
“It’s key for us as leaders to recognise that and help them through the process and support them through the toughest moments when the spotlights are big. This is what the job is and this is the part I enjoy, almost mentoring rather than coaching.”
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