290 Football Boots for the World Cup

England physio reveals the secrets of England’s boot room and calls for a Winter break from tradition.

Football BootsEngland physio Gary Lewin has revealed in a behind the scenes insight into the England World Cup boot room, that the team took 290 pairs of football boots with them to the last years tournament in Germany.

That’s 12 pairs of football boots per man in the squad – some were more well worn (Beckham, Lampard) than others (Walcott, Jenas) but that is a separate discussion.Lewin revealed the statistic when he took a group of coaches back to Germany last week, and voiced his opinion that a winter break for the English game is more needed now, than ever before. The long season, domestic and European campaigns and traditional post-Christmas fixture congestion are all taking their toll on players’ fitness, performance and injury levels.

Lewin also points out that across Europe the rate of injuries before Christmas is quite similar, but in the second half of the season, players in the English leagues are four times more likely to be injured than those with a winter break.

So what is stopping the change? The influence of the FA Cup, especially from January until the Final, remains large and will need to be tackled by the FA who need to see the effect that the break-less season is having on performances of the England team.

With talk of a possible overhauling of the domestic league, and FIFA trying to schedule a world football calendar, the Winter break may soon become a welcome respite for players. But can the commercial influences be overcome and will the fans accept their heroes enjoying a month long break in the middle of a season?

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