Former Swansea City star Lee Trundle reckons that international football has been a factor in the club’s very disappointing season.
The Swans now boast a squad full of international players, with the likes of Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Lukasz Fabianski, Ki Sung-Yueng, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew all regulars for their respective countries.
I think success with their countries may have come at a cost to club form.
I’m sure it’s not deliberate, and players might not even realise it, but switching focus between two different challenges is difficult. And it must be especially hard to go from celebrating a fantastic achievement like Euro qualification to battling it out at the beginning of a Premier League campaign.
I’m convinced that club form suffered after some of the squad enjoyed such success with their countries. And it is not just the mental drain players might have endured. The physical demands of playing so many games and doing that much travelling also have to be taken into account. It is difficult for that not to affect performance.
Some of Swansea’s key players are all part of international set-ups and travelling to all parts of the world must take its toll, as Trundle said.
But obviously, big clubs are forced to deal with this as much as anyone else, so if the Swans are to strive for bigger things in the future, this is a problem that we simply have to deal with.
This is probably where squad depth plays a part, and Swansea haven’t got a lot of that after incomprehensive transfer windows of late.