Ben Burgess column: Breaks are beneficial if players behave

Pep Guardiola may be less enamoured of Sergio Aguero after his Amsterdam adventures
Pep Guardiola may be less enamoured of Sergio Aguero after his Amsterdam adventures

Last week’s result was definitely not how Gary Bowyer would have envisioned his side entering the international break.

After such a tremendous start to the season, the Seasiders have started to stall slightly, with just one point from a possible nine.

The one good thing to come from the defeat at Roots Hall to Southend was the fact that the infamous Nile Ranger didn’t score!

Ranger certainly seemed pumped up for the game in his pre-match interviews.

There’s no doubt about his feeling towards the club and its owners.

At least there was a chance for some of the fringe players to get a run out in the cup victory over Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, though.

The break this weekend will be of extra benefit for Blackpool because they don’t currently have a squad of great depth or strength, so they will be able to give some of their main players a few days’ rest and allow them to feel fresh for the next onslaught of games.

What those players choose to do with their days off is a whole other ball game.

We all saw how Sergio Aguero chose to spend his one day off a couple of weeks ago.

He hopped on a plane to Amsterdam to hang out with his pop star friend at a gig.

Unfortunately for him, the driver of his taxi back to the airport took a wrong turn and smashed into a pole, resulting in one star striker having one broken rib. Next thing you know, it’s worldwide news.

His manager Pep Guardiola seemed to take it all in his strid but I’m sure deep down he would have been wondering what on earth was going on.

Footballers and sportspeople in general can be a law unto themselves when given any sort of time off.

Plenty of players have fallen into addictions and bad habits from having every afternoon off, so when there are suddenly two or three consecutive days’ break over an international weekend anything could happen.

We saw England cricket star Ben Stokes spend some time off by getting drunk and having a ‘brawl’, and Wayne Rooney had quite an eventful first weekend after international retirement.

I recall the weekends off in my early career involved me heading to see my best friend in London and spending two days ‘socialising’.

By the end of my career, I began to realise that you have to look after your body if you want to maximise your time in football.

Rest and recovery are a vital part of being a sportsman and the majority of players are beginning to learn (slowly).

I won’t mention the name of the player at a former club who came back from three days off 7lbs heavier!

Children in my school were even happier than normal last week.

We were one of a few schools to receive an amazing sports package from the Premier League.

A lot has been said and written about the vast amounts of money sloshing around in England’s top division but the Premier League is making a real effort to interact with schools, aid the push to fight obesity and encourage activity in the youth of today.

We were the recipients of 15 Nike footballs, four pop- up goals, bibs, cones and an abundance of online resources.

Any little thing that can make exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle more appealing to children is a great help, and both the boys and girls couldn’t wait to try out the new equipment.

It appears that kicking these new Nike Premier League balls makes your shots swerve like Cristiano Ronaldo. If only I’d got to play with them in my career!