International break could check Everton momentum

Yerry Mina might become the latest Everton player to fall victim to the injury curse according to stories emerging from South America.

The Colombian centre-back didn’t play in his country’s last international fixture, while his compatriot and Everton team mate James Rodriguez played the whole match.

The reason for his absence was due to ‘discomfort in his thigh’, which probably means a muscle problem of some sort. This could be a significant issue, or maybe not. it’s a problem he’s had before but without further details it’s hard to know how serious it is.

At least his absence from the last Colombia game meant he didn’t do anything more to the thigh and the muscles involved.

Other players who were struggling with injury seem to be on the mend and that’s good news as the return of the Premier League looms.

However, does all this additional football, the possibility of yet more injuries together with the inevitable toll that extensive travel involves, mean the the international break will in fact check the Blues early-season momentum?

Everton have been in scintillating form since the season started and have found a new level of attacking quality and confidence.

The Toffees have been playing with a freedom and creative flair we haven’t seen for a very long time. The goals have been flying in and the Blues have made their best start to a league season since the fabled 1969-70 championship winning campaign.

Given all that, this series of international games was about the last thing Everton needed at the moment and with so many players away in various countries and continents the ever-present fear of fresh injury problems is never far away.

Even if all these players return from their various sojourns fully fit, the travel might also induce a degree of jadedness as well.

This could be more significant than usual because the turnaround between last season and this is so uniquely short due to the Covid crisis.

The longer-term impact of this short turnaround on the fitness of players is hard to gauge and so any additional pressures might have a bigger impact than normal on the performance of the side.

Usually over the past few campaigns these international breaks have been a welcome breather for Evertonians, during a season full of stress and often seemingly relentless bad news!

Now things are different and for a change Toffees fans didn’t want the season to stop. Despite how well the Blues have been playing, any significant injuries or even just players tired and jaded, could have a major impact on the team’s effectiveness in the next few weeks and throughout the campaign.

Of course, it’s not just Everton who have to deal with lots of players away on international duty but it’s more significant for the Blues than many other clubs. That’s because there’s a feeling that there are still question marks to be answered over the reliability of the reserve squad players.

There’s a big derby game coming up next, which will surely test how far that progress is embedded and how resilient the side is. It might also give an early indication of whether the break has undermined the Blues hard won momentum.