Will footballers be mentally ready for summer return?
Manager David Moyes says West Ham United will be "physically and mentally" ready for the return of the Premier League, but is that realistic?
The sporting world has ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic and it is still unclear when the European leagues will return to action.
The postponement of Euro 2020 has given the authorities some breathing space to prolong the campaign when given the green light to resume, and it seems likely play will go on until right up to the end of June.
Some clubs have given players time off as their training facilities are closed down, while others are still operating light sessions, with the Hammers set to begin working outside in the near future.
All of the club’s training sites have undergone deep cleans and it is now just a waiting game to see how the virus continues to spread throughout the land and world.
— West Ham Football (@westhamfootball) March 18, 2020
These are unprecedented times for football although Scottish tactician Moyes has made it clear he and his staff will work tirelessly to make sure they hit the ground running when given the nod.
“While we will not play until next month at the earliest, it is my job as manager to ensure our players are physically and mentally ready to return to the pitch, as and when the Premier League decree it is right and safe to do so,” he said.
Clubs will doubtless be given plenty of warning as to when the leagues will begin again and physically the players should be fine.
While it is true that there may be a lack of match sharpness, it will not take too long to get up to speed. However, it is the mental side of things that may be tougher.
Having enjoyed the first ever Premier League winter break in February, they will possibly have had another two or three months of inaction during what is usually the business end of the campaign.
It will be alien for the stars to be plying their trade domestically in the summer and there are still many serious issues to be sorted out.
There will be no time for West Ham to ease themselves back in, with their parlous situation in the top flight.
Out of the relegation zone on goal difference alone, the London Stadium outfit cannot afford a lacklustre restart, with Chelsea due to visit on April 5.
Players may be working towards that game but rumours persist that the postponement will be for considerably longer and it is anyone’s guess as to who their next opponents might be.