Many Premier League players have been busy representing their countries in international matches over the past two weeks. However, for those who have been left behind, what do they do with their rare time off?
According to former Aston Villa star Gabby Agbonlahor, who co-hosts talkSPORT, he did what most twenty-something-year-olds with a decent wage would do when given some time off. He said that a lot of players would book a trip to Dubai as soon as they found out the schedule. However, there were travel limits, and some managers would say that players couldn’t go to certain continents.
Agbonlahor preferred to make his own plans rather than being told what to do. He recalled a funny story when he was playing under Martin O’Neill in 2008 and doing really well. O’Neill wanted him to rest and forgot to tell Stuart Pearce. Agbonlahor was on the beach in Dubai, while Pearce was fuming. The news said he had gone AWOL. When he got back, he felt a bit jet-lagged, but after a day or so, he was fine.
Under Paul Lambert, Agbonlahor went to Miami with Jordan Bowery, who is now at Mansfield. On the way back, their flight was delayed for four hours. They were working out the times, knowing they weren’t going to make it, so they were thinking of excuses. But Agbonlahor decided to be honest and say the flight was delayed. They got to training at 12 pm, and it had started at 10 am. The players were walking off the training pitch, but Lambert was just laughing, saying it was going to be an expensive one. It cost Agbonlahor £10,000 in cash and £10,000 out of his wages. It was less for Bowery as he was on less.
Overall, while some footballers may take extravagant trips during their international breaks, others prefer to relax and enjoy their time off in their own way.