England's friendly against Brazil has once again highlighted the argument of whether these non-competitive games should be played, given the disruption to club football that they cause.
The FA are celebrating their 150th anniversary and are rightly wanting a high-profile game to showcase this landmark. Who can blame them for this? But would a scheduled World Cup qualifier not be suitable enough or is this another money-making scheme designed to recoup some of the money paid for the new Wembley?
The problem for many supporters is that their club is much more important than their country. Allegiances to clubs are ingrained and passed down through families. They are part of a supporters life. Yes, your country is very important, particularly for those of us who are patriotic, but who deep down would rather their club won the Premier League over England winning the World Cup? How many of us would travel the length and breadth of the country week in week out to support England like we do our clubs?
Managers are always quick to pull players out of internationals, especially at the slightest sign of a niggling injury. How many of us are happy that this happens, especially if it is our star player? A managers priority is to their club after all. Managers could do without players travelling the globe when time can be better spent on the training ground preparing for the next league match. Some entire squads could be missing especially for the top Premier League clubs.
Players, however, will be very proud to be selected to play for their country, and rightly so. They strive to represent their country for their whole careers. It also reflects well on the club itself, so a fine balance has to be made.
I have been pondering the club versus country debate for some time now and believe that the Premier League has spoiled many supporters for a long time. It is fast and furious, constantly supplying action to very demanding supporters who pay high prices to see the very best players in the world performing at their peak.
International matches on the other hand are played, in general, at a slower pace and by players who we do not feel the same connection with. England fans, particularly, are constantly disappointed by performances and results whereas in club football disappointment doesn’t last long as games come thick and fast.
Do we no longer believe in our England players anymore given that English world-class players are few and far between? And do we feel that there is no longer the desire from highly paid players to play for England given the obvious high-profile glory on offer at club level?
They are paid by their clubs and perhaps feel that this is where their allegiances should lie. Or do we as fans believe that England's realistic chances of winning any tournament are slim so struggle to find any optimism?
What do you think? Get in touch, leave a comment and have your say.
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