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Club vs Country: The ongoing struggle

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You've heard the arguments between club and international managers escalate in recent years, with players pulling out of playing for their country due to an increasing array of suspicious injuries.

Groin strains, illness and hamstring troubles are all bad enough to keep a player out of an international double-header before they make a miraculous recovery just in time to return for their club at the weekend.

And even if the international side prevail in their attempt to persuade a player to join the squad for a few days, why should they have to?

This may sound like a broken record, but playing for your national side should be a privilege not a chore, and it is a privilege that has lost all prestige in the ever-changing money obsessed world of professional football.

Players such as Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes to name but a few, have turned their back on their England careers while still in their prime, in favour of club commitments.

Although it is obviously the club that pays the players' wages and to extend your club career is to extend your years of earning, but with all the millions of pounds footballers are paid nowadays, surely they can sacrifice a little to gain international honours.

The ever-changing availability of English players must cause havoc when it comes to current boss Roy Hodgson, and indeed the coaches before him, selecting their squads.

The coach is forced to select from who is available rather than focusing on choosing the players who are in the best form in a situation that will continue to hamstring the national side for years to come if nothing changes.

The media furore when England inevitably fall short at international tournaments could be avoided by having the best team available to Hodgson and giving him the best opportunity to create a squad that can compete at the very top.

Players in the past have reacted badly to being overlooked once or twice by declaring their intention to not be considered for selection, but look at nations like Spain and you'll see how ludicrous that sounds.

With Spain's embarrassment of riches in midfield particularly, there are always some world class players that are left out, but none of these throw their toys out of the pram and quit on their country like some England players in the past.

The constant moaning of club managers about their players going away on international duty is only understandable in relation to the fixture scheduling which sees meaningless friendlies played just days before important matches but in terms of competitive matches, there should be no complaints. The player should be as committed to those matches as they would be to a competitive club match.

Not wishing to be naive, I'm fully aware of the importance of money in today's game and how the situation we find ourselves in internationally will probably never rectify itself.

But if England ever wants to have a moment like 1966 again, it's not just the youth structure that needs changing, it's player priorities.

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Topics:
England Football
Internationals
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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