With the International break firmly upon us I want to focus on the age old
argument of whether we should have a Great Britain team competing regularly on
the International stage.
It would be nice to think we could bring together England, Northern Ireland,
Scotland and Wales to achieve the common goal of winning an international
football trophy. However, pooling all our resources and players is unlikely to
achieve any success at all.
How many players from nations, other than England, realistically stand a chance
of making a Great Britain team?
Off the top of my head only Gareth Bale at present would be a certain starter
for a Great Britain XI. English players would dominate the side but, as we all
know, that does not mean the chances of success are guaranteed at all.
By limiting to just one team would mean that many players could miss out on the
chance of playing International football. A lot of players for Northern
Ireland, Scotland and Wales play outside the Premier League. They would find
opportunities very rare if an amalgamation took place.
Across Britain all the individual counties have a strong sense of national
identity and would not be happy to surrender it. All the countries are very
What national anthem would we use?
In other sports we do compete as one nation, the British Athletics team and the
British Lions to name just two. However, there is also the opportunity in other
competitions to compete for your own nation.
The British Olympic football team was a great advert for our country in London
2012 but I get the feeling this was only made possible because we were the host
nation. We may not see this in future Olympic Games.
For the time being I believe all nations will remain separate in international
tournaments. It would be a brave decision to unite the countries in footballing
terms and quite possibly a decision that is impossible to make particularly
during times when countries are looking to be politically more independent.
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