We’re constantly being told by ex-pros that there was a time when they would have walked through walls and do any other number of highly implausible tasks just to be considered for international duty. Of late it has appeared as though players will either do anything they can not to play (pretty much most of the Ireland squad) or are so quick to retire because they’re not included in the starting eleven that it makes one question just how much international football means to the footballer of today.
Yes the money they receive from their clubs is a big factor but it is the only one? There’s also a sense that players are more comfortable amongst the familiar surroundings of their own club where their every day boss knows how they like to be treated. Fabio Capello seems to be isolating English players at a rate of knots but it’s something he’s had to contend with for much of his reign. Is it because they don’t like working with the Italian or is it that their true loyalties now lay with their club. Is this a greater sign of decreasing nationalist sentiments caused by the removal of many international barriers through the many multi-media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter? The absentees from the Ireland camp, many of whom are tenuously Irish at best and made their decision to declare for the Emerald Isle based on a lack of opportunity with their country of choice, suggests that they see international football, particularly the less glamorous qualifying games, as a chore. A labour of love for which they have no real affection. As we become citizens of the world, being Irish or English or whatever doesn’t mean so much as we gradually morph into regional versions of the USA. Or are they just out of touch prima-donnas who are so used to having things handed to them that they’ve forgotten the value or hard-work? Is this a little unfair given that to make it to where they are they have had to put in the work and make sacrifices?
There’s a poll below for the opinionated but lazy amongst you but I’d like to hear your opinions on this matter so comment away if the mood takes you.
Plus if anyone else fancies mocking up their own sports story related movie poster, I’ll hand out a free bet to the best one. It has to be your own work though.