I am cynic and as such i feel that once again the club v country argument is on the horizon but not as usual in relation to pointless friendlies now it seems that players are perfectly happy to miss World Cup Qualifiers with ‘injury’ problems.
The latest to cry off sick is Michael Carrick who has a ‘foot’ injury, an injury that didn’t prevent him from playing the full 90 minutes against Barcelona in the Champions League Final. I am the first to back players who feel that a meaningless run out against some Eastern Bloc minnows is a pointless exercise and would be better used trying out new players and not tried and tested internationals but this is a different case entirely.
Yes England are handily placed at the top of the table and on the face of it the next two games are eminently winnable but that really isn’t the point. I was under the impression that playing for your country was the pinnacle of ones career and surely playing World Cup football of any form is about as good as it gets for a footballer outside playing in the finals themselves.
I think it is time Fabio acted to punish those who flagrantly flout selection. As the BBC points out Carrick’s decision leaves Capello with only three recognised central midfielders to choose from in the form of Gareth Barry, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and remember there are two games in the space of four days and that includes a very long distance trip Borat-land so i think Carrick’s decision stinks.
The Man United man has not started a competitive match for his country since 2006 apparently so he could argue that he was unlikely to figure anyway but that isn’t really the point is it. The England boss is a stickler for this kind of thing so I can only hope that he makes an example of someone soon so as to assert his authority on his squad.
Anyone who wants to claim that Carrick is indeed injured and not in any way trying to ‘bunk off’ from international duty is deluded. The former West Ham and Spurs man managed to play every minute of Man United‘s crucial end of season games at Wigan and at home to Arsenal, then had 11 days off before the Champions League Final in Rome where he played every minute and then, and only then, did he sustain a foot injury! Rubbish!