International Schedule Slammed Once Again As Tony Pulis Vents His Frustration

Stoke City boss critical of enforced international break this early in the season.

Tony Pulis has voiced his frustration at the false start Charlie Adam has made to his Stoke career after signing from Liverpool.

The Scottish midfielder joined the Potters on transfer deadline day and, without a training session under his belt, made his debut 24 hours later as a substitute in their 2-2 Premier League draw with Wigan.

Adam then went on international duty with Scotland straight away and has since played in World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia.

The 26-year-old still has not taken part in a training session with his new side, leaving Pulis to lament the delay in getting him up to speed.

“I know these players are top professionals who can quickly adapt, but they are also playing against top professionals, so you want time with them on the training pitch to prepare.

“Hopefully, Charlie will come back to us fit and healthy on Thursday after his international commitments.”

Pulis also stated his displeasure at seeing the Republic of Ireland playing a friendly on Tuesday against Oman, with Stoke defender Marc Wilson among those who featured.

He added: “These games are just there to make money for the football associations involved.


Stoke boss Tony Pulis has, in venting his frustration over the Charlie Adam situation, joined the ranks of Premier League managers who have vocally criticised the timing of the international break imposed by FIFA at this crucial early stage in the season.

It has for some time been a source of much resentment for fans and club bosses alike: just as the new Premier League season, with all the excitement of new signings and surprising results that goes with it, is getting going, an international break arrives and puts a spanner in the works for all those managers trying desperately to immerse new players – some of whom haven’t actually had the chance to train, let alone play for their new clubs – into a new place and a new team.

Harry Redknapp, the former Spurs boss, was always prominent in this regard and was equally critical of the ridiculous international friendly which FIFA demands of its member-countries just days before the start of the new campaigns in a number of the major European leagues, the Premier League included.

While World Cup Qualifying matches are at least a necessity – where as the friendlies three days before the start of the Premier League most definitely aren’t – the scheduling could be changed, should Sepp Blatter and his FIFA colleagues chose to do so, to allow clubs more time and a better chance to incorporate their new players before they depart for international duty.

Instead we see the continuing situation where the likes of Charlie Adam, as Pulis has highlighted, depart for their national teams without having actually trained once with their new team.

For now it seems clubs will have to make do as best they can with the inconveniences caused, but FIFA bosses take note!

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