It’s obvious, even to the most recluse of people that a World Cup is descending upon us, but in true Peter Griffin fashion, what really grinds my gears at the moment, are Premiership managers constantly prattling on about their player’s chances of making the England squad.
Tony Pulis is the latest manager to have a go stating about Ryan Shawcross and rather unbelievably Matthew Etherington’s chances saying; “I still think he (Shawcross) can make the England World Cup squad, it is still very open and there are always a few injuries at the end of the season so he still has a great chance of being involved, as has Matthew Etherington. If I was picking the team then Ryan would go, but I am not picking it, that is up to Fabio Capello. I won’t tell him what to do or not to do.”
Well sorry to say it Tony, but by constantly harping on about it, you are kind of telling Capello what to do, as you are stating a preference, which up until this point, does not coincide with his. The fact that he’s brought up Matthew Etherington too, something which is as bizarre a thing to say as it is stupid, does make you question his reasons or whether he’s simply just detached from reality.
It’s clearly been used as some sort of tactic to give confidence to the player mentioned, that in itself is fine, but I find it annoying that linking a player with an England call-up, especially one so far off as Etherington, just makes little sense, surely the player himself knows how far away he is and has some perspective that his manager is clearly lacking if he truly believes this.
Pulis isn’t the only one either, Harry Redknapp will tell anyone who will listen or that shoves a microphone in his saggy face that he thinks Ledley King should go, Owen Coyle has repeatedly done it in reference to Gary Cahill and even Jack Wilshere, Roy Hodgson ahs done it with Bobby Zamora and Sam Allardyce about Paul Robinson.
But I find the whole process tiresome; if you want to say they’re playing well, just say that then, don’t use the faint hope of international recognition as a means to do your job of man management for you, its lazy. What do they have to gain from it? All a place in the squad will do is make the player more tired come the following season as he’s been denied a break, increase his chances of injury and put his fitness and form in doubt, there are no beneficial aspects to sitting on the bench all summer from the club manager’s perspective.
Of course I understand the benefits from the players perspective, the chance to play at a World Cup is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something which we’d all give our right arm for, but how does the club benefit from a tired player returning in pre-season, his energy resources already on empty, have these managers learned nothing from their esteemed colleagues at bigger clubs over the years. You won’t hear Ferguson or Ancelotti vouching for a player to play more games, especially ones that don’t benefit them, that’s the last thing they want.
With Ledley King, Redknapp rather reasonably stated that; “He can play every six days and there are six days between World Cup games” and that “they’d need to take advice from our medical staff because if you didn’t you would break him.”
I support King’s inclusion in the World Cup squad, he’s a top drawer defender and would be a huge asset to the national side, but why on earth does Redknapp, the player’s manager, who openly admits his knees are buggered, want him to run the risk of over exerting himself at a major tournament and in the care of a medical team that isn’t catered specifically to his needs. Should anything happen to King, it would be akin to shooting yourself in the foot.
It’s a well worn routine, praise a player; say he could play for England, and then watch the fruits of your labour deliver better results on the pitch. But as often happens with routine, it’s become tired and boring. I dread whoever the next player to be touted will be without a hint of irony from their self-serving manager.
Steve Sidwell perhaps, he’s done well in his four minutes of league action to date this season hasn’t he? Titus Bramble is surely worth a shout as a fit defender who just happens to be English, and oh, what about David Nugent at Burnley, he does have a 100% record for the national side at the moment. I implore you, please make it stop fellas, its promotion of the very worst kind, and you look like glorified double-glazing salesman for god’s sake.
Written By James McManus