Republic of Ireland player James McClean has come out strongly against players who pick club before country.
While several of McClean’s Premier League counterparts take time off before the crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria in July he is more than willing to play and has blasted others for putting club before their country. How some can avoid the chance to wear green really gets to him – he simply can’t see that point of view, why should he?
McClean loves nothing more than to don the green jersey and represent Ireland. His passion, commitment and dedication are second to none and everybody knows it. It’s very like those people from www.sportsbettingtips.co.uk who give their best advice every day
“What more motivation do you need than when you’re playing for your country?” McClean told RTÉ Sport on Tuesday.
“I’m fit and ready, and when I’m fit and ready I’m available for selection. I spoke to Martin; I decided that I wanted to come here and thankfully he wanted to me to come as well so it was all good.”
His honesty and integrity on the issue is something that is not seen in the modern commercialised game. His attitude to representing his country is a welcomed change to the repetitive cliché’s of some of his teammates. Although it is greatly received by fans it can create problems for him. Which makes us Debate: Should Ireland players put their country before their clubs?
Reasons not to play for country
There is no doubt that players within the Ireland squad should be committed to the national side but is it really necessary for them to perform in pointless friendlies at the end of a congested season or with crucial World Cup qualifiers around the corner? Surely they should be more committed to playing competitive games for their club than going abroad to test out tactics, formations and allowing their national managers see how they gel.
Many are being asked to play Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday and then the following midweek in the Champions League if they are lucky enough to have qualified or of a Thursday in the Europa league. That’s four games in 10 days.
If Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane put their players through an intense schedule like such it is no wonder that so many of them pick up serious injuries. Especially in the build up to big tournaments. The most important thing should be to make sure that each player is at their best for competitive games – they’re the ones that matter.
Reasons to play for your country
It doesn’t matter if a game is competitive or not. They should all be treated the same. If they’re serious about qualifying for the World Cup, then Keane and O’Neill should be must be allowed to do their job. To deny him access to his players for friendlies will only weaken the national side in the long term.
As for the players, some may well value their club sides more highly. Yes, the clubs pay their wages and yes, it is to them that they have a responsibility. They are their direct employer.
Playing for the national team is the main reason to play the sport. It is the highest accolade, the purest test of your ability. Turning down the chance to play Spain or German says one thing the glory doesn’t matter – you’re in it for the money.