England manager Fabio Capello has told the ‘stay away’ players to show pride in their country.
Capello, speaking in Sofia ahead of England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria, admitted he was unhappy with the constant withdraws from the international squad due to injury or as he described it ‘lack of pride’
Paul Robinson, Robert Green and Ben Foster are perhaps some of the players Capello is venting his frustration towards. The goalkeeping trio have all made themselves unavailable for England and it means that Capello doesn’t have a Premier League keeper on the bench for their crucial qualifiers. Derby’s Frankie Fielding will be back up to Joe Hart and Capello also said he was proud to play for his country and stuck with them through thick and thin including being left out of the 1978 World Cup squad.
“I played in the first XI and as a reserve, but I was always really proud to wear the Italy shirt,” he told the media on Thursday.
He also went onto say despite disappointments throughout his career he stayed with the international side and fought for his place, unlike what he feels some of his players are doing now a days.
“I played in all of the qualifying matches in the build up to the 1978 World Cup, but then wasn’t selected for the tournament. I was really disappointed, but it didn’t stop me being proud to play for my country.
He is not just talking about the goal keeping trio who have temporarily retired from internationals but the constant injury withdrawals he faces every time the squad meets up. Wes Brown knows it is unlikely he is going to play and therefore he has withdrawn from the squad through injury. The defender might well be injured but any niggle it seems now a days, a player immediately withdraws from the squad and it isn’t just England. We see this happening constantly with the Rep of Ireland squad. Managers though simply cannot do anything about it as now the club scene is bigger it seems then international football. Players want to keep themselves fit and fresh for their club which is understandable.
For example, Wes Brown has suffered countless injuries in recent times and he has got himself fit and playing for Sunderland. The last thing he wants is to injure himself whilst with England. Peter Crouch is another, there are rumours that the now Stoke striker might follow the lead of the likes of Foster by making himself unavailable, the big striker has a terrific track record for England but players like Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck seem to have overtaken Crouch in the pecking order under Capello.
“If players would prefer to stay at home and have a holiday with their family, then it is their decision and I respect that. But I need to select a squad and a team that want to play for England”
England play Bulgaria on Friday evening in a Euro 2012 qualifier and then face Wales at Wembley on Tuesday.
By Ryan Bailey, @ryanbaileysport