Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Playing for England...

I understand why a player such as Kevin Davies, Matt Taylor, or even Kevin Nolan wants to play for England.  In addition to the measure of pride in representing your country, it is a very public recognition for reaching a certain level of performance.

I understand all that, but international football is a harsh mistress.  And once she casts her spell on you, it is nearly impossible to leave her.  For every Paul Scholes, who manages to retire with dignity and career intact, there is a Michael Owen, an Owen Hargreaves, or a David Beckham, a player who ravages his body and derails his career in continued search of those elusive England caps.

This brings me to Gary Cahill (pictured).  I understand his desire to play for England, and I am very curious to see how it will affect his career.  Michael Ricketts career is in ruins because of his reckless pursuit of international recognition.  Shawn Wright-Phillips spent several years warming the bench at Chelsea because he thought it would help his England career.  The same is true of Wayne Bridge and Steve Sidwell.  Michael Dawson is going to be out for months because of an injury he got playing for England.  Theo Walcott, still a very young player in need of match experience, will probably miss a month after getting hurt today.

To be honest, I hope Gary Cahill keeps getting called up to the England squad (For all the criticism he receives, Fabio Capello has shown that he doesn't care if a player is at a big club or not), and keeps getting left on the sub's bench.  He can't get injured from there, and as long as he is in the squad, he can't say he wants to leave Bolton to improve his England chances.

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