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Club vs. Country saga

Posted by Daniel Stone on October 13, 2007

owen.jpg This week Club football is on hold for the European Championship 2008 qualifiers. Michael Owen, Newcastle United and England striker has reignited the whole club vs. country saga once again. This can be quite a tedious topic but I will be indulging into my opinion whether it is more important to play for your club rather then your country. 

Sam Allardyce the Newcastle manager had said that it would be the Club’s decision whether Michael Owen would be fit to play both international games this weekend and next week. Owen then responded to these claims by stating he would only listen to his surgeon as she knows whether he is ready or not, and she says he is ready 

Back in July this year Jaime Carragher retired from international football due to him being over looked for his preferred position (Centre back) by being asked to play left back, right back or even left on the bench. Paul Scholes also retired from international football at a young age, 29 as he stated he wanted to concentrate playing club football. The reason behind these players retiring from international football ‘early’ is because they believe their football career can be prolonged. Why else are these players choosing club over country? 

As George Graham put it to Ian Wright back in the 90’s, “Remember where your bread is buttered”. Money has become a major factor in football and especially in Club football. With all the publicity involved and the amount of football on TV nowadays clubs have gained more power over the years to a stage where they can influence if a player is called up or not. I also believe that with the influx of quality foreign players over the years, the Premiership has become more competitive which means that there is a lot of prestige at stake on winning the Premiership or the Champions League.  

On the other hand, in the past it was always a boys dream to represent his country and score a goal at the World Cup. Maybe this dream is still alive but with International players, International football seems to be second tier. I believe this is due to all the international friendlies nowadays. Instead of breeding newcomers to the international stage and preparing the teams for the ‘important’ qualifiers they seem to be a nuisance for the Club teams. One thing for sure is that the World Cup only comes once every four years so this makes it the most prestigious tournament and trophy in football. I know what I would put first.

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Posted in International Football, Newcastle United, Premiership | 12 Comments »