Iain Anderson argues that international football has become more of an obstruction than something to look forward to in modern football.
Back in 1966 an expectant English public hoped for World Cup success. They got it. In retrospect this was not the best thing that could have happened to the English game.
Every game of the successful 1966 World Cup run was played at Wembley which is akin to letting Chelsea or either of the Manchester clubs play all their FA Cup games at home, including the final.
Secondly, the World Cup was won without conventional wingers which became the modus operandi for clubs for years afterwards, actually setting the game back, not taking it forward.
Don’t get me wrong, at the time it was special and led to much celebration but what has happened since?
Well, we haven’t had a World Cup in England since 1966 for starters. Realistically though, we haven’t had a team anywhere near good enough to get to the final, let alone win it.
Following years and years of mediocrity and failure, people are now losing interest in the national team.
With the amount of money available to the Premier League and the multinational nature of the players it attracts, people are much more interested in their “local” teams than the national equivalent.
An international break has become as irritating as a mosquito bite, i.e. not serious but something we could have done without.
Poor old Roy Hodgson is now having players pull out of qualifiers, not just friendlies, because their clubs are more important.
Also, the timing of such games seems ludicrous. Just two weeks into the new season and we will have to pause for an international break. Unlike the period prior to the inception of the Premier League, international football is now tolerated as opposed to being looked forward to.
Iain Anderson, Pundit Arena.