The difficulties in juggling club management and international management are once again in the spotlight this week with England set to play a pretty pointless friendly in Denmark.
Coming as it is between two sets of Premier League games and a week before the resumption of the Champions League it is little surprise there has been a flurry of drop outs.
Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Ben Foster have all been released from the squad because of injuries, with Rio Ferdinand already out. In total 24 players from the four England age-group sides have been released this week.
For Fabio Capello he somehow has to get his message across the remaining players in a matter of days, before playing the friendly and waving the squad back off to their respective squads once more.
It must be terribly difficult for an international manager to try and build any team spirit or plan any tactics in such a short space of time. I agree they need these games to experiment, but to shoehorn them in almost as an after thought benefits no-one.
He must also be fielding several calls from Premier League managers asking that their players don’t play more than 45 minutes of the friendly in order to keep them fit for future domestic games. And god forbid one of them get injured as a demand for compensation will soon arrived at the doors of the FA from the players Premier League club.
International football at the moment is being treated like a irritable distraction. In order for it to work it needs to be given the space and time it deserves. I agree with the idea that two dedicated international windows should be set in the season, where the squad an gather for two, even three weeks and play all their qualifiers or friendly games. England will play nine games in total this season, that surely can be split into two windows of three and four matches?
It will give Capello vital time to work with his players and perhaps avoid the awkward club v country tussle that we are seeing now.
It seems like common sense to me – but that is exactly why I can’t see it being implemented any time soon.