Date: 12th November 2006 at 5:58pm
Written by:

I can understand why all the club managers are frustrated by the international friendlies. A few qualifiers will be played on Wednesday but mostly players will travel to some distant country to take part in a meaningless friendly game.

Acclimatisation will not cause problems for England players visiting Holland but I’d rather Rooney and Boulahrouz to face each other only on 26th of November at Old Trafford. I fear for Louis Saha as France take on Greece because he and Wayne ar both essential for our campaign.

Gary Neville has already been withdrawn with a recurrence of a calf injury. This is a creditable story, given that he was brought off after 45 minutes at Blackburn. Cristiano Ronaldo is doubtful for Portugal’s qualifying game against Kazakhstan, having picked up an ankle knock in Saturday’s game. Yeah. And Fergie has already stated he would be happier if Ronaldo did not play. I’m pretty sure he will be fit for Saturday’s game against Sheffield United…

I hope our players manage to stay free of injuries during this meaningless international break. OK, there are nations which are due to play qualifiers this week. But are these friendlies necessary? Coaches get their players on Tuesday, they play a game, then go back to their clubs. It will not help to gel a team, it can be only used to try out some uncapped young players. And to frustrate club managers and a lot of fans who are not interested in friendly internationals.

I did not mean to offend those who love these games. Enjoy them. I, however, will continue praying…