Well, four and an irrational dislike of a player
1) I feel indebted to watch them
We have seen some dross down the years. I’m talking about Australia, Denmark, Japan and Cameroon, from memory. Friendlies wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel so obliged to watch them. Worse than that, I even feel myself getting a bit nervous.
Jesus, if I can watch my club team play a friendly live and not particularly care about the result, why does watching England’s stars get me interested when they probably care less about the game than I do.
2) It gives dreadful players England caps
David Hirst, Richard Wright, Lee Bowyer, Earl Barrett, Paul Konchesky, David Nugent, Francis Jeffers, Jay Bothroyd, Anthony Gardner, Steve Guppy, Stuart Ripley, John Fashanu, Seth Johnson, Michael Ricketts, David Unsworth, Michael Ball, Neil Ruddock, Brian Deane, David White.
We could have been saved from this without friendlies.
3) Player burnout
We are constantly told that our best players are tired, and that this contributes to their woeful, inept performances at major tournaments. If this is true, then why were we playing Egypt, Mexico and Japan before the World Cup?
4) They break up domestic football excitement
Try and think of the last Premier League game you watched. It was less than ten days ago. Chelsea against Man City. Now quite frankly I probably drink more than is healthy or advisable, but how long ago does that seem?
The Premier League survival race is the closest in years, and Chelsea and Arsenal are trying to poach the title off United. And I’m expected to enjoy a break from this to listen to Robbie Savage telling me John Terry lacks pace and watch the England B team.
5) Gareth Barry will captain England tonight
No further points, your honour