Sunday, 14 November 2010

Club Favouritism: We can see it Fabio.

At first glance, it's a head-scratcher: Chris Smalling called up to the England team. Upon closer inspection, it's a little easier to see why: He plays for Manchester United.

I'm all for giving players chances, it's rare you see Championship players called up for England so I'm happy Bothroyd has been given a chance even though I don't rate him, but when you see players called up and even better players not getting a look in, to me, it's nonsensical. It's ridiculous. And it points to the one thing the England manager won't want to admit: club favouritism.

I'm starting to think now that for Roger Johnson to get called up to the England squad he'd have to dance naked in front of Fabio Capello waving a DVD of 'RoJo's best bits' from last season in his face. The thing is though, Capello has actually watched him on several occasions: he came often to St. Andrews on Joe Hart watch, and saw what Johnson gives to a team. He's your real English centre back: He puts his heart on his sleeve and would put his limbs in the way of an oncoming train. He's the type of player that would play with a broken leg; he'd get up, dust himself down and hobble on until the end of the game. He doesn't like losing; he's said so himself. He doesn't like defeat; that's why he always carries on. He's always shouting at the other players; because when something isn't right, Roger will tell you. In fact, Roger should be telling Fabio it's not right, because if he were to stick on a Chelsea shirt or a Man United shirt tomorrow and play for them, he'd get an England call-up just like that.

The same goes for Gary Cahill. Although he's been called up before - and done everything to warrant being called up again, may I add - he's also being overlooked again. No one gets it, in fact I think the only people who get it are United fans who are, understandably, happy for their player and Capello himself. It's come to a point now where no one else gets it though. It's been said for years England managers show club favouritism and now it's becoming a joke.

This desision has caused a lot of talking points, and the names being thrown about are the two i've mentioned: Roger Johnson and Gary Cahill. They are two great defenders who really deserve a chance, and two defenders who are better than Chris Smalling. I'm sorry Chris, but you probably even realise it yourself. Even Scott Dann, who sometimes even looks more assured than Johnson, and has played at Under-21 level is still being ignored by the England set up.

From the start of last season, Roger Johnson has played every single minute of every single Premier League game for Birmingham, showing not only his obvious defensive talent in the games, but his body-on the line mentality and his never say die attitude. He is the type of person every England fan would love to see playing for their team, and I'm not being biased when I say this, because England fans are all saying the same thing.

Gary Cahill has been a top defender for years. Blues tried to sign him before, but - don't quote me - I think this is when he transferred to Bolton. And he's been doing great there. He's the rock of their defence and, like Johnson, he puts his body on the line. He's more experianced and probably more technically able than Roger, which begs the bigger question as to why Smalling was called up ahead of him. For experiance for the young lad who has played just twenty minutes of Premier League football this season? Please don't make me laugh. It's because he has a red devil on his chest and the Glazers put the money into his bank account every week. And we all know it is.

The sad truth is out there, and unfortunetly even the players know it. Roger Johnson was interviewed back in October and he said, and I quote: "When it comes to a move or an England call, they are things that I have got to look to do. If a big move comes in then I would have to think about it." - because that's what players have to do nowadays. Lets face it, the Bolton's and Birmingham's of this world are seen as inferior. How can they produce good players? How can we call up players from their teams and ignore players at Manchester United?

It's becoming and unwritten rule for England managers and I wish Capello would have the balls to pick players on form, like he says he does, rather than players by what club they ply their trade for.

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