Paul Scholes was overlooked by Sven-Goran Eriksson in order to accomodate both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the England midfield. Scholes retired to focus on United, clearly not impressed at having to play out of position, and every manager that followed Sven asked him to reconsider.
This was over four and a half years ago, yet the quest to get Lampard and Gerrard to play well together goes on. Whilst both massively effective at club level, they are a crap pairing for their country, yet no manager has the balls to drop one of them.
Michael Carrick, who has enjoyed brilliant form for United this season, has also shown he’s capable on an International front as well. As England’s Man of the Match in their recent victory over Germany, Carrick insists he knew he time for International football would come.
“It goes without saying I wanted to be in the squad but when I wasn’t selected there was no point moaning and sulking about it,” said Carrick. “What was it going to change if I went around moping? I always knew that if I played consistently well for United then I would be picked. It was not something I was worried about. It was just a case of getting it right at United because I believed I would get back in the squad if I was playing well enough and that has been the case. I didn’t lose any sleep about it because it wasn’t something I could control. Now the hard part is staying there.”
Whilst the national team is not a massive concern of mine, I do enjoy seeing our players play well for their country, particularly for England, as I find it amusing to see ABUs chanting for our players. When Rooney plays a great ball to set up a goal or scores one himself, I love seeing those mugs chanting his name, when just the week before they were calling him a fat bastard at Old Trafford.
I also recognise the sense of worth it gives to the players to perform on an International stage and it’s important for our players to get a go. I don’t have any time for friendlies, like tonight’s against Spain, but when our lads travel to the International competitions (sadly, something England have struggled with recently!) I think it’s certainly a positive thing for them. Carrick is as good as any player England have available, and following the Gerrard-Lampard fiasco, there’s no reason why our Michael shouldn’t be given a chance to start and prove what he is capable of!