Date:Monday October 23 2006
Lack of caps - a good thing
Portsmouth have no current England internationals in their squad. Sol Campbell and David James may be asking for recalls, but are unlikely to get them as Steve McClaren has made his statement and a U-turn on the matter seems highly unlikely. (Just ask Beckham).
Gary O`Neil`s excellent performances for England at under-21 level made it seem like he was tipped for the top, but has never been strongly thought of for a call-up. You would like to think his unswerving loyalty to Portsmouth wasn`t the factor, but unfortunately could be the reason.
You could make the case for Glen Johnson, but lest we forget he has already made his senior bow, and has been brought back down to under-21 level. It`s unlikely he`ll be anywhere near the squad this season, and if Redknapp secures his services long term, maybe the argument can change, and some members of the squad will be looked at for England.
But to be honest, who cares? Portsmouth`s team has developed into a cohesive unit, playing together without the intense spotlight talk of England can bring. Sure, it can boost a player`s confidence, but how must Kevin Nolan of Bolton be feeling at the moment? He`s certainly been worthy of a place in the squad judging on past performances, but has never received the call, despite strong speculation to the contrary.
That can`t do the confidence any good at all. And it`s not like the Pompey team is devoid of international quality, nearly all the non-English players currently are or have pulled on their country`s jersey as well as the blue of Portsmouth, so we`re not missing out there.
What Portsmouth is missing out on is the media spotlight casting its gleaming eye over the squad on regular occasion, constantly asking questions of the players` skill and determination. Once a name gets mentioned as a potential international, his game changes as he seeks to impress not one but two managers. The thought of a call-up may be in a player`s ambition, but it`s different if they think there`s a real chance.
I can just see the response forming in some fans` minds. 'Not want an England call-up? That`s just calling Portsmouth a bunch of no-hopers, scraping the barrel of English footballers with no ambition or drive.` (or words to that effect…)
I`m not saying that I hope that Portsmouth never have a player called up to the England squad, because that would be madness. The sign of a call-up is generally a sign of a team playing well around him, and that would be a great thing. What I am saying is that speculation about an England place is harmful, and if Portsmouth can dodge the issue from one more season at least, then maybe players like O`Neil and Matt Taylor will warrant the place in the squad their ability clearly shows they deserve.
Let me know the issues YOU want to discuss on Portsmouth football club. Email suggestions to email@example.com.
'Forgotten man' almost back! (Thursday October 30 2014)
Maloney's chance (Thursday October 30 2014)
Pompey assessment - Shrewsbury 2-1 Pompey (Thursday October 30 2014)
On this day in history...30th October (Thursday October 30 2014)
On this day in history...29th October (Wednesday October 29 2014)
On this day in history...28th October (Tuesday October 28 2014)
Cup derby day for Pompey (Monday October 27 2014)
On this day in history...27th October (Monday October 27 2014)
On this day in history...26th October (Sunday October 26 2014)
Sunday Chimes #22 - Shrews fluke downs Pompey (Sunday October 26 2014)
|Newcomer to lift York
» York : 30/10/2014 17:14:00
|Keeper returns to duty
» York : 30/10/2014 13:44:00
|'Forgotten man' almost back!
» Portsmouth : 30/10/2014 12:38:00
|Staniforth leaves Rovers
» York : 30/10/2014 12:30:00
|Tom Newey goes out on loan
» Oxford : 30/10/2014 12:25:00