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Internationals - A Worrying But Optimistic Time for Football Fans

Wednesday 22nd March 2017
International matches are exciting for many fans. We only get to see our national teams play on a couple of occasions each year and we cheer on for our home nations. But when it comes down to it, as club fans we don't want our players injured on international duty.

We fear the worst when our players go off to play abroad as there is a risk that they come back to the club injured. Whether it's a club fighting for survival or a side competing for the title.

As a Stoke City fan (unfortunately), it was great to see Jack Butland get called up to the England squad. But he also started against Germany roughly a year ago. He suffered an ankle injury and it ruled him out of the Euros. Not only had he been ruled out the Euros but he had many injury setbacks. He was due to come back into the Stoke squad on a few occasions but recurring injuries haunted him.
He has only just recovered from his injury and is training fully for the first time in a year. This is a prime example of what every single football fan worries about when it comes to international games. It doesn't matter if it's a friendly or competitive match, us fans want our players back in one piece.

Despite the worrying, we like to watch our players on the big stage in front of their home crowd. The players we know that have great skill and ability get to showcase for another audience outside of where they originally play.

At the moment, half of Premier League teams have at least four current injuries and with internationals, these figures could rise. You would think when national teams are playing that it would be a break for club managers. If anything it's more of a stress, just worrying about their own players.
Injuries for England include Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Danny Rose. Despite having these injuries England have a promising squad with a few older faces in there. A recent call-up for Jermain Defoe was probably what most England fans would agree with mostly.

Defoe has a reputation of clinical finishing and clever links of play. He is a very intelligent player and still shows his worth even at the age of 34. Defoe has 14 goals so far this season with relegation rattled Sunderland and we feel that he deserves his recall.

Other call-ups include the likes of Burnley defender Michael Keane. Also, Southampton players, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse are among the selected. Another interesting choice is one of West Bromwich Albion's newest signings, Jake Livermore.
It will be interesting to see how England set up against Lithuania this weekend and how Gareth Southgate uses his tactics. More importantly, we would like to know what England are capable of. There needs to be a solid formation so everybody knows their role 100%.

We just hope that our players get back safe and sound. After this week of internationals, we will be heading into the final stages of the season and key players will not want to be missing through injuries.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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