NEIL BONNAR: Forget tiresome international friendlies and try something new
7:00am Thursday 6th March 2014 in Sport
LET’S get radical and bring in a whole new way of playing football internationals.
I don’t know about you, but England playing a friendly with Denmark is about as thrilling a prospect as creosoting my fence.
In fact, I don’t look forward to any England game.
It’s barbecue football at best, only this year at the World Cup in Brazil the kick offs are going to be mostly too late to even fire up the barbie before moaning about how even Costa Rica can pass us off the park.
The same old tried and very trying players playing at half pace and giving away possession before reverting to wellying up to Andy Carroll gets a bit tiresome after about two minutes.
But there is a way to make international football matches interesting.
Why not have representative teams from each country’s leagues playing each other?
We’re always banging on about how the Premier League is the best in the world. Well, let’s put it to the test.
This is how it would work: Teams would be formed from the best players from the English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Turkish, Russian, and United States leagues and they would play each other home and away over two-years. The games would replace the current friendlies and the team that finished top of the league at the end of the 14-match series could justifiably call themselves the best league in the world.
If a player switched from one league to another during that two-year spell, his eligibility would switch from his old league to his new.
This league would tell us something the Champions League doesn’t, which is which league has the greater strength in depth.
Spain has two clubs who are better than any in the Premier League; Germany has one, maybe two. The Premier League have five or six top teams. Italy could claim the same.
We would still keep England games for the traditionalists, patriots and housewives.
This new league would be for a different demographic – the millions hooked on fantasy football, talk radio shows and club football in general.
There would be no shortage of people wanting to watch it, and less chance of hooliganism because it would pit league against league rather than country against country.
Discussions would rage over who should be in the Premier League team with no two people picking the same 11.
For the record this would be my Premier League Xl: (4-4-2) Cech, Ivanovic, Kompany (c), Terry, Baines; Nasri, Toure (Y), Matic, Hazard; Suarez, Aguero. Subs: Szczesny (gk), Cahill, Silva, Fernandinho, Januzaj, Rooney, Sturridge.