So what was the point in that?
Wednesday, 28th Mar 2018 21:21 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)
I have to confess at the start of this article that I do not like international breaks at the best of times but, along with the one two weeks into the season, the March one is one of the most pointless ones as the season reaches it's climax.
All too often in this particular international break the mythical injuries arrive from some of the top players that sees them able to play the week before the break starts and sees them return to fitness the week after. Count it this weekend how many players couldn't join their international team mates last weekend but are fit to play for their clubs this time around.
This is the time of the season where cup competitions reach their quarter final and semi final stages and sides want to retain any momentum that they had in the league. For us that rings very true this season with our league form running up to the break being some of the best we have seen for many years as we look to complete what will probably be one of the biggest escapes ever.
That momentum is spoiled by this break but not only that it causes extra backlog of fixtures. We are yet to see a confirmed date for the Southampton game postponed because of our quarter final FA cup appearance and that looks like it is going to go into the very back end of the season causing us more fixture headaches. Of course that is worse for Southampton who have a semi final to look forward to as well.
But for me the most pointless event of the last few weeks has been Alfie Mawson's England call up. On the face of it, it seemed to make perfect sense when it happened. These games were one of the last chances for Gareth Southgate to consider all his options ahead of this summer's World Cup. Calling up one of the most consistent English defenders of the past 18 months made perfect sense. And what an opportunity for Alfie to prove his credentials and try and earn himself a place in the squad. Friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy would be a great chance to see if he can make the step up to international football.
A debut was surely a nailed on certainty? But not to Southgate who decided the best way to ensure the call up got maximum effect was to leave Alfie warming the bench for the 180 minutes of international football that was available.
I am struggling to understand the logic therefore in a Mawson call up. There are vey few opportunities between now and the finals (two more games I think) to see players in action so why not give him at minimum a half of football to see if he can fit into the squad somewhere for the World Cup.
Leaving him sat on the bench just makes no sense to me and whilst he has at least continued a detailed training plan I would rather than have been in Swansea with his team mates as opposed to in a squad where it appears he was there to make up the numbers rather than play a meaningful part.
So it is for more ways than one that I find this international break pointless and at this point in time I wonder if Alfie Mawson feels the same as well.
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