Will Smith-Rowe see U-21’s again?
As nice as it is to see our players being called up to their national sides, I can’t help but feel that Emile Smith-Rowe, this time around at least, would not have been called up if he didn’t need to make up the numbers!
Having started the week thinking he was going to the U-21’s camp, his luck soon changed when he got called up to the senior squad as they had injured players who would be returning home.
So, the question is, would he have gone to the senior squad if this wasn’t the case? And the answer seems clear, no, because he wasn’t called up to the senior squad before these injuries occurred.
Whatever was going to happen, Emile would have been on international duty either way, and although his call up for either the youth or senior squad is a positive and a proud moment.
I worry for him as now he has had the taste of senior squad life, he may not get the call next time, as much as I hope he does as there is nothing better than representing your country on the big stage, it is not guaranteed and that can affect a player’s mental health.
It’s hard to be super happy when internationals come along, on one hand you are happy and proud that players have been called up, and if they weren’t there would always be questions as to why not? Are they not good enough etc?
But I also feel a sense of worry that when they go there is always a chance they could come back injured or with some form of a niggling injury. Although I hope that is not the case for any of our players, for first teamers and certain starters the worry of burnout is also apparent.
Especially with the way Covid has meant a stop/start season and a later finish time, merged in with the postponed and later than scheduled Euros which then gives less time for relaxation and rest before the new season began, and then the buildup to the next international tournament which in this case is the 2022 World Cup which will be in Qatar.
The more talent we produce the more chance they have of being called up, which although is great for them, is bad for us only if they get injured.
No matter what happens, it is fair to say that if they are going to get injured it will happen wherever they go and however much they play. That’s the unfortunate state of life, but let’s pray that it doesn’t happen as often to any of our boys.
On the other hand, well-done to Smith-Rowe for making his debut against Albania!