SMITH ON SOCCER: Who cares when we’ve club feast?

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DENMARK 1 England 2.

So what?

HAS there ever been an England international that we’ve cared less about?

Wales away on on a wet Wednesday at the fag-end of the old Home International Championships maybe?

Sort of, but ten times worse.

We have been asking ‘what’s the point’ of England friendlies for years now.

It used to be that England games were a highlight of the football year.

Works coach trips loaded with beer, carfulls of dads, lads and uncles trekking to Wembley to see Latchford, Astle or Woodcock.

Not any more.

A solely Home Counties crowd you suspect for England home games these days though the fearless few, credit to them, travel away as they did to Denmark last night.

But the prospect of watching the national team struggle against mediocre opponents AGAIN couldn’t have been less appealing.

OK there were positives, Wilshere, Parker, Glen Johnson - but nothing another game in the league wouldn’t have told us.

After the Lord mayor’s all-singing-all-dancing-shocking-back-from-the-dead show that was the 41-goal Premier League on Saturday last night’s England game was alright, but just another fixture.

Club has never been stronger, country rarely so weak.

Is there an answer? Probably not.

Watching the Premier League is generally more exciting than International games and the Champions League is better quality football than country v country.

It has to be.

Now that the world’s best players are selected by the world’s best managers to fill World XI strength teams at club level as opposed to international bosses picking sides based on accident of birth, club sides are inevitably better.

The money at the top level of the game is truly mind-boggling to us mortals.

An international quality footballer only needs one five-year club contract to ensure he never needs to worry about money again.

If International matches feel like an anti-climax to us the players will feel something similar despite their earnest protestations otherwise.

Club football is simply too good, too exciting and too readily available for international games - outside of the major tournament finals - to be the attraction they were.

So what’s the answer?

Right now there isn’t one, more importantly no-one’s really looking for one either.