Monday, October 15, 2012

Club v Country: The Ultimate Debate

We are 7 weeks into the current Premier league season yet it really has been stop-start due to the scheduled 3 International breaks.

As fans, we wait all summer for the big August kick off only to be frustrated weeks later as our players jet off around the world to represent their countries. Being chosen as one of the top professionals in your country must be one of the highlights of a players career and no doubt it fills them with immense pride, however for us fans it raises the ultimate questions: Club or Country?

Although I am currently living in the United States I am a fiercely proud Englishman who loves seeing the Three Lions roar to victory - whether this be in Football, Cricket, Rugby, or any other international competition in which England or Great Britain compete.

 I am equally proud of my Northumbrian heritage and although I am not a Geordie by birth - Newcastle is my city and Newcastle United my team. Nothing would make me happier than seeing England dominate the football world, conquering many World cups while Newcastle United consistently ruled English football. However if I had to choose between success for England or Newcastle United then I would have to nail my Black & White flag to the mast.

Supporting a club whether it be Newcastle, Liverpool, or even Carlisle United can dominate the life of a fan - every Saturday following the game, every day reading the newspapers, websites, listening to the radio and being glued to Skysports absorbing as much information as possible. Club football provides day-to-day drama and excitement to the fans and for me this is why the majority of fans have a deeper rooted connection with their chosen club.

International football is unique - it offers the fan an opportunity to watch the worlds best footballers together on the same pitch. There really is nothing like a World cup to unite a nation. England really is at its best when St Georges flags are hanging from every window and fans from all different clubs are uniting to support the national team.

Outside of major tournaments, international matches are very few and far between. Fans will follow their countries during the international break, then switch off and return to follow their clubs with a much stronger passion.

With the World Cup only played every 4 years an England victory in my lifetime would be massive, bigger however as a Newcastle United fan ending the decades long wait for a trophy would be beyond my wildest dream.