Since when did international football become a choice and not an honour?
There was a computer game on the market when I was a kid called Sensible Soccer…
It was all the rage for those who had a Commodore Amiga 500 or equivalent.
Endless lost hours would be spent in front of the small monitor as an addictive 2D format — long before the inventions of FIFA and Pro Evolution — took over your life.
In career manager mode, the objective was simple — boss a club of your choice and if you proved to be consistently successful over a period of time you would be offered employment at another club or the ultimate achievement — to be rewarded with the honour of managing your country.
There was an option to turn the invitation down and concentrate on your current club — but no-one ever pressed that button.
It would have defeated the purpose of the game.
International football was the pinnacle.
Read Paul's full analysis only in tomorrows Sunday Life