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
Belfast Telegraph Digital