IS it just me or do players withdraw from the England squad a lot more frequently than they used to?

Already since Roy Hodgson named his latest group, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Fraser Forster and Daniel Sturridge have pulled out ahead of matches against Lithuania and Italy.

Granted, Forster has a serious knee injury but a lot of the time it seems convenient timing for players.

Put another way, if there was an important round of Premier League fixtures coming up at the weekend, would players and their clubs be so hasty?

Players withdraw from squads on a fairly regular basis and it will continue to happen before every England fixture.

Nowadays players are much more finely tuned athletes, perhaps more so than at any other point in the game’s history.

Does that make them more fragile or susceptible to injury? Would similar relatively minor injuries 20 years ago just be run off?

Because the stakes have risen astronomically, players are now treated almost more as commodities than human beings.

Consequently, clubs hold the power over international associations more than ever.

Given the prospect of Champions League football and the financial rewards that go with it, why would they risk players?

I can understand their reasoning but it sends out the wrong message.

Representing your country should be the ultimate accolade for a player. Regrettably, I’m not sure that is the case any more.

It’s alright to chase selection when a major tournament comes around but the same should apply for qualifiers, no matter how demeaning they appear to be.