A Sunderland supporter has commented elsewhere today on his unease at having three first-team players in action for Ghana tonight, with an important Premier game coming up, against a seriously below strength England.
“Is it just me, or should we be worried that we have three of our lads playing against a bunch of England B players hoping to make a name for
themselves and actually trying?” was his question, and I knew exactly what he meant.
Man City away on Sunday is tough enough a challenge without having to fret about key players being injured in a meaningless friendly at Wembley five days earlier.
Then came news of Danny Welbeck’s call from Fabio Capello to join the England squad. Worry is suddenly overcome by the pride taken in seeing another of your club’s players honoured.
With Andy Carroll starting, provided he can spare the time between beers, and others like Darren B**t around the place, Welbeck’s best hope is probably a run-out as substitute (against his parents’ country, but that’s another matter).
But it remains a great achievement for a young player who has made an impressive return from serious injury.
Welbeck may be a Manchester United player, merely on loan to SAFC, but make no mistake about the distribution of reflected glory for his call-up: it is for his progress at Sunderland, and not anything he did at Old Trafford, that he now stands on the brink of winning his first full cap. His advances this season, especially when you consider how disappointing a start he made, have been exceptional and make a mockery of the caption used by our friend “Addick-tedKevin” in the image you see above. Time for an update, Kev!
Danny Welbeck has fully earned his chance and is offered the heartiest congratulations of Salut! Sunderland.
Another way of looking at it, of course, is to worry even more about injury potential. But players risk hurting themselves every time they run out for training, let alone playing in competitive games, and it is something clubs simply have to live with.
For Sunderland supporters, the possibility of a Welbeck role tonight, along with the presence of three of our players – Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and John Mensah – in Ghana’s colours, makes it a lot more interesting a match than could be said of a good many England fixtures where something is at stake.