Pulis calls for friendly rethink

Controversy arose out of England’s 2-1 defeat to France when

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who was expected to play for only

an hour, was kept on for 85 minutes before eventually coming off

with a hamstring injury. Pulis feels if national teams had to pay

for their players’ services – and aftercare when they were injured

– then it would have a dramatic effect on the international

calendar. “For full-blooded international games, proper games when

they are qualifying for a major tournament, then there is no

problem with sending the players away,” he said. “There is nothing

better than playing for your country but that is in proper games

not friendly matches and I think it has shown again on Wednesday

night with the team Capello played. “He has played a lot of young

players and given people a chance but they are like pre-season

games. “If they want to do friendly matches then they should pay

the wages and if they come back injured they should look after all

of that. “I think that would see friendly games dramatically

subside. “What did they get at Wembley, 85,000? That is helping to

pay for the stadium as much as anything else in my opinion.” Stoke

had three players away on international duty – Ireland’s Glenn

Whelan, Marc Wilson and Jon Walters – but Iceland’s Eidur

Gudjohnsen and Bosnia’s Asmir Begovic did not join up with their

national sides. And, for that reason, Bosnia-Herzegovina manager

Safet Susic has hit out at Stoke. Begovic played for the Potters in

their 2-0 victory over Liverpool at the weekend but then failed to

link up with his country for Wednesday’s clash against Slovakia. It

is thought that the goalkeeper withdrew due to injury but Susic is

far from happy with the situation. He feels Stoke should have

allowed him to travel and has called for the club to be punished.

“For me it is incomprehensible that someone doesn’t want to answer

my call, even if he knows that he could play,” Susic told Dnevni

Avaz. “Yes, I now know who will be my goalkeeper for the next game

against Romania. Begovic helped me with his action to find a

solution. “But on the whole this is just unfair – from his part and

also from his club. And yes, we will be calling for sanctions

against Begovic and Stoke City. “There is not any player in this

world that his club can prevent him to play for his national team.”

Bosnia ran out impressive 3-2 winners against Slovakia thanks to

goals from Haris Medunjanin, Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko.