Hey, remember how cool the World Cup was, and how neat it was that nine Tottenham Hotspur players (and six players for England) made it to the semi-finals? Remember how worried we all were that the World Cup would have a significant impact on the health and fitness of Tottenham’s best players?
Well, the England roster has been released today for the inaugural Nations League, and you’ll never guess who’s been called up to England again! Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Danny Rose, and Kieran Trippier have all been called up by Gareth Southgate for upcoming matches against Spain and Switzerland.
The UEFA Nations League is a new European football competition for international teams that is meant to replace the meaningless international friendlies that often happen right after major competitions and which are stupid. You can learn more about the league and how it works on UEFA’s website. Besides being a way of increasing the importance of international matches after the World Cup, it’s also supposed to be another way of getting into Euro 2020 beyond the usual method of qualification.
England have been placed in League A along with the other top-ranked teams in Europe — Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. They were drawn into a sub group with Croatia and Spain. The rest of the UEFA nations are placed in three other leagues (B-D), and there will be some sort of promotion/relegation going on as the competition continues.
England will host Spain in the Nations League on Saturday, September 8 and will play a friendly against Switzerland three days later.
Look, the Nations League is kind of a neat idea and I’m all for reducing the number of dumb meaningless international friendlies, especially since some teams have figured out how to game the system to improve their coefficient, but holy moly, can we give the biggest World Cup stars a bit of a breather instead of throwing them into another EXTREMELY SERIOUS IMPORTANT COMPETITION WE MEAN IT so early in September?
Kieran Trippier had his minutes regulated pretty well in the World Cup and you can argue that Danny Rose could use the first team action, but there’s really no reason to call up players like Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Eric Dier (who already looks tired). Hopefully Southgate recognizes that too and regulates their minutes.