The news surrounding Big Michail Antonio’s injury is so frustrating in a seemingly inconsequential international match. He has now been joined by Jarrod Bowen but history is filled with instances where players saw their seasons, or even entire careers, disrupted by injuries sustained while on international duty. CandH examines seven English players who were unfortunate enough to suffer significant injuries while representing their national team. The cost of international breaks is far too high writes Michael Talbot.
Steven Gerrard – 2010
In November 2010, a 30-year-old Gerrard, captaining both club and country, faced a run of injuries. Despite a verbal agreement limiting his playing time in a friendly against France, he sustained a hamstring injury that kept him out for two months. Liverpool took action against the FA, resulting in compensation for Gerrard’s wages during his recovery.
Dean Ashton – 2009
Ashton’s football career spanned a mere nine years. After successful stints at Crewe Alexandra and Norwich City, he made a £7 million move to West Ham in 2006. Despite a strong start in East London, Ashton’s international debut was thwarted by a broken ankle sustained in a tackle by Shaun Wright-Phillips just a day before a friendly against Greece. This injury sidelined him for a year, causing him to miss an entire season for West Ham. Although he eventually made his England debut in 2008, persistent ankle issues stemming from the 2006 injury led to his retirement in 2009.
Frank Lampard – 2012
Hopes were high for England in Euro 2012, with Lampard, fresh from a Champions League title, set to partner Steven Gerrard in midfield. However, Lampard suffered a thigh injury in training, lasting only a week in Poland. England, too, was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Italy.
Theo Walcott – 2012
Walcott’s promising career was marred by injuries, preventing him from participating in major tournaments. In the lead-up to Euro 2012, he was stretchered off in a qualifier against Switzerland, missing over two months of play and seven Arsenal games. Ongoing injuries plagued his career, resulting in an average of 15 games missed every season.
Jack Butland – 2016
In 2016, Butland, competing with Joe Hart for the England No. 1 spot, suffered an ankle injury during a friendly against Germany. The injury kept him sidelined for over a year, and despite struggles at Crystal Palace, he eventually moved to Rangers.
Joe Gomez – 2020
Fresh from Liverpool’s 2019 Premier League title, Gomez was in top form until a major knee injury in a friendly against Ireland in 2020 ruled him out for the season. Liverpool, already missing key players due to injuries, felt the impact of Gomez’s absence, with the defender missing 39 games.
Declan Rice – 2021
West Ham’s Declan Rice, enjoying a successful season, suffered a knee injury in April 2021 during a qualifier against Poland. Despite returning for the final three matches of the season, his absence in six games proved detrimental, and after one of our best seasons in years West Ham slumped to sixth in the league
All of this does add more petrol to the Club v Country bonfire.
I know where I stand !