Johnny Cantor: The amount of international players show Albion are going in the right direction

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Is it a chance to proudly support your country or wallow in the inadequacies of the latest national squad?

Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 7:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:41 am
Albion midfielder Davy Propper is in the Netherlands squad for their friendlies with England and Portugal. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

We all see the international break in different ways. Of course it is not a ‘break’ for those players on duty with their country. This current set of friendlies has a more intense focus with the proximity of the World Cup in Russia.

Will Gareth Southgate go with three centre backs? Who will get to be the number one goalkeeper? What will England do without Harry Kane? So many questions but I’m not sure how many answers we will get.

On a personal level, I also like to see how players get on outside the England set-up. I’m sure the next three to five days will be of special interest to Brighton and Hove Albion supporters.

There was plenty of discussion as to whether Seagulls’ Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk would or should have been called up but despite their absence, Friday night’s England game will be a chance to see if Davy Propper gets a run-out under the new Dutch boss Ronald Koeman.

Now I don’t purport to being a historian or archivist but I would imagine more Albion players than ever are on duty for their country. Aside from Propper, there are regulars like Shane Duffy who this week was named Irish international player of the season. As well as his excellent form in goal for his club, Maty Ryan has helped the Australia team to reach Russia via the play-offs.

Beram Kayal has joined Tomer Hemed in the Israeli setup now he has recovered from injury and getting game time in the Premier League. In the last few days Jose Izquierdo has been called up to the Colombian squad as a reward for his recent performances.

I have examined the length of time since the last Albion player, Steve Foster, donned the Three Lions shirt for England but the extent of current internationals at the Albion is another reminder of how much has changed over the years for the club.

It certainly seems you have to keep moving or face major issues. Stable ownership, strong leadership and quality of performance are the recipe for success.

You can’t stand still, you have to keep changing, adapting and also you have to keep improving.

The number and quality of international players currently in the squad, away with their country for the next few days and playing in Russia this summer at the World Cup are an indication that the club is going in the right direction.

I have no doubt someone will be swapping the blue and white stripes for the … white or red or blue or grey of England soon enough.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburgerTo read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.comAlbion Unlimited podcast is available to download via BBC iPlayer & iTunes